Automotive service center: Reimagining after-sales excellence

According to ReportLinker, the global automotive repair and maintenance services market will reach $678.4 Billion by 2026. While this market remains a lucrative industry, existing automotive businesses are facing a confluence of service center challenges from supply chain bottlenecks to changing consumer demands.

8 reasons why service center software is critical

Automotive businesses can overcome challenges with the implementation of a service software management solution and instead experience added benefits such as:

1. Elevated customer engagement

After-sales care is crucial for service centers, making providing excellent customer service the number one priority of any service center business. With service center software, managers and technicians will be able to view a customer’s information along with a lifetime history of the customer’s vehicle and maintenance records.

This enables personnel to establish an early and continuous connection with the customer right from the very beginning to provide enhanced and personalized customer experiences, making them feel welcomed and assured that their vehicle will be taken care of.

2. Streamlined service center operations

The goal of a service center manager is to ensure the business runs smoothly, especially maintenance work orders, employee performance, and parts inventory. Inefficient service center management can be exasperating for the customer and result in inefficiency that may lead to a high employee turnover rate or worse, a profit loss for the business.

A software system must be able to store all critical data in a centralized location and enable the manager to spot key trends and make critical decisions. Having everything digitized will increase the effectiveness of the service center organization and ensure operations run smoothly.

3. Anticipated vehicle service and repairs

Service center software enables the capturing and recording of data in real-time. This data is compiled and analyzed to not only diagnose the immediate vehicle problems but to spot faulty parts patterns and anticipate potential vehicle issues.

Through predictive analytics that leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT), service centers can raise pre-emptive alerts for vehicle parts failure whilst enabling the assessment of wear and preventing the deterioration of vehicle performance.

4. Enhanced performance tracking

Another benefit of implementing service center software is that it helps business owners keep track of how well their service center is operating. With extensive measuring tools to track multiple areas of the service center, service center management will be able to get a comprehensive view of the entire business.

In addition, it helps with tracking personnel productivity, time taken to service each vehicle, parts sales, and profitability levels while also identifying areas of improvement.

5. Customized report building and ease of navigation 

Service Centers can create a full multi-point service template that provides consistent and detailed quality reports enabling technicians to improve their productivity. Service Centers can also customize their own service reports using built-in templates that provide consistent and professional quality checklists that are easy to understand and navigate.

Service center software highlights and explains the critical repairs that require immediate attention. Reports describing the work necessary generate a higher level of engagement and trust with the customer.

6. Optimized workflow and increase productivity

Service center software assists technicians in streamlining processes and saves their time as they juggle jobs on the service floor. With on-cloud software, the assigned technicians are instantly prompted the moment a vehicle rolls into the service bay and can access the vehicle’s entire history as well as current service requests.

The software enables the assigned technician to have a clear view of what they are working on, without ever leaving the service bay, making vehicle servicing easier, speedier, and more reliable all while maintaining standard operating procedures through prescribed job lists available on their mobile device.

7. Increased revenue and tracked jobs

With service center software, technicians’ time spent on each repair can be recorded and analyzed to identify potential areas for improvement and prioritize which jobs they should work on. The technicians themselves save time with detailed information made easily accessible to them so that they have a full view of the service required based on the reported issues.

This saves time and supports the technician in giving the vehicle immediate attention resulting in a shorter turnaround time. These efficiencies can then be translated to greater profitability and support other key performance indicators. Approved and declined jobs by the customers can also be tracked to build a complete customer lifetime history and thus increase customer loyalty.

8. Amplified customer-service center communication

When it comes to performing repairs, customers tend to be skeptical about the cost. Explaining the vehicle issues can also be frustrating as customers do not have a strong understanding of vehicle parts and terminologies. Because of this, customers may believe they are being overcharged.

With service center software, technicians can attach proof and details of the vehicle problems for the customer to understand better the issue with recommendations and repair cost breakdown provided. This helps customers with confident decision-making to approve repairs. This can indeed boost the workshop’s average repair order.

Related Reading: Digital vehicle inspection: 5 reasons why it makes service centers more efficient

Unleash new levels of superior after-sales engagement with annata365 Service

annata365 Service offers an end-to-end management tool for service and inspection professionals, unleashing new levels of efficiency and yielding maximum levels of productivity with business insights and predictive analytics to deliver superior after-sales experiences.

