Case Study - WALKINGSHAW VOLKSWAGEN & KIA

“We seem to have more time in the day than with our old DMS.”

Walkingshaw, the dual-franchise dealership, is respected across the North West and is the latest business to drop its old school DMS to install the leading edge Navigator.  For Walkingshaw, the decision came when they realised their previous DMS just wouldn’t allow them to work the way they wanted to, nor communicate with their customers how they needed to.

So Walkingshaw bit the bullet, ditched their old DMS and installed Navigator. They haven’t looked back since.

Summing-up the new feeling of freedom that Navigator has brought to this Lake District VW and Kia dealership, managing director Andy Walkingshaw says: “We can do lots now that we couldn’t do with our old DMS.”

But it’s not all about looking back.  It’s about the specific detail of the day-to-day running of a dealership.  After sales manager Malcolm Goodwin talks about Navigator simply being the easiest system on the market to use and enjoys its reporting on productivity, efficiency and utilisation. 

Of course value is also a key factor.  Company accountant Andrew Milburn comments that the business is a lot more streamlined than it used to be: “We seem to have more time in the day to do other, more important jobs than some of the day-to-day jobs we used to do with our old DMS.”

CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS

Clear communications are so vital.  If you don’t talk to your
customers, your rival will. 

For Andy Walkingshaw, it’s a pleasure to be able to choose the best way to reach each customer, rather than have to stick to rigid formats: “We can access the database, extract customers we want to communicate with – in writing, by text or by email.

“Navigator makes it easy to find the source of any information, for example a cost on a vehicle, and to drill down and find out exactly where that cost came from.”

FAST RESPONSE INDIVIDUALISINg

It’s your business and it’s your DMS.  If you need tweaks to be made, you need them making fast.

Malcom Goodwin describes their new way of working with their DMS supplier: “It’s so advantageous to pick a phone up and discuss a problem and get that problem resolved straightaway.”

MULTI-FRANCHISE and AFTER SALES CONTROL

So many dealerships are multi-franchise and they have similar needs to Walkingshaw’s.  Sometimes merging figures to see how the business as a whole is doing, at other times keeping each franchise’s figures apart, to satisfy their own accounting requirements.

Andy Walkingshaw says Navigator handles manufacturer communications well: “Volkswagen have a lot of complex interactions between our system and theirs. 

Navigator does that really well and it’s one of the only systems that can provide that for us.”

THOUSANDS OF BENEFITS, STARTING WITH ACCOUNTS

For company accountant, Andrew Milburn, Navigator has been a revelation.

He can focus his energies on the bigger picture, steering the companies’ finances without worrying about the minutiae.  “We can drill down quickly and easily.  Invoices can be made bespoke to the business.”

WORKING THE WAY WE WANT

Of course it’s difficult to compare one DMS with another.  But for Walkingshaw there was a determination to improve their control over their businesses. They were dissatisfied with their old DMS and knew there had to be something better and concluded that if they really wanted a DMS to help them work in the way that suited them it had to be Navigator.

It helps that the Navigator ethos is all about value, including delivering support and updates free of charge.  Andy Walkingshaw concludes: “I have recommended Navigator to other dealerships because the package you receive for the monthly payment has no hidden costs. The support service is direct to the people who write and operate the system and you get the latest version.  Every day we’re using the latest system available. There is no extra charge for that.” 
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