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www.expresscomputeronline.com WEEKLY INSIGHT FOR TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
16 November 2009  
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Home - Case Study - Article

Services/ RIM

For an efficient Dealer Management System

Maruti partnered with Wipro for design, development, implementation, and sustenance of a DMS solution, including ensuring high availability through remote support, writes Nivedan Prakash

Maruti Suzuki is a leading passenger car manufacturer in India. The company has a large dealer network across various locations in India providing sales, service support, and value-added services to customers. It also has authorized service stations spread across the country to service existing customers. The objective of the client is to acquire ‘customers for life’ by not only manufacturing vehicles of high quality, but also providing unsurpassed levels of service and support.

Areas of concern

Maruti was facing a number of problems resulting from high volumes of manual transactions, information residing in silos across legacy systems, lack of process standardization and lack of decision support tools for analysis and forecast. To address these issues, the client decided to implement a centralized Dealer Management System (DMS) across its dealer network.

The application accessed by dealers across the country would capture sales data and dealer requirements i.e., spares, updated pricing information, company policies and communications, besides facilitating accurate and timely reporting. The management would, in turn, use the application for Spares and Inventory tracking, Dealer Performance Monitoring, Customer Relationship Management and Business Intelligence.

“In other words, the application would provide the necessary market pulse to keep up with market demand and competition. The client also expected the new system to integrate with its existing back-end system for smooth flow of information across the enterprise,” commented Rajesh Uppal, Chief General Manager-IT and CIO, Maruti Suzuki India.

Some of the other challenges included non standard processes, and integration issues with existing legacy systems, 56 cross-functional process areas, ensuring 99% application availability across locations, resistance from dealers transitioning from a manual system to an automated one, helpdesk operations to support all the dealer locations, and interacting with dealers (non-IT users) for queries relating to the application, diagnosis and troubleshooting, and high attrition rate among dealers resulting in a frequent need for retraining.

Need for a solution

"Wipro’s solution involved end-to-end processes—from system development to system implementation to hardware implementation, outsourcing management—where you have to manage all the dealer centers, and creation of a single point of contact for dealers to obtain support"

- Rajesh Uppal
Chief General Manager-IT and CIO,
Maruti Suzuki India

The company decided to enter into a partnership with Wipro for the engagement. The selection was based on Wipro’s technical expertise and competitive pricing. Maruti wanted Wipro to design, develop and implement the DMS solution.

Post implementation, the company expected Wipro to ensure high application availability through database management, server management, applications server management, Biz Talk management, storage management, network management, security management, backup and recovery management, vendor management and application support.

“The DMS solution by Wipro was not only about software development. It involved end-to-end processes—from system development to system implementation to hardware implementation, outsourcing management where you have to manage all the dealer centers, creation of a single point of contact for dealers to obtain support, etc. It requires venturing into the entire width of operations and all the different areas of IT services. Wipro is a company which has an expertise in the entire gamut of IT services—consequently we chose them,” added Uppal.

The solution

Wipro designed, developed and implemented a centralized Dealer Management System for the client consisting of seven modules namely CRM, presales, sales, service, parts, financial accounting and order management. In the course of implementing the solution, process standardization and process reengineering was done, besides putting in place the technical support framework to meet the intensive business needs of the company. Wipro also undertook change management, rollout and training across all the dealer outlets as part of the project.

The next step in the deployment involved ensuring high levels of application usage to ensure the success of the new solution. There was resistance from dealers for transitioning from a manual system to an automated one. To resolve this issue, onsite training sessions were conducted for dealers and client staff spread across the country.

Uppal added, “A training server was made available where the dealers could practice using the application before going live. In addition, detailed documentation and knowledge-based articles on the application have been provided for dealing with incidents. Given the high rate of attrition among dealers and frequent need for retraining, Wipro has made training an on-going activity for the entire contract period.”

The next challenge in the project was to ensure the prompt resolution of calls despite the geographic spread of the dealers and dealer outlets. Wipro set up a centralized Service Desk for Helpdesk and technical support. Users can log calls through the phone, e-mail or a URL to the service desk located at Wipro’s Global Service Management Center (GSMC), Mysore. The service desk is integrated with e-Helpline, a call-logging tool, to enable automated call-logging. This has resulted in centralized control and time-bound resolution of calls. All calls are resolved by service desk staff, telephonically. Average talk time is being maintained at less than 120 seconds and call abort ratio is being maintained at less than 3% on a daily basis.

“Where remote support is required, Wipro uses the control F1 tool to take remote control of the end-user’s system and resolve the issue remotely. In case onsite support is required, Wipro coordinates with the concerned vendors for a location visit (on-call support) and resolution. This system has resulted in centralized control and time-bound resolution of calls,” pointed out Uppal.

Implementation in a nutshell
Company Maruti Suzuki
Solution Centralized Dealer Management System from Wipro
Aim of implementation To IT-enable all the internal processes in the form of a centralized DMS for better dealer efficiency and productivity
Challenges faced
  • High volumes of manual transactions
  • Information residing in silos across legacy systems
  • Lack of decision support tools for analysis and forecast
  • Training dealers
Benefits
  • Single source of truth for enterprise-wide data
  • Improved productivity across dealer networks
  • High application availability
  • Improved process efficiency and reduced costs

Remote sustenance

To ensure high uptime of the client’s IT infrastructure and applications, Wipro provides remote support from its ISO certified Global Service Management Center (GSMC) in Mysore. The remote support model makes use of enterprise monitoring tools deployed in the Maruti’s IT environment to generate automated system alerts for threshold violations. These alerts get logged as calls to the service desk.

Once a call is logged, engineers connect to the problem server/network through a dedicated line and resolve the issue, remotely. This has greatly reduced risks of infrastructure and application downtime. The remote model has also enabled quick rollout of patch updates and bug fixes across locations.

Uppal quickly pointed out here that in case of hardware failures at the data center/disaster recovery sites, Wipro renders first level onsite support. If the problem is still not resolved, Wipro logs a call with the concerned vendor on behalf of the customer and coordinates until closure.

Additionally, Wipro also realized that a lot of time was being wasted in resolving recurrent issues. A repository of known solutions in the form of K-base articles was established. The K-base appears as a link in the Maruti Portal Page, which is accessed by all dealers across India. Dealers can use this K-base as a self -help option to resolve issues on their own. Alternatively, Wipro engineers use this option to resolve calls relating to recurrent issues.

“Recently, a Self Service Portal has been implemented as a Value Added Service which has one click solutions to most of the day-to-day tasks performed by dealers. This is also used for housekeeping of the desktop (cleaning up temporary files so the system works at its optimum best), which is critical for smooth functioning of the DMS. This practice has resulted in better response and resolution time for dealers. Close to 75% of support calls are resolved using these solutions,” asserted Uppal.

Reaping the benefits

After the deployment, Maruti has a single source of truth for enterprise-wide data, improved productivity across dealer networks, improved process efficiency and reduced costs, improved marketing planning and promotions, better inventory visibility, order management and replenishment, and sales force productivity monitoring.

The other benefits that have been reaped out of this project included timely reporting resulting in better forecasting and demand planning, more than committed SLAs for application availability, a Centralized Service Desk resulting in uniformity in service levels across locations, increased application usage as a result of training and handholding by Wipro, 75% calls resolved using a known solution—faster resolution, and proactive monitoring using enterprise tools, thus resulting in reduced downtime, quick rollout of patches, bug fixes across locations resulting in higher availability, and reduced costs as a result of using skilled resources and best-of-breed tools on a shared basis from Wipro GSMC.

nivedan.prakash@expressindia.com

 


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