Car Distributor Louwman Revolutionizes Private Lease Sector with Brand-Customizable Consumer Leasing App Built with Mendix Low-Code Platform
Digitalization of customer journey leads to lower churn rate, fewer errors, and intake process of just a couple of clicks instead of lengthy phone calls and lots of paperwork
Time spent on non-qualified leasing prospects reduced to zero
Mendix low-code solution integrates seamlessly with legacy back-end systems
Top-level features for visual identity on Mendix platform match high standards of international car brands Toyota, Lexus, and Suzuki
BOSTON – November 10, 2020 – Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in low-code application development for the enterprise, today announced that Louwman Group, one of the biggest car distributors in Europe, used the Mendix low-code platform to develop the app, “MijnContract” (“MyContract”), for one of its subsidiaries, Alcredis Finance. This web-based solution will serve as a customer portal for new private lease clients,16,500 existing lease clients, more than 250 Toyota, Lexus, and Suzuki dealers, and the back-office employees of Alcredis. The complete customer journey, from quote to end-of-contract, has been digitized, resulting in a lower churn rate, fewer errors, and a way more efficient intake process.
Consumers are increasingly financing their cars via private lease. In a highly competitive market and with growing customer demands, creating the perfect customer journey with as few hurdles as possible and high conversion is key for leasing companies.
Keeping the core system vanilla
The core system for the Louwman Group is the Miles ERP-system, the number one ERP system used by transport companies and dealers worldwide, and essential for the planning and purchase of cars. Alcredis wanted to apply as little customization as possible to the ERP system, but still wanted to speed up and simplify the process for both consumers and Alcredis employees. Their goal is to handle the expected growth of 60 percent in the private lease division with the deployment of half of the current full-time employees. To reach this ambitious goal, Alcredis chose the Mendix low-code platform to build the solution.
Low-code is a visual development approach to application development that enables developers of varying experience levels to create applications for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphical user interface.
From quote to contract in less than 24 hours
MijnContract digitizes the complete customer journey, from first contact and quotation to end-of-contract or renewal. The intake process, which initially took a few weeks, has now been reduced to a day, and is accomplished with much less manual work, a smaller error margin, and above all, a higher conversion from lead to signed contract. Furthermore, the customer experience has been improved greatly and the portal is available 24/7.
Previously, a potential customer filled in a web form before being called by an Alcredis employee for a first financial credit check. The customer had to send additional financial documentation, such as payslips, by email for review by the Credit Registration Office (BKR). Once approved, the customer received the contract, printed and signed it, and sent it back by email. Each individual action within this process was followed by a phone call from an Alcredis employee, taking an average of 12-15 minutes if the customer answered the first time.
With the app, the customer just fills in his details online via MijnContract or at one of the local dealerships and immediately receives a quote with the monthly costs and additional information. Previously, approximately 10 percent of potential customers were “red-flagged” after the first phone contact. With MijnContract, customers cannot proceed to the next step if they are not cleared by a digital acceptance process that checks their income and possible registrations at the Credit Registration Office. In the old process, an employee of Alcredis spent 34-40 minutes per non-creditworthy customer; this has now been reduced to zero.
The customer can sign a contract directly via the app, after which only the legally required human check by Alcredis on the signature is required. The five percent of customers who, although they went through the entire process, did not sign or return the contract in the old process, are now more likely to sign a lease deal.
Top-level visual identity matching high standards of car brands
MijnAlcredis was developed by two external consultants and two internal developers in six sprints, totaling 12 weeks. In addition to the integration with back-office systems — a long-outdated AS400 system and the Miles ERP system — creating the right look and feel was an important challenge for Alcredis. “The well-known advantages of working with Mendix are speed of development, ease of use, and working with DevOps,” says Jan van der Laan, manager, Mendix Expert Center at the Louwman Group.” But what is perhaps less known are the enormous steps they have made in being able to incorporate a top-level visual identity. For major car brands, it is essential that their brand identity is carried through to the smallest detail. For example, if a customer visits his personal portal via toyota.nl or lexus.nl, he stays within the same ‘car brand environment’ for the complete customer journey. Working with Mendix, we were able to deliver on this point, unlike any competitor in the market.”
In MijnContract, a user can now, for instance, view invoices and the number of miles driven in relation to the contract, and change his personal information. In the near future, Alcredis wants to use the data collected with the app to make smarter business decisions. “We are currently investigating the possibilities of optimizing our supply chain and ensuring even better stock management,” Van der Laan explains. “Currently, every customer can assemble their new car from scratch with numerous variations. With the insights of analyzing the data from MijnContract, we can see which variety, for instance, color and car type, is in high demand in a particular area. Furthermore, we could also influence the customer’s choice by setting up actions such as ‘drive your new car within 24 hours.’”
Adding options for conversational commerce
“Many leasing companies focus on business leases with large contracts. We went in the opposite direction with a customer-facing solution. It is precisely in this area that we see many opportunities for MijnContract, such as the possibility to offer customers new and extra options during the term of a contract — for instance, winter tires or additional insurances. By adding options for conversational commerce to MijnContract, it is not just a contract portal for us and our customers, but a marketing and communication tool with endless possibilities,” says Mark Nauta, manager, Marketing, Communications & Product Development at Alcredis.
“Alcredis is the textbook example of an innovative family business that demonstrates it dares to think beyond the digitization of paper-based processes, but are engaged in innovating the private lease sector with smart solutions,” says Dennis Muller, customer success manager at Mendix. “We are pleased that Mendix has been able to contribute to this cause with an application that is beneficial to the customer, the dealers, and the employees of Alcredis, and meets the strict requirements of a number of world-renowned car brands.”
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