ECM Software for Auto Industry
Carrera Motors was born when its founder, Tom Anderson, brought his passion for German cars to Bend, Oregon in 1982. Today, the Carrera Motors family of top brands includes Audi, BMW, Porsche and Volkswagen. Dubbed “the outdoor playground of the West,” the town of Bend is a picturesque mountain resort with a cosmopolitan flair − an ideal setting for a dealership specializing in high-end automobiles.
The Carrera Motors campus features exclusive Club Carrera. In addition to its 15,000 square-foot dream garage with secure, climate-controlled collector car storage, Club Carrera offers a richly appointed lounge, indoor detail facility and many activities for members. It has become an international haven for auto sports enthusiasts. “We succeeded by creating an environment where the customer thrives,” said Richard Grant, Service Director of Carrera Motors. “On top of the unusually high level of experience and service we provide, Carrera Motors is one of only a handful of dealerships with an exciting auto sports club.”
In the process of maintaining and repairing customers’ automobiles, Carrera Motors’ four service departments together generate about 1,100 repair orders and accompanying paper documentation each month. All of these documents must be carefully filed and be readily accessible for Carrera Motors’ service personnel to provide the superior level of service its customers expect. Over the years, however, filing, storing and retrieving the growing volume of paper records had become more and more problematic.
“I don’t know of any automobile dealership that has too much storage space,” mused Grant. “Trying to find paper records was like looking for the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack. With 15,000 paper files in storage, the labor costs to regularly find and retrieve them were tremendous. When we began researching enterprise content management solutions, we were primarily looking for a way to reduce the volume of repair orders and related documents we had to store. GlobalSearch not only solved our paper storage problem, it also boosted the productivity of our technicians. Because vehicle repair histories are now available at their workstations, our technicians no longer have to leave their bays to locate this information and are 20 percent more productive. Maintenance and repairs are completed and cars are returned to their owners faster, so GlobalSearch has improved customer service as well.”
Carrera Motors discovered another of GlobalSearch’s advantages quite unexpectedly. A vehicle purchased through a Portland, Oregon dealership arrived at Carrera Motors’ Bend facility needing service. Fortunately, the Portland dealership was using GlobalSearch. “We called Portland requesting the vehicle’s repair history,” Grant explained, “and within minutes the dealership had e-mailed the vehicle’s entire file to us. We were even able to read the technicians’ hand-written notes on the repair orders. I recall thinking ‘Wow, everything is right here. This is great!’ This experience gave us tremendous confidence in GlobalSearch right from the start.”
“GlobalSearch is an excellent value and is extremely easy to learn and use,” Grant said. “I can train anyone to scan documents and index them into GlobalSearch in just a few minutes. Once we saw how affordable and easy to use it was, the decision to invest in GlobalSearch was a ‘no-brainer.’”
Like many dealerships, Carrera Motors uses the Reynolds and Reynolds Dealer Management System (DMS) to generate repair orders and customer invoices. Now, however, when the repair and invoicing process is completed, the DMS-generated paper documents are placed in closed files. The following morning they are then quickly and easily scanned and indexed into GlobalSearch as PDF files. Once stored safely in GlobalSearch, the documents are available instantly to Carrera’s service technicians, advisors and other authorized users.
Carrera Motors’ technicians use GlobalSearch primarily to view the repair history of vehicles they are servicing. This aids in diagnosing problems, ensures that repairs are perfected and helps Carrera to comply with manufacturer documentation requirements, an especially helpful capability when parts must be special-ordered and when repairs are made under warranty.
Total security is another added benefit, since Carrera Motors’ irreplaceable files are now backed up electronically. “Heaven forbid we had a fire or other disaster, GlobalSearch ensures there is no chance whatsoever of losing any information,” Grant said. “The solution proved so reliable that we shredded our paper files within one month of installing GlobalSearch.”
Grant said the greatest return on Carrera’s GlobalSearch investment is in labor cost savings. Carrera Motors employs 65 people, many of them technicians working in its busy service department. Since these technicians are now 20 percent more efficient in performing their jobs with GlobalSearch, this translates into commensurate labor cost savings. GlobalSearch also allowed Carrera to avoid the expense of renting offsite storage facilities. Based on its success in the service department, Carrera Motors plans to deploy GlobalSearch in phases throughout other areas of the business.
Would Grant recommend GlobalSearch? “Definitely!” he exclaimed. “GlobalSearch is an ideal way to efficiently and safely manage vital records and save valuable space. Our service technicians and advisors are saving significant amounts of time retrieving information, a real win-win for the dealership and our customers. Based on my 26 years of service experience, I believe investing in GlobalSearch is one of the smartest business decisions a company could ever make.”