Bonus Online Exclusive - In the Lab and Beyond

Jeff Bennett’s students learn dealership management concepts in the Reynolds and Reynolds Lab using ERA-IGNITE software found in dealerships around the country.

Jeff Bennett’s students learn dealership management concepts in the Reynolds and Reynolds Lab using ERA-IGNITE software found in dealerships around the country.

Reynolds and Reynolds Supports Northwood Students

Reynolds and Reynolds took a bold step several decades ago when it invested in Northwood’s automotive dealership education. Now the foundation of a positive and enduring blend of education and industry, Reynold’s early faith in “The Northwood Idea” has nurtured our students’ passion for careers in automotive dealerships for more than 40 years.

In 1975, Reynolds, a developer of dealership management system (DMS) software and hardware, generously installed its proprietary products in Northwood’s automotive lab. This confident first step created the Reynolds and Reynolds Lab, which continues to engage students in digital learning and promote dealership management best practices.

“Reynolds and Reynolds’ support of Northwood has been extensive. The company’s long-term commitment and many consecutive years of the friendship reflects their enthusiasm for our students, curriculum, and mission to develop leaders of a free-enterprise society,” said President Keith Pretty. “We are extremely thankful that the company places such a high value on encouraging students to become the future drivers and innovators of the automotive industry.”

A recognized leader in DMS technology, Reynolds is a respected and appreciated member of Northwood’s extended community. Students and faculty are achieving great things thanks to the resources and expertise that Reynolds shares beyond the Lab. The company generously sponsors a university faculty position and supports numerous campus activities and events, including the Northwood University International Auto Show.  Students also gain experience and success through internships and careers with Reynolds.

“As a Northwood graduate and now a Reynolds employee, I’m proud to be part of the strong connection between these two impressive organizations,” said Timothy Kaiser (’18), Reynolds and Reynolds system sales trainee. “I am all about loyalty and giving back. And the relationship between Northwood and Reynolds is an example of all that can be achieved by working together with integrity.”

Learning Why and How

Reynolds supports education and young people every year through its unique commitment to Northwood. Since 1994, the company has sponsored a faculty position, which is currently held by Jeff Bennett, Northwood’s director of Automotive Technology Management. Reynolds’ recent extensive donation of its newest products provides students with professional-level insight into dealership management.

“Reynolds gives our students an incredible learning experience using the same advanced software and hardware that dealerships use. And their comprehensive support helps me teach classes that are relevant and practical,” said Bennett. “Thanks to their excellent built-in training, students not only learn the thinking behind DMS but also how to use it. I think it’s a great way to connect the classroom to the showroom.”

In the Gary A. Stauffer Academic Building, the digital lab runs Reynolds’ user-friendly ERA-IGNITE DMS software and hardware, which gives students an in-depth introduction to the programs that dealerships in North America use every day. In conjunction with Northwood classes like Dealership Variable Operations, Dealership Fixed Operations, and Dealership Accounting, students learn the benefits of digitally managing dealer operations and how Reynolds’ systems improve financial performance.

Dedicated to excellence in education, Reynolds continually updates the lab’s software and hardware. For example, students are now using Reynold’s high-tech development, the docuPAD® system, an interactive tabletop tool designed to engage customers and improve the finance and insurance process. Students are also learning with AddOnAuto, the company’s leading digital platform for vehicle accessory sales in dealerships.

“In the Reynolds and Reynolds Lab, students get hands-on learning that is current and authentic. Reynolds’ significant and generous investment gives our students a wealth of knowledge about the many ways DMS applications help improve dealership performance,” said Bennett.