SmartSearch Revs Up Efficiency for Busy Auto Dealer

Donley Auto Group

 

Smart Search Helps Dealership Simplify the Complex Task of Managing
Thousands of Repair Orders Across Multiple Locations.

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Background

Donley Ford, a leading Central Ohio automotive group, has been offering vehicles and excellent customer service for over 33 years. Having built their business over the years on referrals and a strong relationship with employees, customers and suppliers, managing service requests has always been an important part of the business. Now with four locations, the need for service continues to grow.


Challenge

The company’s busy sales, service and parts departments strive for “100 percent customer satisfaction.” Offering this level of service across the state, however, had brought on an acute recordkeeping headache.

The Donley Auto Group’s documentation requirements for service were inherently complex. Vehicles purchased at any of its four locations can be serviced at that or any other location, so every outlet requires access to the others’ repair orders. Additionally, routine service work is handled differently from internal and warranty work; and service writers, cashiers, accountants and others working in different locations all may require access to these records.

The company was relying primarily on paper copies to manage service orders. Donley Auto Group uses a Reynolds & Reynolds Dealer Management System (DMS) to help manage its business operations, including service work, but the system’s capabilities were limited. Typically, a DMS-generated repair order was produced by a service writer when a customer dropped off a vehicle for servicing, and a copy of the repair order was printed on a card and upon customer pickup, four copies of the invoice/repair order were generated.

“Depending on where the work had been performed and how it was invoiced, a repair order could wind up in any one of four different boxes in any one of four different locations. As might be expected, both efficiency and customer service were suffering,” recalled Candy Bores, IT Manager for Donley Auto Group Bores.

Solution

After having reviewed the situation at Donley and fully understanding their needs, MTBT recommended they implement SmartSearch. The solution is an affordable way to accurately and reliably store and retrieve critical records across multiple locations.

SmartSearch is a document management software solution that allows companies to quickly capture document content, extract important data, and automate processes that are repetitive. It’s easily adaptable to nearly any paper-intensive process.

Donley group now simply scans and deposits service records into the archive of their choice which allows them to be easily searched or retrieved from any of their four locations.

Results

By providing a simple, affordable way to accurately and reliably store and retrieve these critical records, SmartSearch is now saving the company many thousands of dollars in labor costs annually and significantly improving customer service.

With SmartSearch, Donley Auto Group enjoys a simplified version of its customary procedures—less much of the paper and virtually all of the aggravation associated with it. The signed customer copy of the repair order and associated hard card are now scanned by cashiers at each location and indexed into SmartSearch using the required criteria (V.I.N., service date, repair order number and customer). Secure in SmartSearch, these critical records are available to authorized users at any Donley location instantly.

“Our efficiency has improved measurably and I’d estimate that cashiers at all four locations are each saving up to eight hours per week—a 20-percent reduction in labor costs for these employees,” noted Bores.

The “service” and “internal” copies of repair orders are no longer necessary—a 50- percent reduction in paper costs. And, very importantly, Donley Auto Group’s customers now get timely answers to their questions. “SmartSearch resolved many customer relations issues and has definitely helped us to retain customers,” Bores said.

SmartSearch was so successful, Bores explained, that within five months of adopting it, Donley Auto Group had expanded the use of SmartSearch to its accounting, human resources and parts departments and wanted to double its user licenses. “This affordable, easy to use solution has worked very well for us,” Bores said. “I would not hesitate to recommend SmartSearch to others.”

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