Chorley Group has bucked the trend among dealerships in the past 12 months by experiencing increased demand and output, thanks to a suite of software from automotive digitalisation specialist RTC Automotive Solutions.
The Lancashire-based group installed RTC’s aftersales software package – covering real- time online booking, arrival and handover, workshop job management, inspection, check- out, contact and reporting – across its five locations in early 2019.
The rollout was supported by a full training programme for management, front-of-house staff, call centre personnel and technicians, administered by RTC.
Pauline Turner, managing director of Chorley Group, described the implementation as ’seamless’, with RTC software successfully linking with the group’s Dealer Management System, provided by CDK, to deliver a fully integrated digital solution for aftersales.
Digitalisation has enabled the group to free up physical space that would have been assigned to paperwork storage, as well as saving time scanning and printing documents.
It has been so beneficial that the group’s Preston branch has now gone entirely paperless, becoming one of the first Nissan dealers in the UK to do so.
More locations in the group are expected to follow suit in the coming months. The group estimates that technicians’ overall efficiency has improved 15 per cent in the past year.
Pauline said: ‘Every job is 100 per cent traceable and nothing is ever missed.
‘With the ability to pre-allocate jobs, we can open the workshop outside normal service hours, without a manager present, and every member of the team is able to operate at full productivity.
‘On top of this, the software generates incoming workshop business through automated customer reminders, sending them an SMS or email when a service or MOT is due.
‘Customers can then book their annual service and MOT online, through our website, which links directly to our available hours, with a choice of pre-loaded while-you-wait times, courtesy car, or collect-and-deliver service.
‘RTC gives an open view of future bookings. It means we can manage our staffing levels more intelligently according to how much work is booked in as well as arranging marketing campaigns to maximise any spare time.’
After closing at the start of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, the Chorley Group’s branches reopened on May 1.
Pauline said they had enjoyed high demand ever since, with service bays fully booked throughout May, June and July.
Richard Robinson, chief operating officer at RTC Automotive Solutions, said: ‘Chorley Group is leading the way when it comes to embracing digitalisation. Their example demonstrates that this new way of working has real benefits for workshops, even during difficult times.’