How digitisation delivers speed to Porsche service documents
With its Service Department drowning in paperwork, Giltrap Porsche looked to Fuji Xerox New Zealand and its DocuShare Flex cloud document management solution for digital answers. In an implementation taking just weeks, paper-based service records were converted into electronic documents stored online. As a result, Giltrap Porsche has revolutionised service documentation and set a precedent for eliminating paper within the wider Giltrap Group.
Giltrap Porsche specialises in NZ-new and used Porsche motor vehicles. The company houses the country's leading Porsche Service workshop, offering factory trained technicians and genuine parts to back the premium vehicle brand. The company is a division of the Giltrap Group which represents 17 of the most desirable automotive brands in 12 dealerships across Auckland.
The general manager at Giltrap Porsche Markus Tsoumas says a digital solution was necessary given the increasing liability placed on motor vehicle repairers. “We've focused on a dramatic improvement on documentation, with very accurate records of vehicles, what is done by whom, and when. This is necessary for many reasons, not least to avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements with customers over whether or not damage or losses occur while their vehicle is in our possession.
What that translates to in practice is the collection and storage of a considerable quantity of information for every service engagement. “We record a video of every car which comes in, we capture the Warrant of Fitness and Registration details, tyre size and tread, odometer reading, and record any imperfections or damage. This is evidence just in case a customer comes back and says we've caused a problem – and those comebacks can happen a lot,” Tsoumas explains given the number of vehicles we are now seeing.
Around 20 vehicles pass through our service department per day, each with a paper service record running to between five and 10 pages, along with a video file of the vehicle arriving into the service area and a series of photographs.
Additionally, technicians write up any issues discovered during the service in detail; this is presented to the customer who approves the repairs, and then all parts and consumables are recorded and entered into the Giltrap Dealer Management System (Dealer-Pro) and also into Porsche AG's systems. The video and pictures would go into a Windows file server and, finally, the physical paper service documents are stored the old-fashioned way: in a box in numerical order in the records room.
Tsoumas adds that these paper and video records would quite frequently be called upon, sometimes months or even years after the fact. “For example, if a vehicle comes in without a logbook, the technician would write that fact down on the back of the repair order; the logbook obviously can't be stamped. Then, much later, you get a customer coming back saying ‘you lost my logbook'. We'd then need to get into the records room and find the proof.
There is one more high-pressure situation where the records are required: each year, Porsche AG audits Giltrap Porsche with a particular focus on warranty claims which are charged back to the vehicle manufacturer. “The auditors would identify a random sample of 100 files; we'd then have to go to the records room and dig them out. And that can take hours and hours,” Tsoumas notes.
Having previously worked with Fuji Xerox Enterprise Consulting for the automation of its accounts payable systems, the Giltrap Group called on the solution provider's proven expertise to digitise its service records. The Fuji Xerox team proposed DocuShare Flex, a cloud-based document management solution that provides the Giltrap Porsche service department with a complete data retention and access system.
DocuShare Flex is a web-based content management platform with user-driven workflows that's scalable to match changing business requirements. It's built to integrate with existing business systems, and flexible enough to extend into other departments – which, in Giltrap's case, is likely to soon prove useful.
Tsoumas says the implementation of DocuShare Flex took place over several months, but only involved around one week's worth of targeted work. “We had a relocation at the same time and we're generally very busy; making the change from paper-based to an online electronic system also required some changes to our business processes, including the introduction of a desk-side scanner for each of our service advisors. That said, it isn't a big change in how our people work; instead of dropping the day's service records into a filing tray, they now get scanned straight into the cloud.
Initially, he notes, the company is running the old system in parallel with the new. “That's just to be sure we really don't need the paper documents while we iron out any teething problems with the new system. But ultimately, we're looking forward to not having to store tonnes of paper.
Electronic document storage immediately alleviates the overhead of manual filing and retrieval, something Tsoumas says consumes two days' worth of time every week. “Now, if we need a record, we just punch in the number plate or job number or customer name and everything we need is right there at our fingertips.
DocuShare Flex is also a single source of information which was previously stored in four different systems; it includes the videos, photographs and service records in one location. When a customer requests evidence of repair or other details, a response is given immediately on the phone, followed by a screenshot by email if required. “This means a direct boost to our customer service. There's an indirect boost too, because we no longer need to waste time ferreting around in the file room,” Tsoumas adds.
The last time Porsche AG did its audit, Tsoumas and his assistant spent over four hours finding the required records; he now looks forward to the next audit. “It'll take 5 minutes, maximum. In fact, we can give the auditors access to the system and they can pull the sample themselves, along with a ny other records they might like to consider.
Perhaps most importantly, the exercise has served as a proof-of-concept which can be rolled out to the wider Giltrap Group. “We're a small cog in the bigger Giltrap machine. When we introduce this solution groupwide, we'll really see a big reduction in paperwork and the physical space needed to store documents,” says Tsoumas.
Digitising with Fuji Xerox New Zealand is delivering efficiency, ease of information access and immediacy. “With centralised information, finding everything needed is fast and simple. We no longer have to pay someone to file documents. And audit compliance is straightforward, and the system is accepted as best practice by the vehicle manufacturer. It's just a better way to work and a step into the 21st century,” Tsoumas concludes.