For any premium car brand, ensuring a reliable supply of parts for new vehicles is a critical part of the customer experience. With the help of Appsbroker, one of the UK’s leading car manufacturers built a Google Cloud-hosted system to automate key parts of the supply chain and improve service times by an order of magnitude.   

The Challenge

The manufacturer found that its ability to deliver a quality aftermarket experience was becoming severely strained due to an expanding portfolio of vehicles and increasing sales volumes. The existing processes and on-premise hosted system were no longer able to scale with their operation.

Consequently, they required a solution to automate key parts of the aftermarket supply chain and underpin the company’s global process. In addition, the system had to be fast, scalable and deliver real-time reporting so analysts could gain insights into process bottlenecks and take corrective action.

Having made the transition to Google’s G Suite desktop productivity applications, the company was looking to take further advantage of the power and flexibility of the Google Cloud Platform. As the preferred supplier for Google applications, Appsbroker was engaged to develop a solution for aftermarket parts provision.

The Solution

Existing aftermarket processes and focus areas for change were shared via Agile discovery sessions facilitated by Appsbroker. This helped focus on the key business value areas and highlighted the processes that needed to change. This was supplemented with a detailed requirements gathering exercise during which Appsbroker interviewed key stakeholders - including buyers, data analysts and admins for the existing solution - to evaluate the ‘as is’ state and how that could be improved.

The project focused on where data was pulled into the manufacturer from its suppliers and exported back out again. The final specifications were agreed and a detailed project plan based on the Agile development methodology developed.

The solution created a common platform that is accessed by the manufacturer and its suppliers via a responsive web application user interface secured via Covisint SSO. In creating the application, Appsbroker used a development accelerator called Appsflow which allowed for a rapid implementation of the reference data, workflow, form and reporting elements - the ease of use of the Appsflow accelerator proved fundamental to the overall success of the project.

The Results

The Google Cloud Platform and Appsflow-based solution enabled a collaborative, auditable, workflow application built to support the aftermarket supply chain and created a common platform that is used across the business and its supply chain.  

Activities that took one or two weeks to carry out previously can now be done in a day. In extreme cases, parts can be sourced and approved within a matter of hours. Incoming data feeds are completely automated and merely need to be checked; and generating the outbound data takes a fraction of the time it previously required. Access to the data is vastly improved as the system can be accessed via an iPad or smartphone.

By delivering a streamlined and scalable workflow solution, Appsbroker has enhanced supplier engagement and dramatically reduced the time to source parts and get vehicles back on the road - which in turn has led to a dramatic improvement upon the customer experience.