A brief history of CDK Global

Our Patron member CDK Global are sponsors of the Automotive 30% Club Inspiration for Innovation Network 2020 – 2021.

The purpose and key messages of the Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) Network are to tackle negative gender stereotypes and career segregation in girls and boys and to ensure that young diverse women, in particular, see automotive companies and related technology industries as employers of choice.

CDK’s passion for outreach into the world of education ensures that our younger generation receives the correct guidance to help address the career gender stereotypes or limited awareness that may have prevented them from considering a future in the automotive and related advanced engineering and tech industries.

The sponsorship from CDK Global will allow our member volunteers to connect with primary and secondary schools throughout the UK creating access to opportunities for students to have meaningful encounters with experienced representatives including CEOs, directors and senior execs from diverse backgrounds. They will cover topics such as Digital Media, Marketing, Human Resources and Communications as well as Engineering, Technology and Design and will particularly focus on the post-pandemic need for employability life skills and mental wellness. As with many business activities, this will be carried out digitally this year.

As a backdrop to this sponsorship, we wanted to give you an insight into the ethos of CDK Global and to highlight their mantra in regard to diversity and inclusion; where they started, their current strategy and where they would like to be by 2030.

A brief history…

Let’s wind it back to 1949, New Jersey, USA where a manual payroll processing business called Automatic Payrolls was set up by an American businessman and philanthropist called Henry Taub. Over several decades this non-automated business expanded became mechanised and established a subsidiary in the UK. Merging with and acquiring several pioneering businesses by the late 1990s including a computer services company that supplied administration services to the UK government, the business had grown exponentially. By the mid-’90s this innovative approach led to the acquisition of Kerridge Computer Company Ltd, a dealer management systems provider to auto dealers, primarily in the UK. A further acquisition in 2017 of a pioneering data and research company then gave clients a more scientific approach to employee engagement and performance. 

This is quite a story of agility and a forward-thinking approach to technology, embracing new ideas and mechanisation to streamline processes and improve customer experience.

Formerly called ADP Dealer Services, CDK Global was formed October 1, 2014, and now serves over approximately 30,000 dealerships throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and South America. 

As a market leading supplier of software and integrated technology solutions to the retail automotive industry, they have the largest influence of any company in their sector with over 100,000 users with a client portfolio encompassing auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational and heavy equipment dealers as well as OEM’s.

CDK’s dealer driven software is at their front line but it doesn’t end there. Customer experience is at the forefront of what they do and their extensive Partner Programme, which includes more than 350 industry associates, allows an innovative solutions network created by those third parties to be integrated and delivered by CDK to both dealers and  OEMs. Their programme provides a vast range of data capabilities and insights plus hundreds of new applications to keep dealer businesses running effectively, productively and profitably. Their history really is a true embodiment of what they are today.


Article by: Danielle Humphreys – Inspiration for Innovation Network Manager


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