Lightspeed joins ADP spinoff CDK Global

What was formerly known as ADP Lightspeed is now operating under a new name with a new company. Though the marine, powersports and RV division of the new company will keep the Lightspeed branding for its products, the division will be known as CDK Global Recreation.

The change comes as the Dealer Services portion of ADP has spun off into a new Delaware corporation now known as CDK Global, Inc.

“There’s enough uniqueness to the market, customers and products that the decision was made to spinoff the Dealer Services division,” Greg Smith, VP/general manager of CDK Global Recreation, explained.

With the Sept. 30 spinoff, CDK Global has its own stock ticker, board and leadership, separating itself from ADP. Though the new company is smaller than it used to be, Smith pointed out that it’s still a significant-sized business with $2 billion in revenue.The name was developed as a combination of elements that the new company thought defined its new business. The C stands for Cobalt Digital Marketing, a digital marketing company in the automotive segment that ADP acquired several years ago. The K also stands for an acquisition, as Kerridge Computer Company was acquired in 2005. The D stands for the 40-year-old Dealer Services segment.

As for any change dealers will see, Smith says those will be minimal. Dealers’ bills will likely say CDK Global instead of Lightspeed, and the person answering the phone, though familiar, will probably identify the company as CDK Global Recreation, but little else will change.

“One of the cool things about Lightspeed is we already were a fully functioning company within ADP, and we’ll remain that way with CDK Global,” Smith said. “Nothing is going to change from management or an organizational standpoint, so today there’s Lightspeed. … We have our own R&D; we have our own implementation; we have customer support; we have our own sales group; we have dedicated HR and finance. We’re a complete standalone organization. None of that is going to change. So all the people that our clients are used to doing business with are still here; we’re still set up the same way we were set up in the past, so I think as far as that goes, nothing will miss a beat.”

The name change from ADP Lightspeed to CDK Global Recreation reflects CDK’s desire to leverage its new brand. Each division within CDK will have a name of CDK Global followed by a word or phrase that describes its segment.

“We looked at our markets — powersports, marine, RV,” Smith said. “What we kept coming back to is they all serve kind of a recreational market — people who want products that will allow them to do recreation, enjoy their vacations or time off, whether it’s on the water or woods, or over the hills.”

Though CDK Global Recreation will be the primary branding for the marine, powersports and RV division, the Lightspeed name will also be used when naming products.

“We are going to continue to use the Lightspeed name because it’s so well known. What we’re going to do is to continue branding our products with the Lightspeed name. We have products like Lightspeed NXT or Lightspeed EVO or Lightspeed CEM, and that’s what we’ll continue to call those products. So our customers will still see the Lightspeed name around quite a bit, but probably when we answer the phone or run ads, you’re going to start seeing more of the CDK Global Recreation name,” Smith said.

As time passes, the one change dealer clients may see is that CDK Global Recreation will be able to make adjustments and bring new products to market more quickly than when Lightspeed was a much smaller portion of ADP. The Recreation division is just one of a few for CDK Global, which also has products in the automotive, heavy truck and agricultural and construction equipment industries.

“I think as time moves on, the benefits that our customers will see because we are a little bit smaller company now is that we’ll be able to move a little bit faster on things, be a bit more agile, and because of the focus our top management has on dealer clients, I think we’ll have an easier time adding something to these markets or partnerships, or other clients we want to bring to market,” Smith said.

CDK Global’s marketing effort as the company launches will be focusing on the word “go,” as its logo represents a green traffic light, and messaging will highlight the company’s intention to move forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *