Kwik-fit Jumpstarts Technology Initiatives to Manage Seasonal Demand in the Automotive Industry
Kwik-fit is one of the largest automotive suppliers in Western Europe, with service centers throughout Holland and the United Kingdom. They provide a number of service offerings, including yearly car inspections and maintenance work, in addition to seasonal tire services before and after the winter months. Kwik-fit provides these products and services to both private owners and leased car drivers. The automotive maintenance organization has over 570 centers in the United Kingdom alone.
Kwik-fit centers have to manage severe spikes in demand before and after the winter season. Over one thousand sets of tires are changed, and changed back, each year in order to combat unsafe winter driving conditions. Kwik-fit customers rely on the organization to replace their tires, making this service a top priority. Due to poor performance and the lack of an automated interface in prior applications, the organization has needed to hire between six and eight additional employees for a period of ten weeks to handle the pressure of seasonal demand spikes.
The goals of the new system were to avoid the need for this seasonal support staff. The system would be used by over 180 Kwik-fit centers, in addition to headquarters, and would have to integrate with a main point of entry for fleet companies so that all requests can be handled by web services.
The Mendix implementation team spent two days per week on premise in order to complete the following solution. A system specifically built to foster automated checks with the fleet market. Everything that one wants to do to their leased car must be authorized by the fleet company, whether it involves bumpers or light bulbs. The employees of the garage fill in an authorization request for the services to be provided on the leased car. The fleet company’s response, either true or false, determines whether or not the garage employees can start work on the automobiles immediately, or whether further checks are required by headquarters. The following day, each request is automatically matched with an invoice, which is sent to the fleet company.
The results of this Mendix solution matched the goals outlined above. Kwik-fit was able to manage the busy season without any extra employees or paying for overtime. Deployment across hundreds of Kwik-fit centers went smoothly, and the firm’s internal IT initiatives have grown dramatically. Companies with similarly novice IT departments can learn a valuable lesson from this successful Mendix implementation: It is never too late to harness the power of current human capital in order to foster growth with future proof technologies.
- Automation of service authorization for fleet vehicles
- Significant reduction in internal labor
- Fostered additional internal IT initiatives
- Minimized throughput time