Keystone Automotive Operations has acquired Topline Systems Inc., a dealer and retail software development company that specializes in dealership/shop management and point-of-sale products that include comprehensive sales, service and parts management modules.
Initially developed for the RV market, Keystone is eyeing expansion of the software offerings into the specialty automotive aftermarket as well, according to Bill Rogers, Keystone business leader.
“We are looking forward to expanding on the foundational programming solutions that Topline has developed and applying them to businesses in other markets with similar needs, including the automotive aftermarket, where we see a significant opportunity,” he explained.
Current Topline customers should be unaffected by the acquisition, he added.
“There are hundreds of dealers in North America using the Topline program today, and we intend to keep things business-as-usual for them. They will experience no interruption in services or be required to work any differently than they have in the past,” he said. “In fact, our intention is to operate Topline independently to maintain the existing securities and confidentiality that all of Topline’s customers and business partners have enjoyed.”
Keystone and Topline have a long history of working together, collaborating on a variety of projects, according to the companies.
“We are excited about continuing our work with Keystone in a much more significant way,” said Steve Karafas, Topline president. “The availability of capital and other resources they bring to the relationship will result in expanded features and benefits for existing users, and help our emerging presence supporting customers in new markets as well.”
Keystone’s interest in providing software solutions came from consideration of ways the distributor could help its customers grow and thrive.
“After hundreds of customer visits in the markets we serve, we determined that inventory management, procurement, sales processes and fundamental reporting and analytics were areas that many of our customers struggle with,” Rogers explained. “The options available to them are either complicated and expensive, or too simplistic and ineffective. We felt a robust and easy-to-use alternative was needed and found Topline’s suite of products a perfect fit.”
Topline’s software was developed at a dealership with a retail store and a service/installation shop—for that business, by that owner, according to the company. The same daily decision-making process used to run the business was engineered into the software and has applications well beyond the market it was initially intended to serve.
“For over 50 years, Keystone/NTP-Stag has been committed to partnering with our customers to not only provide them the broadest and deepest inventory selection and world-class fulfillment capability, but also helping them continue to grow and succeed by offering end-to-end marketing solutions and innovative e-commerce solutions,” Rogers noted. “The addition of Topline allows us to continue to offer new ways to help our customers grow and succeed by providing value-based, high-quality, state-of-the-art business solutions, including dealership management, point of sale, service and parts management.”