It provides rich support for automotive and equipment service processes through advanced digital tools that increase adherence to operating standards, streamline communication between management and technicians, elevate warranty management maintenance, and heighten the value of each vehicle while minimizing downtime.

annata365 Service provides support for automotive service processes through advanced digital tools and ensures appropriate procedures are followed, communication between management and technicians is streamlined, warranties are maintained, and each device has increased value with minimal downtime. These built-in customer-centric solutions place the organization at the center of all service interactions, allowing businesses to retain the loyalty and advocacy of customers.

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the backbone of annata365 Service, customers can rest assure that the fully cloud-ready Software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, enriched with the Common Data Model and Annata’s years of industrial experience and expertise, is carefully curated to fit their existing and future needs, and built to respond flexibly to their fast-changing reality, unveiling endless possibilities.    

annata365 service capabilities service center

Key benefits of annata365 Service center

Discover how annata365 Service can power efficiencies for your automotive service center by connecting with us. To learn more about annata365 Service, download the service factsheet here.

Similar posts

Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle purveyors selects Annata to fulfill global scale ambitions

North America
Manufacturer

In 2020, Annata was chosen by a heavy truck manufacturer to assist in developing their business processes and the systems required to support them. The company has more than 400 employees to support its rapid growth as a leading automotive innovator in zero-emission vehicles and trucks.

After a rapid and intensive validation cycle, Annata was chosen because of Annata’s 20-year automotive industry experience and extensions to the Microsoft Dynamics platform that formed the basis of the manufacturer’s finance and manufacturing systems.

Designed with cloud scalability and agility built in, the solution covered all critical processes. To ensure a complete and compelling customer experience, Annata’s solution will ensure the organization is well connected to customer behaviors, both pre-and post-sale for years to come.

The company decided to engage in a multi-year partnership with Annata after the success of the solution implementation. Annata provided the manufacturer with industry insights and experience to drive more value in all its business processes.

Annata picked for superior material handling performance by Leading North American equipment dealer

North America
Dealer

A prominent material handling equipment dealer, with a network spanning over 60 locations across North America, is committed to delivering a comprehensive range of services, including new and used equipment, rentals, parts, service solutions, and training, with a strong emphasis on exceptional customer service.

The collaboration between Annata and Microsoft that led to the successful partnership with the customer was built on a foundation of team expertise and trust, ensuring a strong working relationship.

In their initiative to replace the current system, the company aspired to migrate to a modern, Azure cloud-based platform to optimize their Microsoft Dynamics investment. The primary goals included achieving business transformation, ensuring scalability, and eliminating system performance constraints.

The decision to upgrade to Dynamics 365 stemmed from challenges such as instability, poor performance, and growth limitations experienced in their previous solution installation. 

The overarching objective was to address these issues and enhance the overall efficiency and stability of their operational environment. Annata’s offering stood out with its comprehensive equipment lifecycle functionality, addressing the customer’s specific needs in a tailored manner. System performance and adherence to Independent Software Vendor (ISV) compliance were pivotal aspects that contributed to the decision, assuring the customer of a robust and reliable solution.

Annata’s commitment to ongoing development, reflected in their ecosystem investment and roadmap, aligned well with the customer’s long-term goals. Microsoft’s Proof of Concept (POC) support played a crucial role in demonstrating the capabilities of the proposed Dynamics 365 solution.

The success of the partnership was further cemented by the strong collaboration and partnership ethos shared between Annata and Microsoft, ensuring a holistic and effective approach to meeting the customer’s requirement.

Automotive powerhouse selects A365 for next-level business optimization

North America
Distributor

A privately-owned enterprise with a significant presence in the automotive industry, operates as a key distributor for a globally recognized automotive brand. As the largest independent distributor for this brand on a global scale, the division serves a network over 150 independent dealerships.

