Hover Automotive India Pvt. Ltd. (HAI) is the exclusive distributor for a major, Japanese original-equipment manufacturer (OEM). Managing a network of 125 authorized motor-vehicle dealerships throughout the country, HAI provides services for sales and marketing, dealer development, training, and postsales support for such things as warranties, parts, and accessories.
In a bid to increase the OEM’s brand visibility and grow its Indian market share to 10%, HAI needed to double its network to 300 dealerships and sell 200,000 vehicles annually by 2017. This required a centralized dealership management platform with enhanced visibility into customer and dealer interactions to enable greater process efficiency, improve control over dealer operations, and ensure adherence to process standards. The company also wanted to standardize its business processes for finance, human resources (HR), and its supply chain to support faster decision-making and more effective marketing campaigns.
HAI overhauled its outdated IT infrastructure with a centralized customer-relationship-management (CRM) and dealer-management platform by implementing Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, including Siebel Sales, Siebel Automotive, Siebel Dealer Portal, Siebel Partner Relationship Management, Siebel Campaign Management, Siebel Field Service, and Siebel Field Service for Partners. HAI also implemented Oracle analytics modules, including Oracle Sales Analytics; Oracle Finance Service Analytics, Fusion Edition; Oracle Partner Analytics, Fusion Edition; and Oracle Marketing Analytics, Fusion Edition to gain better insight into how dealers perform and to increase sales opportunities. Finally, the company deployed Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 as the back-end system, running on Oracle’s SPARC T4-1 server with Oracle Solaris.
The end-to-end Oracle software and hardware solution enabled HAI to gain real-time visibility into customer and dealer interactions, track the vehicle pipelines across all locations, and improve the ability to efficiently audit and control dealer claims. With a highly available and scalable enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, HAI can allocate vehicles to dealers 30x faster, increase sales opportunities, and support its growth target. Oracle Travel & Expense Management also reduced processing time for employee travel expense claims by 5x, improved staff morale, and increased HR staff productivity.
HAI was using a decentralized model for its dealership management system with limited CRM functionality. The company had to rely on individual dealerships to provide information, such as customer profile, vehicle history, dealers’ stock availability, and vehicle sales pipeline. The interface between the dealership-management system and OEM systems was also file-based and could not integrate with other dealer applications in real time, including finance and insurance. HAI had to manually collate data from disparate systems, which slowed decision-making and delayed the time to market.
For example, it could take up to two days for HAI to generate management information system (MIS) reports for sales-funnel visibility, delaying the ordering process and monthly dealers’ sales forecasting. It would then take another two or three days for HAI to analyze sales lost due to stock unavailability, making it difficult for the company to double its current 2% market share each year over the next four years. With low data visibility and dispersed information, HAI also had difficulty tracking pipelines, verifying dealer claims, ensuring accurate forecasts, and preventing data theft from dealerships.
Oracle’s Siebel CRM applications provided a centralized and web-based CRM and dealership management platform with complete views of customer and dealer interactions in real time, including dealer development, vehicle sales, marketing campaigns, service and spare parts orders, as well as CRM functionality. It also enabled integration with the OEM’s systems and dealers’ finance applications and eliminated a time-consuming data collation process. HAI can rapidly track vehicle pipelines across all locations through automated lead-management capabilities and receive accurate sales forecasts from dealers. With Siebel Partner Relationship Management’s deal registration functionalities, HAI can also audit dealers’ transactions, for examples, audit vehicle pricing and incentive schemes, using an embedded, hierarchy-based approval process to eliminate the possibility of dealer fraud. In addition, it improved the ability of dealers to track their funding and claims status and ensured complete vehicle history records were available across the dealership network, providing a consistent sales and service experience for customers.
“Thanks to Oracle Analytics’ dashboard and reporting capability, we have actionable insight into dealers’ performances against sales targets and can adjust sales and marketing strategies instantly, converting more leads into sales and increasing revenue,” said Satyen Shah, head, business process quality and information technology, Hover Automotive India Pvt. Ltd.
Oracle’s highly scalable solution provided a roadmap for HAI to enable future integration for mobile, social media, and customer-portal technologies to increase touch points and further improve the customer experience and the company’s competitive advantage.
HAI had a complex dealership-management model, whereby the OEM manufactured the vehicles and managed physical inventory, invoicing, and delivery from its regional headquarters in Chennai. HAI would receive vehicle information from the OEM and allocate vehicles to dealers all over India. HAI then invoiced dealers for vehicle orders and the dealers would purchase the vehicles through financed payments and sell the vehicles to customers. With complex business processes managed in different locations, it was critical for HAI to rapidly allocate the latest model vehicles and ensure dealers placed orders accurately and efficiently. Any delay or error in the ordering process could result in loss of sales and create an inventory backlog, incurring additional interest costs for dealers and HAI.
With Oracle Hyperion Planning’s built-in intelligence and allocation logic, HAI can accurately allocate the correct vehicle models for each dealership. By integrating Oracle Hyperion Planning with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1, HAI can automatically generate the vehicle identification number required for allocation instead of using the previous time-consuming and complex random allocation method. HAI can also use Oracle Inventory Optimization’s first-in, first-out allocation method to ensure that the old vehicle stock moves out of the system faster than the new stock, reducing inventory backlog and interest costs for dealers and HAI.
