Supply information portal
The IBM AS/400-based system always worked reliably. In addition, we were looking for a solution to further simplify and accelerate the delivery information process. DCCS not only brought experience with the AS/400 platform, but also expertise in web design and mobile applications.
Felix Losan, Toyota Frey Austria
The way to customized, mobile AS/400-based delivery information
Toyota Frey is a family business that includes general import for the Toyota and Lexus brands, but also retail business with around 140 dealers and workshops throughout Austria. In new car sales, a server portal was previously used to provide dealers with secure access to the ordering system for new vehicles, as well as spare parts. "The IBM AS/400-based system always worked reliably. In addition, we were looking for a solution to further simplify and accelerate the delivery information process," says Mag. Felix Losan, Head of IT & Organization Toyota Frey Austria, describing the previous processes.
Wanted: Modern information portal
"We shortlisted several suppliers. And finally decided in favor of DCCS. The IT specialist not only brought experience with the AS/400 platform, but also expertise in web design and mobile applications. It was important for us to involve our dealers. We discussed ideas, exchanged feedback and also clarified fundamental questions about data presentation. The clear goal was to develop a user-friendly, self-explanatory system that works without much training," says Losan.
The path: from dummy to final version
Within a very short time, DCCS was able to provide a practical web portal solution, which was used for testing purposes at selected retailers. After the test phase was completed, the feedback was incorporated and the Austria-wide rollout was implemented on schedule in March after only a few months of development. "The cooperation with DCCS worked very well, our contact person and the development team always reacted quickly and flexibly, for example to implement short-term improvements or requests. The project management, which worked on demand, fully convinced us, as did the feedback from DCCS to optimize the solution - this is essential in development projects," says Losan.
Successful digitalization of delivery information
The new portal, which is available on the Toyota Frey Austria website and managed by the company itself, pleases dealers and customers alike because they can get the information they need more quickly. After logging in, the salesperson immediately sees whether a particular vehicle is available in the company's own stock, at other dealers or in the importer's warehouse. For factory orders, the system shows the exact delivery date. Filters (such as vehicle color, engine, equipment, etc.) can be used to target the search and sort the results list by delivery date. Once a vehicle has been selected, it is also possible to display the location, contact details of the dealer and price information - or even alternatives that are available to the customer at shorter notice.
"A major advantage is that the salesperson can easily select all available model configurations in the portal and also immediately inform the customer about the delivery date of their desired vehicle. In this way, customers get information about their new Toyota more quickly and feel optimally looked after," says Losan, describing the benefits of digitized processes. The new portal also automates correspondence: the dealer receives all the essential data on the selected vehicle required for the order by e-mail. In the case of Flex inquiries concerning a change in the configuration of a vehicle already in production, he also receives an indication of the urgency. "With the new delivery information service, we have further increased the availability of up-to-date information for our customers and colleagues. Today, around 160 dealers or salespeople use the service," reports the IT manager.
Mobile into the future
With the digitization of delivery information based on the proven processes and AS/400 platform, Toyota Frey Austria has used digitization as an opportunity. With little effort, the existing IT system could be expanded and existing knowledge digitally packaged. In addition, the delivery information portal provides a very good basis for the implementation of further services. "We are also considering using the system for our premium brand Lexus in the future," says Losan. Another topic is called mobile, because the delivery information system can already be used not only on PCs, but also on tablets and smartphones. "We already have accesses from mobile devices, for example on weekends. Mobile will bring even more flexibility for retailers and customers in the future," Losan says. "The classic sales talk continues to be an important and central aspect of buying a car. But more and more customers today are gathering intensive information on the Internet before visiting dealerships. The automotive industry is challenged to develop new approaches such as virtual visits to the showroom," Losan looks ahead.