Paul Smith at Traka Automotive has been investigating potential applications for IP video & Automatic Number Plate Recognition, for improved workshop workflow and efficiencies.
Paul was interested in how plate recognition software, IP video, and Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) devices could all be to enhance the dealership customer experience and delivering workshop efficiencies. His investigation led him to the Hyundai network where an IP video-connected ‘workshop automation’ system called 360 Workshop Automation is already in place. The system uses IP video in conjunction with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and network cameras.
Richmond Hyundai in Guildford were able to demonstrate the efficiencies to Paul from via a new online-based fleet programme which handles service booking in approximately 10 seconds. Data gathered at this booking stage is automatically loaded and made available within eDynamix’s heath check application, called iVHC, each morning ready for the service advisors and technicians to begin carrying out the required vehicle health checks. Hyundai’s pricing engine which is embedded within iVHC, takes care of estimates and customer pre-authorisation. Relevant parts and service departments are notified automatically, and authority can then be passed to the technician to complete the work.
Paul Smith was impressed by the level of automation: “This is already generating superior efficiencies in the workshop, while avoiding nasty on-the-day surprises for fleet customers getting their cars serviced. But the system gets better: Hyundai also offers an integration through to an ANPR software solution serving designated IP cameras cited at the entrance to the dealership to capture visitors’ license plates.”
Once its up an running, the system can be used to persionalize the customer service experience, as Paul explains “By marrying ANPR records to cars as they arrive, it’s possible to deliver a tailorable welcome message at the dealership’s entrance barrier, giving timely instruction on which bay to park in ready for their service. Once in the workshop, the customer can track the car’s progress on a dedicated screen in the customer waiting area. Any extra work found when the vehicle is on the ramp is then re-laid via SMS, with the option to request instant authorisation to speed up the process.
"The system continues to work even after the customer and vehicle has left the premises: personalised communications is sent by a management system to ensure additional or advisory work is carried out in good time to keep the vehicle road worthy.”
Can smaller dealer groups get in on the act? Paul thinks its more than possible: “If you already have a workshop vehicle health check solution or EMACS as well as network cameras covering your entrances and exits, it might be worth looking at how to link these systems up in this way.”