LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. - BMW of North America LLC has selected the DealerTrack Arkona DMS as the standard dealer management system to be used in all nine of BMW's Service Technician Education Programs (STEP) facilities in North America.

BMW's STEP is a prestigious and rigorous 27-week training opportunity for top graduates of the country's best post-secondary automotive technical schools. The program develops high-quality apprentice service technicians for employment at BMW retail centers across North America.

DealerTrack has agreed to provide each STEP facility with the DealerTrack Arkona DMS without a monthly fee. So that apprentice technicians better understand the entire scope of dealership fixed operations, they will use the DMS to learn how to write up repair orders, enter their time, review customers' service histories, enter cause and correction, locate and order parts, and understand the process of warranty work.

BMW's flagship STEP facility, in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., started using the DealerTrack Arkona DMS on a pilot basis in September, and it will be rolled out to all nine STEP centers over the next few months.

"We are excited about this opportunity to further strengthen our STEP technician training process by incorporating hands-on experience with a live DMS," said Alan Harris, vice president of aftersales at BMW of North America LLC. "Historically, our training has touched on the concept of a generic DMS, but always stopped short of integrating a live system. Now, with a live system, we can instruct and prepare our technicians more effectively on the role and use of the DMS, which will help them appreciate the need to become efficient employees in a business environment, with administrative as well as technical responsibilities."

"We are very pleased to support the STEP program and to help enhance the training of BMW's outstanding apprentice service technicians," said Rich Holland, vice president and general manager of Arkona. "The DealerTrack Arkona DMS is a simple, intuitive system, so no matter what DMS solution the technicians ultimately use in their dealerships, they will be better prepared from day one."