Hutchings Motor Group is a family-owned business with sites in Pontypridd, Bridgend and Swansea. Steve Hutchings, Managing Director, is the 5th generation in the family business which started in 1896. In the last 5 years the business has enjoyed sustained growth and now employs over 100 members of staff representing Vauxhall, Hyundai and Isuzu brands. We caught up with Steve to see how using the iDealFILE platform has benefitted the business since implementing the system 3 years ago.
What was your initial motivation for choosing the system?
From the outset we wanted to maximise the efficiency of our sales administration processes.
As the business grew, we moved from having 2 franchises in 1 location to 2 franchises in 3 locations so needed to find an effective way to centralise the administration and accounts functions within the business.
We’d already modified some of our administration processes but we were left with the burden of centralising paperwork – and we were facing up to the prospect of the physical movement of items up and down the M4. For example, if content and documents were in Swansea we needed to move them and duplicate them in Pontypridd where admin is based.
With iDealFILE we could eliminate the need for duplication. Moreover, the speed with which we could collate and recall documentation was a huge plus for us and still remains a key business benefit to this day. It’s so much easier than having to track down boxes and search through files.
Ultimately we have much more robust business processes and enjoy improved communication between the sales and admin teams.
So it’s fair to say that iDealFILE has met your expectations?
Very much so. We were fairly early adopters of the system – within the first 10 dealers to have it implemented – and the iDealFILE team seamlessly integrated the system with our existing processes.
During the first 12 months we worked together on a number of system developments that delivered very positive business benefits. From the beginning we have felt empowered by the system and could see the flexibility it offers.
If we ask “can this be done?’, we always anticipate a “yes”.
How did the implementation process go?
Implementation is such an important period and we were supported at every step.
When you’ve always been used to having physical pieces of paper, it can be a challenge to convince people they don’t need them but, with the help of iDealFILE, we very quickly arrived at a point where a paper less environment feels like the norm.
Since implementation the support from the iDealFILE team has been very good too – if there are any issues they are very speedily resolved.
Have you found any additional / unexpected benefits?
One of the real benefits we found was the ability to recall all documents about the sale of a vehicle at a keystroke as opposed to spending time trying to hunt down an archive copy somewhere in the business – which was normal with our old-style deal files.
There are customer benefits too. Some of our customers really like being able to transact with us via an almost paper-free buying process.
What are the most beneficial aspects of using iDealFILE in your business?
The biggest benefit has to be the ease and speed of central administration.
For example, if someone in the administration department requires a document or deal file from someone in Swansea who is with a customer, we can compile all the documents at the click of a button – or using the app – and the key information is in front of the admin team in seconds. No more having to scan paper documents or take attachments from an email.
In addition, because the entire deal file sits within a specialised area, our admin team can very quickly assess how close to completion each one is. They can also spot any errors and resolve potential issues much quicker.
What are the main system features you use?
We use a lot of the features on the system.
Our process starts with document recognition and document duplication with the order form, right through to digital signatures which works perfectly in conjunction with how our finance partners operate.
Are there any features you would like to see added?
We are really looking forward to the launch of the Customer Portal. This will take the system to an even greater level – giving us way to have a secure dialogue with customers without relying on email.
From a deal file completion perspective if we require documents from a customer they will be able to simply take a photo on their smart phone and send it to us securely and directly within the portal.
We will be able to share documents with customers in the same secure way too. It will be a whole new standard of efficiency and compliance.
How many deal files do you have on your system?
There are 4,000 deal files on our system.
And roughly how many documents are there per file? (please give a quick summary of the types of electronic documents you use if possible).
There are approximately 10 or 11 separate documents per deal file – and some are on multiple pages – so it’s clear to see that by introducing iDealFILE we have been able to save on space as we no longer have boxes and boxes of archive files.
That’s on top of the time and financial savings.
Can you quantify any of these time and financial savings?
Before we introduced iDealFILE the sales team was back and forth with the sales admin team fetching and collecting paper deal files. Now there’s no need to chase for or wait for these files as it’s all on the system. If you combine the time savings for both the sales and the admin team it’s a real business benefit.
It’s safe to say that I don’t know how we operated without iDealFILE or how we would be able to operate as a multi-site dealer group with centralised administration if we didn’t have the electronic deal file system in place.
I understand you are now rolling the system out into your Vauxhall dealership as well as your Hyundai dealerships? What convinced you to make the switch in the Vauxhall dealership too?
The only reason we hadn’t switched previously was because we were operating in line with Vauxhall’s policy on paper deal files. Now that Vauxhall has made the decision to allow dealers to keep digital copies of the deal files, we made the switch in that dealership straight away.
And, finally, would you recommend the system to other dealer groups too?
Absolutely – it will transform the speed and efficiency of your sales administration. You’ll be working in seconds rather than minutes or hours.
iDealFILE is the efficient, transparent and secure way to manage sales documentation. To see a demo or arrange a trial for your automotive dealership call us on 01635 905985.