How We Survived 10 Years in the Automotive Space

January 3, 2017

W/Nextup CEO Clint Burns talks startups, tech evolution and a decade dedicated to dealers.

January 2017 is Nextup’s 10th anniversary.

It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it.  It all started by a simple request.  One day the General Manager said, “Figure something out about that” as he pointed to a group of sale staff huddled by the front door.  It wasn’t an efficient use of time and we knew the CRM was only successful if: One, sales reps logged customers into it, Two, if they had time to properly use it as intended.  Up Systems were not something new in our industry, but combination of proper automotive business logic with technology was.  The challenge was to allow sales staff to have confidence to work follow-up or tasks at hand, while never missing an opportunity.  Create accountability and increased value of each opportunity, but seamlessly integrate into the rapid pace of the industry.  Since that modest beginning Nextup has continued to grow, innovate, and evolve.

  • We have gone from application-based software residing in bulky hardware, to partnering with Microsoft in 2012 and building from ground up a fully cloud based mobile platform.
  • We went from having mostly local dealers in southern California to servicing and supporting dealers throughout US, Canada, and Australia.
  • Being named one of Inc 5000 fastest growing companies two years in a row.
  • Having been nominated by one of our clients for an AWA Award in 2015 and to win two years in a row.

That’s why I’m even more excited about the next ten years!

How did we stay motivated through the last ten years in an industry resistant to change?

It was because we care deeply about our industry. We believe dealers can offer something vastly superior to the current experience today. We know it can be done better. And we are going to prove it to the world.

Over the past ten years companies supporting dealers have come and gone.  Recently with big acquisitions many companies have been popping up with the sole intention of building the customer base to sell it off at a multiple.  While walking through a recent trade show I overheard a conversation of vendors discussing what needed to be built in their offerings so they would be purchased.  More concerned about the exit then what was best for the client.

Over the next ten years

Nextup will continue to evolve with the industry.  We are excited about the launch of Transact our finance department solution and Maintain for the service department.  Already proving to streamline and enhance both of those departments.  This year we will be releasing a new mobile application, and a completely new dynamic platform allowing each dealership to create their own unique customer experience and transition between departments seamlessly.

I would like to thank everyone who has been directly or indirectly involved in the success of our company.  Most importantly I want to thank the dealers (our customers or not) that have a long-term vision of doing good business now and in the future.  I want to thank an industry that over the years has given me so much.  I am passionate about developing technology and process’s that doesn’t already exist and that benefits not only the industry staff, but also the consumer.



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