Q-and-A with Larry Kettler and Dick Hyatt
Procede Software and Decisiv are celebrating a major milestone this fall—it’s been ten years since the two companies first joined forces to build an integration between Procede’s dealership management system, Excede, and Decisiv’s suite of OEM-specific Service Relationship Management (SRM) solutions. To mark the occasion, I sat down with Larry Kettler, CEO of Procede Software, and Dick Hyatt, CEO of Decisiv, to talk about what has made this long-standing partnership such a success and what they are looking forward to in the coming years.
As I spoke with Larry and Dick, several things quickly became clear: the two companies are tightly aligned around values, their relationship is built on mutual trust, both prioritize listening to clients, and their teams collaborate closely. It’s this strong foundation that has enabled them to successfully partner and drive innovation for their customers and the industry at large.
Larry, what has this partnership meant to Procede Software?
LK: We were fortunate to have Decisiv as one of earliest participants in our Certified Partner Program. It’s been such an important partner relationship in that it helped set a standard early on for how we wanted to collaborate with our other program participants. The strategic and philosophical alignment between the two companies has helped make our work together more impactful and effective. We’ve been able to build a deeper, stronger, more innovative integration because of it, and ultimately, bring more value to our common customers. Not only have we been able to work with them to solve problems that our dealerships have today, together we’ve also been able to look around the corner to see what is coming next.
Ten years is quite a milestone! What is the secret to your successful partnership?
DH: To have a successful partnership, the number one thing you need, is trust—it’s fundamental. Our partnership with Procede started from a place of trust and it has only grown over the years. The second most important thing is collaboration. When you have free collaboration between both parties, you can really benefit from the back-and-forth. It means one person doesn’t have to have all answers, and it makes it easier to deliver-ever increasing value to the customer. Lastly, I’d say both partners should prioritize innovation, and that’s true of both Procede and Decisiv. It’s helpful that our client bases span different constituents—we work more closely with OEMs, while Procede works more closely with dealerships. Because of this broader view, we’re able to anticipate what’s coming down the road.
Are there any moments stand out over the past ten years?
LK: One memory that stands out for me is the first time I met Dick in person. It was shortly after I joined Procede, and I could sense from that first meeting that he wanted both the company and me to be successful. There was mutual respect, a willingness to being available to each other, and to work through challenges together. That first meeting has served as a foundation for how our companies have partnered ever since. Since then, the overall relationship has been so positive, and we’ve been able to stay aligned around our shared goals. We’ve kept pushing each other to excel and helping each other through challenges—it really does reflect well on both of our teams.
DH: There have been so many great points of collaboration when really cool, innovative ideas surface—those are the things that are the most memorable to me. But there have also been times when things weren’t working as smoothly, and it’s been meaningful to be able to come together and figure out how to resolve challenges and get back to that place of collaboration. I think that speaks to the trust and forthrightness that have always been the foundation of our relationship.
What is next for the Procede/Decisiv partnership? What are you looking forward to the most?
LK: Both Procede and Decisiv have grown over the years—we’re not small companies anymore. Collectively, we have more resources and more opportunity to align those resources around solutions. We’re already working on some big things from an innovation standpoint, with even more to come. It’s an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with Decisiv for the benefit of our common customers and the industry at large!
DH: After so many years of partnership, it’s clear we’re on the same page. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to ask ourselves: how do we lead? How do we continue to innovate? How do we bring the best possible value to our customers? The innovation part of things is key. To innovate, you have to be willing to do things differently than you’ve done them before. Fortunately, that’s a characteristic of both Procede and Decisiv.
What is the single, most important thing you want your dealership and OEM customers to know about the Procede / Decisiv partnership?
LK: We’re listening! Both Procede and Decisiv are listening to our customers, and we’re focused on delivering things based on what they tell us they need today, as well as looking ahead to what they might need as the industry and their businesses evolve. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with our customers and Decisiv and to making big strides that will have a positive impact on their business.
DH: I can’t underscore the listening part of things strongly enough! Listening to our customers is integral to both Procede and Decisiv. It’s a common characteristic around how we, as businesses, do business. Only once we’ve listened do we act, based on our understanding of what our customers need, so that everyone wins—dealerships, OEMs, component suppliers, and fleets.
Congratulations to the Procede Software and Decisiv teams who work hard to make this partnership work, who listen to customers and learn from them, and who continue to innovate to bring ever-increasing value to their customers and the industry at large.
Here’s to the next ten years!