Success Story - Manufacturing

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The Challenge

“Our showroom environment is very contemporary, yet our manufacturers conduct audits using only physical copies of almost all documentation relating to car sales,” explains Rhodes. “Operating a paper-based system is hugely time consuming. Creating documents, then filing, storing and retrieving them is not only very old fashioned, but takes us away from our core business of selling cars and providing our customers with a superior service. And, of course, there are the many associated legal and privacy issues to consider when you work with paper documents.”

A lack of integration between departments was another problem, continues Rhodes. “There was no link between the various interactions a customer may have with our business; no history that we could look back on or easily reference. We had no one central record for a customer which could show us everything at a glance and provide us with valuable data. Details relating to loan agreements, test drives and service history all existed somewhere, but in separate areas which could be difficult to access, if at all. It was very archaic.”

One of the guiding principles of the ‘Toyota for Life’ ethos is a drive for continuous improvement and innovation. The manual handling of up to 1400 separate documents a month was at odds with this core value and Rhodes was keen to find a way to move forward. ‘This dealership is really progressive and we were looking for sustainability. For us, it’s all about the customer experience and we decided to dip our toe in with Canon because we believe they’ll get us where we want to go. The customer relationship needed to be well and truly put at the forefront and, if making the changes we have means we’re bucking the trend, then so be it.”

The Solution

The implementation of Canon’s Information Management Solution was the first, vital step towards Frankston Toyota’s vision of becoming totally paperless. Rhodes was impressed with both the immediate and future capabilities of Therefore, recognising its value straight away. ‘It didn’t take us long to realise that the modular aspect of Therefore would not only satisfy our initial requirements, but would work with us as we moved on to even greater changes within the business. There are many systems out there that really are just a one trick pony; they’re not fully formed DMS systems at all. Canon’s Therefore information management solution offered us genuine, high level document control from the get go.” The ‘building block’ nature of Therefore means it’s easy to scale up to create a bespoke system totally tailored to a specific business’ needs. ‘We’re using it as a foundation for better things to come,” continues Rhodes. ‘It began with getting filing and documentation out of boxes and transferring everything to soft format; the digital archiving work is very much underway.”

Initially, Therefore was set up using Frankston Toyota’s existing hardware. But it quickly became clear that there was a better way. ‘There was no immediate problem because the hardware worked really well and was a massive improvement on our current system,” says Rhodes. But once we discovered we could make it so much more streamlined and efficient by using Canon scanners and MFDs, we opted for those without hesitation.”

Deal packs and service records are also now scanned directly into the system, making an immediate digital footprint that dramatically reduces fraud risk and addresses privacy concerns. Most importantly, it creates the basis from which all future interactions for each customer will flow. Rhodes elaborates: ‘The Toyota for Life standards of professionalism and customer engagement are so important to us; we live by them. But if you can’t find guest information because your filing system has let you down, then you’re in danger of eroding the goodwill you’ve worked so hard to establish. Canon’s document management solution gives us the tools we need to uphold and improve upon those standards.”

The Result

Rhodes is enthusiastic about the overall Canon experience. “It totally exceeded our expectations. And that’s purely because of the genuine engagement Canon has with our business. You call them, they answer the phone, they help you. They have a great product, but just as important is the relationship. Canon wasn’t the cheapest option, but when you consider the intangibles, they became the best option for us. How they work is a reflection of how we like to treat our customers and we’re attracted to that synergy – we gravitate towards suppliers who are endeavouring to do the same.”

The future holds even more exciting changes for Frankston Toyota, concludes Rhodes. “This whole project is revolutionising our workflow and we’re now only a short step away from creating a fully digital test drive process. Ultimately, the goal is to become a totally paperless environment; it’s like the Holy Grail of the car industry and it’s long overdue. We fully intend Frankston Toyota will be the dealership to achieve it.”