UKCA Winner Showcase: Stephen James Group and CVD

We take a look back on some of this year’s winning entries...

If you need to buy a new or used car, most people will head straight to a car dealership. But there are car dealerships and there are car dealerships.

Stephen James Group prides itself on being at one of the top of its games when it comes to selling cars and specliaises in BMW and MINI cars to ensure it can deliver a top-of-the-range to existing and potential customers alike.

As with most industries, the automotive sphere is undergoing some change. Online has disrupted the market somewhat, forcing bricks-and-mortars establishments to ensuring they still have USPS to continue to drive customer loyaly and engagement.

Car sales, traditionally, is a business engulfed in paperwork, signatures and duplicate copies for various departments. In the old world, this worked very well. In the new world, however, it became a barrier to efficiency. And, anything that stunts efficiency is a blocker of growth and success.

For Stephen James Group, specifically, such paperwork was doused on chassis number and interlinked data with various pieces of information needing to be filled in at each stage and no ability to move to the next if parts of the puzzle were missing earlier on.

Stephen James Group recognised the need for change and decided to work with Charterhouse Voice Data (CVD) to achieve just that.

As a customer of CVD for some time, Stephen James Group was looking to take its relatshionship to the next level.

The group was previously dealing with three large rooms full of boxes containing orders and invoices for the last six years. It was 10 boxes high, according to the company.

In addition, to searching through these documents being time consuming and taking people away from other tasks that could have been customer-facing, the company had other concerns around data security and protection of the information contained in those paper-based assets.

Recognising the need to change

The fact that the group understood where it could improve was a brilliant foundation for CVD to build on. And, given, the historic partnership, it was a very solid foundation to build on.

“They were spending horrendous amounts of time looking for paperwork. If one process hadn’t been done they wouldn’t realise until much further down the line [when it was too late]. The system now acts as a baby sitter, too,” said Robert Briden, document specialist at CVD.

“There are lots of things historically they do because they have always done them. Now, they can use the system to fine tune processes. “

CVD helped Stephen James Group do just this by embracing the cloud and focusing on wider digital transformation of its business.

“It was all about being efficient/productive and/or understanding the business better. We talked about how this system can replace old fashioned ways of doing things that costs more money. They used to use [physical] storage, for example. But, when you store things digitally that cost disappears,” Briden said.

“That not only saves you money as it replaces postage, storage, printing, buying cabinets/storage etc. The other side of it is about creating efficiencies and better business awareness so you can make much more informed decisions.”

The implementation took three to four months, according to Briden. After that time, the benefits were obvious:

*Digitisation of all car dealership handover files
*Improved customer experience
*Saved space and money on storage each year
*Elimination of error / misfiled documents
*Storage of all types of document, from any source
*Files encrypted
*Drag and drop simplicity
*Intuitive document search
*A reduced carbon footprint Enhanced document security
*Faster file search and retrieval
*Improved employee productivity
*GDPR compliant processe

“It’s all about improving awareness of how your business operates and making things more efficient and more centralised,” Briden added.

“It’s about improving efficiency and saving money and energy usage. Saving printing, copying, and costs etc. People can access docs and move things along when on the go on their phone, whereas before it was a case of papers on a desk, so now it’s so much more agile.”

Benefits and future plan

The benefits are manifold. Indeed, the business believes it has saved some £26,000 per year in physical storage costs. That’s in addition to £1,500 annually in waste disposal overhead and some 40 hours of admin each month.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our project with The Stephen James Group – it was a pleasure to work with Clive Copeman who was tasked to roll this out internally. We are continuing to help The Stephen James group on their Digital Transformation Journey,” said Jonathan Goodman. Digital Transformation Manager at CVD.

“Charterhouse really got to know both our business and our processes; so they were able to recommend and develop a solution that was tailored to our specific needs. They were also on hand to provide support throughout implementation and adoption,” said Clive Copeman from the Stephen James Group.

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