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Manufacturing

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The next-gen dealership

Patrick Katenkamp explains how OEMs can take advantage of integrated technology solutions to improve the vehicle buying process and dealership experience

Today, the implementation of global solutions to enable new automotive retail concepts is a major strategic priority for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) within the automotive industry. This is driven by a few key trends. In particular, increasing competition and pressure on profitability, which results in further standardisation in retail networks, is having a major effect. This is compounded by shrinking consumer buying cycles and less showroom visits, which are leading to a growing focus on customer lifecycle management. In addition, the growing use of the internet in the vehicle buying process and ownership lifecycle continues to expand and forces OEMs to think about holistic dealer concepts, which integrate the internet and smartphone applications.

To date, approximately 2,500 dealerships are taking advantage of software from incadea to deliver an enhanced vehicle buying process

Patrick Katenkamp, chief operations officer at incadea
 
All these trends require OEMs to have dealer management, customer relationship management and business intelligence (BI) solutions in a single enterprise technology platform that is connected to the cloud. With this, they can streamline processes across geographies and enable new automotive retail concepts. The platform needs to cover the entire customer lifecycle process, integrating internet applications, social media and telematics vehicle data, and it must be accessible from any device.

The Microsoft Dynamics suite, in combination with Windows Azure and Office 365, are proven to support OEMs in succeeding in this new, fast-paced market. incadea – a Germany-based automotive technology developer that serves over 80 countries through its ten subsidiaries and channel partners – has developed a product suite with this technology to bring together dealer management, customer and vehicle relationship management, and BI capabilities. Used together, OEMs can improve the dealership experience by optimising and automating key operational processes; providing workers with role-tailored dashboards to manage their tasks; better supporting sales teams to optimise lead management and increase conversion rates; and improving business analysis with access to specific information and reports by individual branch or car make across multiple servers, databases, companies or entire dealer networks.

Innovations that incadea has developed across the portfolio include role-tailored user workspaces and dashboards, web clients, mobile clients and cloud enablement. These solutions can be deployed with predefined industry configurations and can transform from traditional on-premise offerings to public cloud offerings, eliminating customer CAPEX investments and reducing deployment time and efforts.

To date, approximately 2,500 dealerships are taking advantage of software from incadea to deliver an enhanced vehicle buying process. Recently, the company has been chosen as a strategic partner in a major project in China to implement the concept of a future @Dealer. Here, incadea is implementing its product suite and using the Windows Azure platform to integrate internet services in portable devices for consumers and dealer personnel. incadea has also completed a pilot with a European manufacturer to integrate real-time telematics vehicle information with dealer service processes to create a next-generation service experience.

Patrick Katenkamp is chief operations officer at incadea, a provider of enterprise software solutions to the global automotive retail and wholesale market

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