With Oracle’s integrated platform, HAI can now allocate 600 vehicles in approximately 20 minutes instead of taking up to one minute for each vehicle. The platform also will scale to support the company as it increases its allocation to over 16,000 vehicles per month to meet growth targets.
“Thanks to Oracle’s end-to-end automation for vehicle allocation, we no longer require up to 10 employees to manage this process, saving us time and reducing costs. We can also efficiently allocate the right vehicle model to the right dealers, making it easier for them to provide accurate delivery dates to customers and to increase their sales opportunities,” Shah said.
With sales and marketing forming the majority of HAI’s business operations, approximately 65% of the company’s employees are involved in sales and after-sales activities, and 90% of these are required to travel and visit dealerships to audit dealer processes, provide dealer-training, and meet regularly with customers. Sales representative used to submit their travel expense claims through mail to the Mumbai office, and it could take up to 15 days before they were reimbursed, causing employee frustration. HAI wanted to automate expense reimbursement and tighten control of expense claims, particularly since travel expenses account for up to 25% to 30% of HAI’s operating costs.
Oracle Internet Expenses enabled employees to easily and rapidly enter and submit expense claims online. With preset travel policies in the ERP system, HAI can rapidly identify noncompliant expense claims, enabling managers to more effectively control the company’s travel costs. Employees can also view the real-time status of their claims, and resubmit incorrect or incomplete expense reports for approval, ensuring timely reimbursement.
Thanks to Oracle E-Business Suite applications, the finance department can now process expense claims within seconds—instead of five minutes—after a claim is approved in the system. Employees also receive a refund within three days through a direct deposit into their bank accounts, improving employee morale.
HAI also used Oracle Travel & Expense Management, Oracle Internet Expenses, and Oracle Payroll to more efficiently plan monthly travel, reduce airfare costs through early booking, and minimize administrative workload for HR staff. By implementing Oracle iRecruitment, Oracle Self-Service Human Resources, Oracle Learning Management, and Oracle Time and Labor, HAI provided a one-stop shop for HR services, including recruitment, employee-data-management, training, leave-and-attendance management, and employee grievances and termination, improving staff convenience and productivity.
HAI needed a highly available ERP system to ensure its ability to allocate cars to dealers before 7 p.m. each day. Running Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and Siebel CRM on SPARC T4-1 server with Oracle Solaris 11 enabled a 24/7 vehicle allocation service and ensured dealers can process vehicle orders securely and efficiently. It also helped to minimize IT system-management tasks, including those related to data administration and server configuration, by using SPARC T4-1 server’s embedded Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager to automate fault detection and notification. SPARC T4-1’s built-in encryption-instruction accelerators also ensured data security and improved management’s confidence in the vehicle-allocation process.
“Our business stops if we can’t allocate vehicles to dealers. With Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 running on SPARC T4-1 server with Oracle Solaris 11, our ERP system is guaranteed high availability,” Shah said.
The integrated Oracle hardware and Oracle software solution also enabled HAI to achieve a single point of contact for issue resolution, allowing the company to focus on its business strategy and reduce licensing costs. “Only Oracle offers the advantage of a single-vendor solution to satisfy our business requirements and enable us to achieve our aggressive growth target. It’s an edge that we can only get with Oracle, because Oracle software runs best on Oracle hardware,” Shah said.
After detailed evaluations of different vendor solutions, HAI chose Oracle over SAP and Microsoft because only Oracle could offer an end-to-end hardware and software solution, as demonstrated by successful large-scale implementations within the automotive industry in India. HAI was also impressed with Oracle team members’ understanding of, and their ability to meet, the company’s business requirements.
“With single point of contact and complete hardware and software integration, Oracle offered a significant advantage for process efficiency, user productivity, and customer experience. Only Oracle could meet our business requirements and offer the highest scalability to support our future growth,” Shah said.
HAI implemented the Oracle hardware and software solution in phases. The company deployed Oracle E-Business Suite financials modules, such as Oracle Cash Management and Oracle Accounts Payable, supply chain modules, as well as Oracle Hyperion Planning, in 101 days. It was one of the fastest implementations of its size, with 45 system interfaces spanning various business processes. The company then implemented Oracle Self-Service Human Resources and Oracle iRecruitment followed by Oracle Travel & Expense Management, Oracle Internet Expenses, Oracle Learning Management, and Oracle Payroll. The company completed its deployment with Siebel CRM.
HAI engaged Oracle partner Wipro Ltd. as the solution implementation partner for the entire project. Wipro was the single point of contact for the managed solution and communicated with Oracle teams for Oracle Hyperion, Siebel CRM, Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Analytics modules. Wipro continues to partner with HAI post-implementation by providing a support helpline for HAI’s IT staff.
“Wipro understood our large-scale and complex implementation and effectively managed all communication channels and business processes for the entire project, providing the best-in-class Oracle solution and enabling us to focus on our customer and dealership business strategies,” Shah said.