A car dealer improves business processes through a complete business solution
About the company
Unitrade-X is a holding structure in which processes are spread over several companies. These companies manage all the different activities connected to the car dealership. Several years ago, the management realized that the numerous differentiated software systems in the separate companies did not give them the expected results and were way below their business needs. Now, after implementing the ERP solution the management has always a detailed view and tight control over the whole holding. Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and DealerBox add-on, now Unitrade-X works more effectively and delivers first-class services to its customers every day.
Unitrade-X was established in 1991 as an import, distribution and service company for the Volkswagen and Audi car brands in Bulgaria. The company received exclusive rights for the region. From 1991 – 2004, Unitrade-X has aided the construction of more than 10 authorized service centers throughout the country. The company started a regular import of original spare parts and established a logistics center, central warehouse and serviced and supported over 30 spare parts sales centers.
Due to some changes – starting new businesses and distribution of new products, Unitrade-X decided to create a group of companies in order to allocate all the activities:
- Sakar Auto – an authorized Volkswagen dealer
- Unitrade Service – specialized car service complexes, based in Sofia and servicing all German brand automobiles
- Unitrade Leasing – a financial leasing company
- Unitrade Color – an importer of automotive refinishing paints
- National Rent-a-Car – a rent-a-car company
Managing business of this size is a hard task, highly depending on an effective business solution.
“After working with different software during the years, we finally realized that there is a lack of automation and potential for growth. We had far more staff than needed for the particular work because of the poor consolidation. Not working with a single integrated system made us use alternative tools and methods for reporting and analysis of information which was always different in the separate departments. What is more, using specialized software made the whole company depend on particular employees and suppliers. The result was an inaccurate view of the future and no opportunity for effective planning”, explained Filip Ivanov, Project Manager, Unitrade-X.
Using many different solutions, almost one per department, means a lot of unessential work – administrative stuff, losing time switching between the systems, entering data again and again. The front office personnel had to spend many days preparing all the documents for a single car sale. Sometimes the mechanics had to wait hours in order to receive a car for service. The financial department had to spend days preparing a single report.
“At the end, we realized that we cannot continue our work without a suitable integrated software system, able to embed all the business processes in the holding.”
– Ivan Ivanov, General Manager and Owner of Unitrade-X
Unitrade-X researched several business solutions and the decision was among SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics NAV. At first, the management wanted to go with SAP which they believed would be the most suitable solution for them. The main company’s requirement was for the system to be flexible as they needed a reliable platform that can be modified in order to fully meet the needs of their dynamic business. Furthermore, they wanted a proven and experienced solution with successful implementations in similar companies. Last but not least, the solution had to be cost-effective as well.
Taking all this into consideration, the final decision was already predetermined. Unitrade-X chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV as the software system that would reengineer the main business processes in the company according to the world’s best practices. It would be implemented fast. At the same time, it could be modified to fit Unitrade-X’s most specific business needs. Finally, the company would get Microsoft Dynamics NAV at a really competitive price, compared to the other solutions.
After deciding on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Unitrade-X started researching the companies that implemented the solution in Bulgaria at this time. Having in mind that as well as the wrong software, choosing the wrong implementation partner could lead to unwanted consequences for the business, the company tried to find a partner with proven expertise in solution implementation and also with expertise in the automotive industry. That is why Unitrade-X signed a contract with Intelligent Systems Bulgaria.
Kalin Tzvetanov, Managing Director, Intelligent Systems Bulgaria says: “We were glad that Unitrade-X chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV because it seemed that this ERP system together with DealerBox was the solution designed exactly for them. We were sure that we can modify it in a way to fit the company’s every single special need”.
The first thing the management wanted to achieve was a unity of the ranges of items and customers. This would definitely make the administration and synchronization of data easier and faster. The second most important issue was the item stock levels in the separate inventories to be visible for all the companies in the group.
During the implementation, besides the standard Microsoft Dynamics NAV functionality, were also developed new features to cover the specific processes in Unitrade-X. These were all included in DealerBox – car configuration, car sales, after-sales, car leasing, car paints. A system for stock planning, based on ABC analysis and on a period of the last three years, was developed and implemented. There was full process automation in the centralized planning and purchase from one company and the subsequent allocation among the connected companies, which has generated the demand. The result is a significant inventory turnover for a period of fewer than 30 days. Intelligent Systems made also possible the integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and ETKA /the official electronic parts catalog for the Volkswagen Group motor vehicles/ and ELSA /Electronic Library Services and Applications/ systems. The established connection with the KIOSKS terminal enables the service employees to report their working times on the orders directly in the system.
The implementation went smoothly and several months after the project start, Unitrade-X already had a working ERP system with a full integration among the departments and a single database for all the companies in the holding.
When completing the initial implementation, Intelligent Systems developed several features to make the working process even easier: integration between Microsoft Dynamics NAV and the company’s online store; automatic SMS sending when the car is ready for pick up; integration with mobile barcode readers in the warehouse; integration with the software of car insurance companies, etc.
Two years after implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Unitrade-X can measure the benefits of the solution and can definitely be glad of the high return on investment.
“Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV was a crucial decision for our business, fortunately, an excellent one. We felt the improvements in the business processes all over the holding. Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and our beneficial partnership with Intelligent Systems now we have a business solution that helps our company stay successful and among the top car dealers in the country”, commented Filip Ivanov.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV unifies the extremely wide range of cars, various engines, standard and additional equipment in a common database. The coverage of the entire sales process from Microsoft Dynamics NAV enables the rapid and detailed preparation of various reports, comparisons, analysis of different indicators such as revenue, expenses, profits, efficiency, which gives maximum support for the company’s management in making the right decisions.
The system provides a comprehensive and detailed real-time insight into the service centers activity in every aspect. The actual verification of data gives the operator and the customer reliable information on prices, availability and terms. Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports time management, shows the workload of the front-office personnel and the resources available before and during the repair process. This way the company has an efficient allocation of customers during the working day. The established links with external applications for repair time estimation, the appropriate service packs and spare parts, make the customer service fast and precise even during the busiest working periods.
Now Microsoft Dynamics NAV supports a huge range of more than 3 million items for 6 different car brands. Through the mobile terminal devices, the employees receive orders from the company’s online store, allocate the goods, invoice and pick and put away from the inventory. The ERP system supports the daily procurement planning and delivery of parts to fill in the stocks.
“We have achieved significant business process automation, allowing much more rapid and smooth process proceeding with a lot fewer errors. Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows continuous real-time control over all the financial flows – a strong basis for faster and more accurate decision making”
– Ivan Ivanov, General Manager and Owner of Unitrade-X