Previously relying on an outdated “Green Screen” system and managing a complex network of around 200 applications, the company recognized the need for a transformative change. The existing system, developed over 25 years, had become inadequate for evolving dealer needs, leading to technical debt rather than delivering value. To address this, the enterprise sought a modern solution to meet the dynamic requirements of the automotive industry and enhance overall operational efficiency. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 and A365 combination were selected to improve forecasting, streamline vehicle ordering processes, and reduce lead times from inspection to final delivery.

The enterprise now leverages the full A365 platform, including warranty management and rental services, to optimize its operations. The pivotal factor in selecting this solution was the ability to offer a platform tailored to the automotive industry, providing comprehensive visibility, management, and controls throughout the entire vehicle lifecycle. This capability formed the cornerstone of a compelling value narrative, resonating strongly with a diverse group of stakeholders.

The decision to choose Microsoft Dynamics and A365 exemplified a strategic approach, wherein technology was prioritized first, aligning subsequently with the market for a systems integrator. This decision underscored the strategic fit of the chosen technology to the specific needs of the enterprise, setting the stage for a successful implementation and business transformation.

Key automotive importer and dealer adopts A365 for comprehensive operational enhancement

Latin America
Importer and dealer

Founded in 1963 in Latin America, this key player in the local automotive industry has solidified its standing among the top groups in the sector. Over six decades, the company has maintained consistent growth, establishing a robust financial foundation.

Central to their success is a commitment to transparent management, enabling them to overcome challenges. The company prioritizes key strategic pillars, including business sustainability, delivering exceptional customer experiences, nurturing a skilled workforce, embracing technology, and forming strategic alliances. These pillars reflect the company’s comprehensive approach to ensuring long-term success and resilience in the dynamic automotive industry.

To enhance their operations, the company opted for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations combined with A365 and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement combined with A365. In the evaluation process, various global and regional players were considered, with the chosen combination ultimately selected based on key factors.

The decision to choose this particular combination was influenced by factors such as embracing new technologies for future growth, an abundance of experienced consultants for technology implementation, a holistic solution with cloud hosting and flexible services, and an excellent cost-benefit Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) ratio.

Additionally, the choice of Annata was motivated by their extensive expertise in the automotive sector, a strong market presence, a robust research and development (R&D) plan, and certification capabilities with a cost-effective Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

This combination of solutions was deemed the optimal choice, aligning with the organization’s strategic goals and ensuring a comprehensive and effective solution for their business needs.

European vehicle manufacturer unlocks competitive edge with Annata

Europe
Manufacturer

The European automotive manufacturer was increasingly challenged with their internal reliance on their existing systems as they felt that they were losing a competitive edge by not having the ability to benchmark functionality, performance, and cost. 
To address this, they started to investigate adding D365 as a second practice. They, however, soon found a need to bring in the Annata extended solution to fully understand the capabilities of the underlying D365 platform with the vertical extension for their specific business. 

Through the roll-out, the manufacturer was able to move from local, siloed solutions to a common enterprise standard solution which drives down costs, mitigates risks, and improves the customer experience with a consequential uptick in sales. 
In essence, the customer views the solution as providing the systems that run their captive fleet dealers in-country, as well as providing the integration from captive and non-captive dealers into the central solution.

Annata expands Dynamics solution for South African arm of major importer and distributor

South Africa
Distributor

A South African arm of a major importer and distributor of cars and spare parts was looking to expand the use of the solution into Dynamics 365 Sales. A365 Sales was selected as the preferred industry solution.

The reputation of Annata working with the Microsoft team in South Africa helped to land the deal. The underlying Common Data Model for Automotive was also an important factor in the decision.

The expansion of the use of Dynamics CE for sales was already planned but the business felt that the Annata Sales app would provide ‘out of the box’ functionality and save them a considerable amount of time and effort. The business estimated that implementing the Annata Sales app would save them up to 3 years compared with developing the functionality themselves.

The Annata Sales app provides functionality to handle vehicle configuration, and sales quotations including financing options, trade-ins, test drives, etc.

The Annata Sales app will hopefully be the first of several products that the business will implement. This includes D365 F&O; A365 for Dealer management; Customer service; Annata Dealer portal and; Annata Field Service. The 5-week implementation of the Annata Sales app was another compelling factor.

Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer arm selects Annata to replace existing vehicle division systems

Northwestern Europe
Importer

A division of a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer serving developing markets chose Dynamics 365 + A365 to replace all their current systems for their vehicle division across Africa and selected countries in Latam and Asia. 

The implementation was complex as it involved replacing three heavily customized, on-premise solutions with a standard, (based on a global template), cloud-based offering. The complexity was further increased as the connectivity in some African countries can be intermittent, and delivering a project across many countries requires a great deal of experience and planning.

The solution implemented covered importation, dealerships, aftersales, and service, in addition to rental and fleet in specific markets. The device types cover all vehicles; from motorbikes to cars, lorries, tractors, construction machinery, etc. – and in some markets even boats.

D365 + A365 provided the manufacturer with the confidence that  existing processes would all be supported and that moving to the Azure cloud would drive additional benefits.

Annata brings agility to a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer

East Asia
Manufacturer

The North American arm of a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, with a 450,000-square-foot bus manufacturing and forklift assembly facility, required an agile solution to manage its supply chain, assembly, dealer orders, and post-sales processes for parts, warranty, and dealer management.   

The existing solution was unable to support these business processes cost-effectively with the same flexibility and agility. Annata’s automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) experience and track record of successful and agile implementations, particularly in the U.S. market were key to winning against other competitors.  

Key decision makers of the manufacturer were primarily of Chinese descent, with some residing in corporate offices in China. Working with Microsoft China, Annata was able to leverage its insight into Chinese business culture and its relationships with the business’s corporate IT.

Annata’s ability to adjust to an unconventional sales process and accommodation for cultural differences, coupled with an implementation approach and agile solution that could grow with the North American arm, was key to winning the business. 

Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer partners with Annata to drive the shift towards sustainable transporting

Scandinavia
Manufacturer

A Swedish trucking manufacturer selects Annata and Dynamics 365 to replace their current wholesale and dealer management systems around the globe. By adding A365 to the Dynamics solution, the company is provided with the comfort to cover almost all its operational processes and drive additional benefits by moving to a cloud-based system.

The company’s primary challenge was that it was dealing with large sets of homegrown solutions and legacy vertical solutions with a separate outdated dealer management system that did not communicate with each other. The current on-premise portfolio needed to be replaced with a standard, cloud-based solution, that covers imports, dealerships, aftersales, and service operations, in addition to its rental and fleet-based markets.

Annata, Microsoft, and the manufacturer worked together to build a golden template and blueprint to be used in future rollouts globally. The solution combination adds future capabilities and support for ML, AI, IoT, and more automated business executions, which will have a positive impact on the ROI.

The manufacturer has transformed its dealer management system, replacing its outdated solutions with Annata’s integrated, cloud-based solution using Microsoft’s infrastructure.

RV manufacturer streamlines business processes with Annata

North America
Manufacturer

Annata was chosen as a solutions provider to replace a 20-year-old heavily customized legacy system for an RV manufacturer. The systems in use were not supplying prompt information to the management team and model changes for production were painful to implement. 

The implementation was vital to simplify access to data and increase service levels to its different dealers. The manufacturer selected Annata due to Annata’s global ISV status and strong solution functionalities to manage their critical workload, particularly those that require interaction with their dealer channel.   

Annata’s robust dealer portal solution has improved dealer relationships with a quicker turnaround on warranty claim decisions and processing.

In parallel, the manufacturer can now leverage warranty rules and validations. The dealer portal is a win for the manufacturer in reducing warranty costs while improving dealer and customer relationships.

The manufacturer expects overall improved management reporting for executives and operations. Operational improvements include rationalized bills of materials, costing, and managing production change orders effectively. The manufacturer expects its dealers to have a more efficient process for warranty claims that will result in a reduced payment time, while still preventing fraudulent or duplicate claims.

Swiss agricultural equipment and machinery supplier accelerates cloud migration with Annata

Central Europe
Importer

As an existing customer of AX and Annata IDMS on-premise, the Swiss company decided to start its journey to the cloud in early 2020. Annata’s finance and operations solution was the core of the solution proposed to the company.  

Annata’s full suite of capabilities was implemented and included extensive device management functionalities that support the entire lifecycle of a machine encompassing imports, sales, and lifecycle management with service/work order management, warranty handling, parts management, and rental. 

