Sponsored by RAPID RTC, the Future Dealership Zone is an exciting showcase of new and emerging technology that AM’s editorial team believes automotive retailers will be using in the next decade across sales, aftersales, back office and infrastructure. This small collection of exhibitors will inspire retailers with latest technology and retail sector insights.
Talk of the future of automotive retail is widespread and varied and includes emerging technology, new business models and disruptors which will converge to create a new era of retail, all driven by consumer demand. Retailers will need to adopt new approaches, embrace technology on even grander scales and take bold, innovative steps into unchartered territories. Suppliers supporting the sector in this changing marketplace include:-
Global lead management software provider RAPID RTC supports 3,000 OEM and dealer group clients around the world. RAPID RTC’s core product, Lead Manager ensures 100% of enquiries to dealerships are answered with consistently high-quality responses.
Dealers looking to capitalise on the EV evolution need to educate sales teams and install charging infrastructure on their forecourts, according to Kevin Pugh, who heads up EV charging specialist Tritium in the UK and Ireland.
The company will be among those specially selected to feature in the Future Dealership Zone at Automotive Management Live this November.
Pugh said: “Any dealership with an EV in their line-up needs to be ready with chargers at their dealership now, their customers need to know about their next car now, and that the horizon and technology is changing.
“Charging is about convenience and speed of charge. Dealership therefore need to be fluent in understanding what charge the vehicle can take, and what this means to their customers when they come across various charging devices. It should become part of the education process when selling their vehicles. We believe a line-up of chargers at their premises would provide a great introduction to charging for anyone buying a vehicle, as well as an interactive, exciting experience.”
If the UK’s aftersales departments are to continue to be profitable as the volume of electric vehicles (EVs) increases dramatically, lessons need to be learned from our Nordic neighbours.
Danish company Tjekvik, pronounced ‘Check Quick’, provides an airport-style quick check-in for service vehicles thereby increasing the aftersales through-put by freeing up dealer staff. The company will showcase theiroffering in the Future Dealership Zone at the event.
With fewer moving parts, EVs require less maintenance so if aftersales departments are to maintain their profitability as ownership becomes more widespread, dealers need to increase the volume of vehicles serviced as well as identify additional revenue streams.
Taking place on November 7th at Birmingham’s NEC, the event, now in its fourth year, brings together the sector’s leading suppliers, a host of masterclass sessions and expert speakers who tackle some of the pressing issues facing automotive retail.
US ecommerce platform Roadster launches in the UK at this year’s event - where its suite of digital tools will be on display in our Future Dealership Zone.
Digitising the car buying process means arming sales teams with effective tools as well as providing customers with the means to move effortlessly between in-store and online.
Providing live demos using a plasma screen and iPads, visitors to Roadster’s stand will be able to experience the digital functionality provided by its tools from a customer’s viewpoint when accessing information online and understand how other tools ensure a smooth sales process whilst delivering an enhanced customer experience in the showroom.
Stoke lubricant manufacturer switched from plastic bottles to cardboard boxes - and has saved 500 tonnes of plastic.
The Lube Cube, which will be on display, is a single use, 100% recyclable packaging system with zero disposal costs as they can be included with normal recycling waste.
A software platform to digitise paper-based operations right across the business, Arena Group’s mstore for automotive system delivers a rapid return on the retailer’s investment with the nett ROI over seven years expected to be more than £300,000 with one recently installed three-site dealership.
The importance of installing rapid chargers on the forecourt to stake a claim as EVs become more widespread.
Kevin Pugh, who heads up EV charging specialist Tritium in the UK and Ireland, said: “Charging is about convenience and speed of charge. Dealerships therefore need to be fluent in understanding what charge the vehicle can take, and what this means to their customers when they come across various charging devices. It should become part of the education process when selling their vehicles. We believe a line-up of chargers at their premises would provide a great introduction to charging for anyone buying a vehicle, as well as an interactive, exciting experience.”
One way in which dealers can increase workshop volume particularly with the increase of EV ownerships since these cars require less maintenance.
Tjekvik UK business development director Nick Pratt said: “In Norway, the extensive uptake of EVs has already had a massive impact on aftersales and dealers have had to increase the number of vehicles serviced and become much more efficient in their use of eVHC to ensure work isn’t missed.
“The check-in kiosk is familiar to most people as it works in a similar way to airport check-ins or airport parking where car keys are left in a deposit box. It enables customers to drop off and pick up vehicles quickly reducing the queues at service reception whilst delivering an exceptional customer experience.”
Find out how one BMW dealership became paperless utilising Arena Group’s digital documentation tools.
Andrew Tullie, MD of Soper Lincoln who has been at the forefront of a quiet, paperless revolution across BMW UK, said: ““Documents flow from manufacturers, finance companies and others, which becomes more and more demanding. There is an absolute requirement for a paperless document solution, but it’s all about the processes in sales, sales admin, service, warranty administration, and the links between customers, the service or sales adviser and the back office. It’s the interface that needs breaking down to become a seamless process.”
Based on Andrew’s figures, digitisation is expected to save £12,800 per year by reducing paper usage by 95% across deal files and service and free up a headcount in sales administration.
How digitising the car buying process means arming sales teams with effective tools as well as providing customers with the means to move effortlessly between in-store and online.
UK lead for US ecommerce platform Roadster, which launches in the UK at the event, Rob Abrahams said: “With consumers judging the sector against other retail experiences where the digital and physical realms fuse readily and without any friction or hiccups, they have the same expectation when it comes to purchasing their next car. If dealers are unable to provide an all-rounded experience, consumers will simply move onto the next business which does blend high class digital involvement with physical interaction from employees in the showroom.”