By Jonathan Rubinsztein | CEO of Infomedia.
The Infomedia team celebrated a very important win recently. We proudly announced that after a global competitive tender,Infomedia was selected to be a technology partner to Nissan Motor Company.
We signed an exclusive agreement with Nissan to supply ourMicrocat Electronic Parts Catalog software (EPC) to Nissan’s global dealership network.
Nissan’s General Manager of Global Service Engineering, Mr. Shigeru Narita, said: ‘We are very excited to have selected Infomedia as our partner. We believe that they have the best technology, people and organisation for our global rollout, and we look forward to implementing their EPC throughout our business to drive the business change needed to get us onto a world leading platform.’
We think some of the reasons our customers select Infomedia are:
- Established global operations – Ability to deliver a localised EPC in 29 languages, to over 180 countries, and provide regional support in 16 languages.
- Trusted Partner – Simple, all-inclusive business model.
- Fast, accurate and intuitive EPC – Easy to learn, easy to use EPC.
- Solution for the entire Parts Supply Chain – Capabilities to extend parts selling beyond the Dealer to Collision and Trade customers.
- Technology leadership – Industry leading SaaS infrastructure that supports 150,000 users.
In terms of our technology leadership, we have the ability to replace their legacy system with a next-generation cloud-based EPC, with automated data updates and ‘always on’ infrastructure.
Some automakers like Nissan, have established a clear direction for their cloud strategy, backed by a deep understanding that cloud is a powerful enabler for innovation and brand growth. For other automakers, the clock is ticking, as the rate of vehicle technology change increases and customer attitudes towards dealership service evolve.
Cloud-based technology offers automakers and dealerships new capabilities to not only improve employee productivity, but limitless potential to improve customer service and satisfaction.
My view is that new consumer and competitive requirements are creating a perfect storm that will place even more importance for dealerships to adopt cloud applications.
Next generation technology – easy, with no fuss
Here at Infomedia, we were the first to have a 100% online, commercially released EPC. So why do we believe in cloud so strongly? Because we can remove the hassle, risk and cost associated with fixed dealership technology.
My philosophy is: systems and processes should only be implemented if they reduce the complexity of a process, reduce cost, and speed things up – and that’s exactly what cloud technology does.
For a busy parts counter at a dealership, removing the need to install, update and manage catalogue data means more time can be spent with the customer. Our Microcat software provides affordable technology with an always on, always up-to-date solution that allows dealerships to focus on business growth.
For automakers, cloud technology empowers hassle-free data updates with self-serve tools that publish parts pricing information in real-time. Our automaker customers tell me this is a very powerful and big competitive advantage for them.
Increasing business agility for the fast-paced world
When I speak with our key OEM customers, I hear a common story: dealerships are under constant pressure from aftermarket competitors. Customer expectations are evolving, and I believe cloud technology and comparable retail experiences are playing a key part in defining those new customer expectations; eBay and Amazon make it so simple!
To customers, fast delivery times are a standard expectation – the sooner the part is delivered to the workshop, the faster the customer can pick up their car. Therefore, ordering the right repair part, the first time, is crucial for a dealership’s parts department. This is where I believe cloud EPCs like Microcat have the advantage. Faster cycle times in this industry means a tangible impact on customer satisfaction and profitability, and cloud technology is the enabler.
With cloud-based applications, users have more business agility and flexibility. This is backed by a study from Harvard Business Review, where 64% of respondents reported that the use of cloud has increased their organisation’s agility. Cloud applications mean instant access to information, better customer experience and potential for harnessing actionable insights in real-time.
Flexibility to work anytime, anywhere
Being someone who is constantly travelling and on the move, it’s imperative for me to be able to work remotely, as and when I like. All my files, data, information and detail is stored online in the cloud. I don’t need to be tied to a single computer or laptop, and I can switch between multiple devices.
Our cloud applications also bring this freedom of movement to dealership staff – we empower them to go beyond the parts counter and be innovative with their sales strategies. A cloud EPC can easily be used on location by field staff when selling parts to collision and mechanical trade customers.
Exposing the dealership catalogue information to trade customers is also made easy by using cloud applications. Self-service and digital transformation of the sales process can mean a gigantic leap in dealership efficiency, and we are seeing increased interest in our Trade EPCs by OEMs who want to transform their retail parts environment.
Collaboration & insights
Not only do we build great cloud applications, but we are also fearless adopters of cloud technology for our internal organisation. One of the most challenging things about leading a global company is consistency. We might have multiple office locations around the world, but we are ‘One Infomedia’, and the cloud enables us to collaborate seamlessly.
With all data and information being stored centrally, and available 24/7, it’s much easier to communicate, collaborate and draw insights.
I believe collaboration is an area of opportunity for automakers and dealerships. During the past year, I have seen many examples of vehicle and customer data being stored on automaker network silos. However, dealerships will not capitalise on this information until OEMs invest in cloud applications.
Our Microcat EPC platform is designed to scale, and we implement a large volume of local parts information at country level. This not only assists dealerships with more relevant and faster sales transactions, but it also creates potential for OEMs to use analytics via the cloud to monitor and improve supply chain processes.
The cloud and its silver lining
These reasons are precisely why Nissan has chosen to implement our cloud-based Microcat EPC to their global dealership network. With automatic online updates, dealerships will have access to the latest automaker parts data, right at their fingertips, 24/7.
Having easy and instant access to accurate parts information means Parts Managers also have greater insight and control. They are more agile, and are empowered to act on the information and implement actions in a shorter turnaround time. This benefit extends to Nissan’s customers, who will be able to get their car repaired in a timelier manner.
We’re delighted to have Nissan onboard, and we’re confident that our technological innovations will continue to reinvent their parts operations into the future.
Given the significant opportunities presented by cloud technology, I expect more OEMs to adopt cloud-based EPCs to keep up with fundamental shift in user experiences, customer expectations and competitive pressures.
Jonathan Rubinsztein BCom (Hons), MBA, FAICD
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director
Jonathan Rubinsztein commenced his appointment as CEO & Managing Director on the Board of Infomedia in March 2016. Mr Rubinsztein has a proven track record of leading high performance teams in the technology sector.