We use cookies to personalise and enhance your experience on our site. View our Privacy Policy for more information or manage your personal preferences in our Cookie Consent Tool. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Soper reaps rewards from its single source of truth

AutoBI worked with Soper of Lincoln to improve the automotive retailer’s access, analysis and sharing of aftersales data to help transform performance and streamline efficiencies.

 min read

Soper of Lincoln is a family-owned business with over 100 employees that has represented the BMW and MINI franchises in Lincoln for over 20 years

Almost four years ago, Soper of Lincoln Managing Director, Andrew Tullie, had a vision of up-to-date live information and easy-to-digest data being disseminated around the business which could act as a single reference point for teams and drive real-time decision making.

Andrew explains: “In a business like ours we have so many data feeds and data sources. Rightly or wrongly, this drives a culture of numbers, data and performance. The more of that you have then the more you want to make it easily and quickly accessible for people – ensuring they don’t have to go hunting for it.”

Achieving the vision

This desire for a single source of truth coincided with a timely conversation with the AutoBI team who explained that their Automotive Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards were designed to deliver precisely Andrew’s requirements.

Andrew continues: “From the very first conversation, it was so reassuring to be speaking with people who lived and breathed our industry and our currency – whether it be hours, parts, margins, percentages or active service customers. There was no need to decode what we do or what we needed. That’s still very true today. They know what the challenges are, and they often know that before we do.

“The AutoBI automotive experts understand the data, where it comes from and what you can do with it. What’s more, they present it dynamically with simple ways to drill down into the detail – it’s like delivering the most engaging and important content we need on demand.”

A smooth start

Having agreed on the development of an aftersales dashboard, implementation was rapid and seamless.

Andrew explains: “Implementation was incredibly simple. AutoBI understood where to get the data, understood the franchise and understood the business. Essentially, they knew where to go looking for everything and then came back to present us with our information. From there we were able to work with them to tweak and tailor the dynamic dashboards to fit our exact needs. It was an enjoyable collaborative approach.”

Immediate impact

Once live, the system made an impact straight away. With individual logins showing bespoke dashboards, it dramatically reduced the time it took for management teams to access the information they needed to make important business decisions or to react very quickly to address problems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed – be it time wasted, missed sales opportunities or cashflow challenges.

And it is not just management that feel the benefit of engaging with near-real time data.

Today, relevant sections of the aftersales dashboard continue to be shown on a large display in the Service & Parts departments. No one touches it and the data refreshes every 15 minutes. Very simply it allows all technicians to see how much work they are completing versus their own internal targets versus last year’s performance.

It’s highly motivating as Andrew explains: “It’s engaging and inspiring for the team to see this kind of information. Our vehicle preparation centre has a similar screen on the wall which shows daily invoicing targets, performance last year, technician productivity and progress towards targets to trigger individual bonuses. Traditionally, a technician may have only found out their monthly earnings on pay day – now every day they know what they need to do to hit the agreed numbers.

“Because of the ability to tailor the dashboard to reflect our particular processes, it makes everything real for our team and is an incredibly powerful visual reminder of the tasks at hand.”

A goldmine of information

These powerful visuals have made the topline data easy to digest and understand but Andrew and his team also have the option to quickly drill down and review the detailed information behind the headline figures.

Chris Appleby, General Service Manager, explains: “Our dashboards give us unrivalled business intelligence at our fingertips. Just take Vehicle Health Checks as an example. With the help of our AutoBI dashboard, we have one place where we can very quickly see the red work, the amber work, the costings, the videos and it highlights if things haven’t been costed. We can then drill down into individual health checks and see the precise state of play. Without the dashboard, it would be very time consuming to bring all of this together in such an accessible way.

“Prior to having our dashboards in place, to get the volume of information we need, it was my responsibility to run reports every morning, look into them separately, pull them into spreadsheets and so on. However, this took time out of every day and it would only take one bug to develop for the numbers in the report to be inaccurate.

“Now we have rock solid data that’s constantly updated. I really trust the numbers. I’ve never had as much faith in our business intelligence and this breeds confidence into our commercial planning and decision making.”

Andrew echoes Chris’s sentiments: “In my role, it’s my responsibility to lift up stones to see what’s beneath them. In years gone by we might not have been able to find all of the stones and even if we did we might not have wanted to lift them up for fear of what lay behind. Now we leave no stone unturned!”

Improving individual performance

The dashboard has resulted in a positive impact on people development with the aftersales department too.

With near-real time data highlighting successes and areas for improvement, the management team can work with team members to address things quickly before problems escalate or a negative impact on morale and performance.

Chris Appleby explains: “Everyone can see information as they go about their daily tasks. Everyone feels a part of the success of the business. They can see the role they play in driving things forward. With a drive to be a part of this success, people are much more open to suggestions about how they can work differently or tweak a process to get closer to their targets.”

There’s a knock-on effect with recruitment too as new employees no longer need a certain level of IT literacy to excel in their role. In a matter of clicks they can access critical information so, as a result, they can spend less time staring at screens and more time talking face to face with customers, helping to drive sales and revenue for the business.

So, what does the future hold?

For Soper of Lincoln, the wheels are already in motion to bring the same benefits the aftersales team has felt to the sales team – covering aspects like enquiries and diary management.

There is also a real focus on creating a visual representation and drillable detail relating to active service customers which will help drive marketing campaigns, customer phone calls and data cleansing.

It is an ever-evolving solution, and this excites Andrew: “Some days, it’s hard to imagine getting much more out of this system than we do now. The core product delivers everything. It’s absolutely top notch but then we’ll spot an opportunity and I know that if I want to explore something new, the AutoBI team will be looking into it right away.

“If any automotive business wants to be slick, informed, transparent and operating at their optimum level then an AutoBI dashboard has to be a fundamental part of their toolkit.”

How can AutoBI help you?

If you'd like to find out more about how our business intelligence dashboards are empowering Retailer teams to work smarter and generate more profit, simply email us via hello@autobi.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 1522 711111.

Ready to start using Software today?

Thanks for joining our newsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong.