Transforming Brimborg’s automotive retail with unified, intelligent business applications

An Annata Case Study

The business of selling cars is rapidly evolving. Today, the accelerated growth of connectivity and mobility are at the forefront of new business segments in the automotive industry.  Vehicle manufacturers and distributors are now getting serious about automotive retail and confronting the weaknesses in their supply chain through digitized, innovative business solutions.

Annata has had a long history as a solution of choice for businesses in the Automotive industry. As a leading Microsoft partner in Automotive, Annata develops Innovative technologies for automotive businesses both large and small through cloud architecture.

A good example of how Annata’s business solutions were able to drive transformation was through Brimborg, a multi-brand automotive and equipment distributor based in Iceland that has a long history of utilizing Annata’s business solutions to become the largest rental business in Iceland.

Headquartered in Reykjavik since 1964, Brimborg expanded steadily and grew to be the automotive leader in Iceland, distributing cars, busses, trucks, and construction equipment. However, In the early 2000’s, Brimborg noticed that their present systems and infrastructure were restraining the business from future growth. The company had been running their business through outdated systems that worked in silo and operated in its own ‘bubbles’. One system was purely for its workshops, the other system for vehicle and equipment sales and a completely different system for its finance module.

This destructive operational barrier pushed the management and executive leaders to look for a unified, integrated solution based in the cloud that minimized its operational cost and maximized its business productivity. With rising competition and emerging digital technology, Brimborg knew they had to address the elephant in the room and determine the underlying root problems that may be causing the ripple effect of its separate systems.

Brimborg chose Annata to provide them with a cloud based, unified business solution that could digitally transform all their business processes. Through an accurate measurement of the companies’ long-term goals, Annata developed a solution for Brimborg to manage all its imports, distribution sales and service together with an optimized CRM & ERP, all in just one solution.

In only five months, Brimborg managed to move all processes for managing imports, distribution, sales, and after-markets from older systems to one single platform. Annata was able to innovate the company and improve customer satisfaction with the ability to glean insights across their five brands, access sales figures immediately, and use the right data to adjust their marketing in real-time.

“From the start, Annata’s DMS solution had a great impact on the organization´s daily operations. The speed of service has increased tremendously, as necessary information is only a click away,” said Egill Jóhannsson, CEO, Brimborg Iceland.

The business was performing well with its new digitized systems until the financial crash hit the Icelandic automotive industry in 2007. With automobile sales going through a steep decline during an unprecedented time of crisis, Brimborg found themselves on a financial and operational loss with all the vehicles that they just could not sell.

Brimborg knew that its current business model of automotive retail could not help weathering the fiscal crisis the industry was going through, and they had to look at new ways of doing business. Annata helped Brimborg to create a solution that enabled the company to rapidly expand into the commercial fleet rental market in response to the crisis.

Brimborg deployed an extensive Rental business module that enabled customers to rent their cars instead of selling them. Annata’s solution also enabled the company to utilize IoT data flowing from its rental cars to monitor its performance and perform automated service scheduling. These capabilities ensured a timely servicing of Brimborg’s fleet of vehicles, keeping each vehicle healthy and productive.

The Annata 365 business solution not only allowed Brimborg to operate efficiently but also to create new business segments and opportunities while having the ability to explore new customer segments in other areas of its business.

“It is a tribute to the Annata team and their rental solution that we have been able to effectively manage our car hire business during the period of set up and rapid growth,” said Egill Jóhannsson, CEO, Brimborg Iceland.

In the year 2020, when the COVID-19 global pandemic disrupted automotive retail and global supply chains, Brimborg, found themselves ready to weather the situation with minimal impact on its operations. Having worked with Annata and Microsoft for more than a decade, Brimborg had been building many digital platforms for CRM systems and online bookings to support its rental businesses.

“When the COVID-19 hit us, we were extremely well prepared and could implement new (business) processes extremely fast. We have unlocked several revenue streams, where we sell new cars, used cars, providing after sales services including workshops, spare parts services, and car rental business (along with) heavy commercial. Our car rental business revenue almost went to zero overnight, but we have been able to increase the local business through various initiates by using the digital platforms and offer contactless car rentals thanks to these platforms (provided by Microsoft and Annata).” Egill Johannson, CEO, Brimborg

Egil notes that the company had also began to adjust their daily processes with the employees working remotely and cut marketing budgets by 80% as they had begun using the CRM to disseminate Brimborg’s marketing materials. These advantages of having a digital framework in the business can fundamentally reshape the automotive industry to weather the public health crisis that the world is facing.

Looking to the months (and years) ahead, we see a few areas that that will be transforming even more to support business processes and increase digital experiences in the automotive industry. Automakers are now focusing more and more on data driven intelligent systems that facilitate automation while increasing customers experience to meet their preferences in a safe and healthy way.

About Annata

With over 20 years of experience as a Global independent solution provider (GISV) for the Automotive, Equipment and Medical Device industries, Annata provides solutions built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 business application platform. Annata 365 is a next-generation unified technology solution that helps manufacturers, distributors, dealers, rental companies and fleet operators overcoming the industry disruption and challenges. It helps to transform existing operations and processes to adapt to and embrace new opportunities through technologies like IoT, ML (Machine Learning), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and cloud-based services. By collaborating with the teams at Microsoft, Annata maintains a strong expertise on the Microsoft platform and continues to provide innovative solutions, strong services, and unparalleled value to our customers.

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