In addition to a proven solution, Annata was the primary choice due to the strongly committed executive management team which is very much supportive of the strategic project goals.

The project enjoys a high focus at the executive management level and is supported by a strong change management approach aiming to avoid unnecessary customizations. 

The industry competence of the Annata implementation team was well equipped to mitigate challenges typically encountered when setting up new customer solutions in replace of their heavy customized “homegrown” solution.

Annata selected to digitally transform distribution channel of agricultural equipment manufacturer

Central Europe
Manufacturer

With a primary focus on excellent product quality and outstanding customer service, the equipment manufacturer made a company-wide decision to shift their business process to the cloud using Dynamics 365 and Annata’s Finance & Operations solution. 

The solution was rolled out to several major markets within Europe and the Americas in a span of 3-4 years, before offering the industry template to their independent dealer network. Annata was selected as the preferred industry solution partner to move their on-premise solution within their headquarters to the cloud within three months, utilizing its extensive industry and digital competencies in the Annata team. 

As soon as Annata engaged with the equipment manufacturer, it was clear to them that the industry IP was key to their goal to digitally transform their distribution channel.

Coupled with finance and operations implementation expertise, the equipment manufacturer was confident that D365 with Annata was the best to provide industry knowledge to help them make the right process choices and a full set of industry functionalities around the full lifecycle of their equipment.

Mexican subsidiary of an international motor company implements Annata solutions to modernize business processes

Southern North America
Manufacturer

A Mexican subsidiary of an international motor company was utilizing multiple and heavily customized legacy systems which were around 20 years old and did not improve the business. The financial reports generated caused many discrepancies in the business which dampened business decisions. 

The management was looking for an Integrated system that was consistent and easily manageable, in which all users from different departments could manage business processes in a co-dependent and competent manner.  

Annata’s extensive solution provided the Mexican subsidiary with a technology transformation through its transition to digitized workflows.

The new system enabled the company’s dealerships to seamlessly communicate and collaborate with suppliers and service partners, while the company focused on creating an integrated supply chain. 

With Annata’s unified solution, the company benefited from providing accurate, analytical data through the implementation of key functions in cost management, inventory management, warranty management, sales, and service departments. It also provided the company with a range of business data (in real-time) for analysis at a reduced time rate and this provided the organization with major improvements in its management reporting. 

Hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle purveyors selects Annata to fulfill global scale ambitions

North America
Manufacturer

In 2020, Annata was chosen by a heavy truck manufacturer to assist in developing their business processes and the systems required to support them. The company has more than 400 employees to support its rapid growth as a leading automotive innovator in zero-emission vehicles and trucks.

After a rapid and intensive validation cycle, Annata was chosen because of Annata’s 20-year automotive industry experience and extensions to the Microsoft Dynamics platform that formed the basis of the manufacturer’s finance and manufacturing systems.

Designed with cloud scalability and agility built in, the solution covered all critical processes. To ensure a complete and compelling customer experience, Annata’s solution will ensure the organization is well connected to customer behaviors, both pre-and post-sale for years to come.

The company decided to engage in a multi-year partnership with Annata after the success of the solution implementation. Annata provided the manufacturer with industry insights and experience to drive more value in all its business processes.

Forestry equipment global manufacturer selects Annata for company-wide digitization

Europe
Manufacturer

Operating in forestry markets of more than 40 different countries, the manufacturer had an IT landscape that was complex, fragmented, and varied greatly between countries. As part of their future-proofing efforts, they needed a platform to bolster them as they navigated into the future, providing them with the flexibility required to digitize their entire business. 

Annata’s complete set of industry functionalities around the lifecycle of heavy equipment, the strength of the application and platform, as well as in-depth knowledge and vast experience within the industry were reasons why Annata was selected to support them along their transformation journey. 

Annata also displayed strong awareness of future capabilities specific to the manufacturer’s needs aside from proving a strong partnership with Microsoft. 

Annata’s flexibility, scalability, and capabilities to take on the ever-changing environment in the forestry manufacturing industry have since enabled the manufacturer to maintain a competitive edge digitally.