Offering relevant insights: pricing platform for top automotive dealership group

Client background and business context

Client profile: Europe’s No 1 car dealership group with €11 billion in revenue (2017).

Project: Create a centralised stock and pricing platform.

Challenges

Being Europe’s biggest automotive retailer, the company had an extensive network of over 1,000 dealers (partnered or owned dealers). With such a network, having relevant insights regarding prices and stocks is a key aspect of increasing efficiency and, consequently, revenue.

To achieve this, a centralised platform was needed that would respond to the following objectives:

Offering data insights: Gathering data from an extended network of over 700 partnered dealers and hundreds of owned dealers to a central point that the company’s business users could easily access.

Enabling data enrichment: Upgrading existing data with information coming from external partner platforms.

Implementing a pricing engine: Creating an AI/ML engine that could recommend vehicle pricing.

Respecting time to market: The platform had to be able to adopt a high-speed release cycle.

Offering a consistent experience throughout the company’s ecosystem: The platform had to be cross-platform-ready regardless of the touch points used (desktop, web, IOS and Android tablets).

Improving efficiency: Reduce to a minimum manual data entry.

Our approach

To better respond to the challenges and business objectives, we initiated a two-day discovery workshop with the company’s stakeholders. As part of our initial efforts, the discovery process enabled us to quickly determine the needs, goals, and success criteria of the future platform.

After the discovery period, we assigned an autonomous product team that, together with the stakeholders, attempted to find the most suitable solution to address the company’s challenges. Our team covered all areas, from architecture, data, and business analysis to UX design and back-end implementation.

The chosen architecture is based on standard Google Cloud solutions and took an API-first approach so that other applications could benefit from the platform, centralised data, and the AI pricing engine.

To support the goal of fast delivery, we proposed a Kanban approach to ensure constant high-speed delivery and regular client interaction.

 

We put in place a CI/CD pipeline for more efficient testing and to easily deploy the code to various environments like integration, staging, or production.

Connected services:

Technologies:

Spring by Pivotal

Google Cloud

NodeJs

Java

GitLab

JHipster

React

Beam

Swagger

Maven

Git

Results

In less than three months, we delivered a publicly available yet secure mobile and API-first application deployed in Google Cloud. With the help of this application, the dealers and the company’s business users are able to see centralised and enriched data in terms of vehicle information, stock, and sales volumes.

Several automated processes were put in place. The one with the most business impact was the vehicle identification number scan function. Through a custom OCR technology, the app automatically scans the identification number, thus eliminating the risk of human error that resulted from the previously used manual input.

The platform offers price recommendations and enables data-driven decision-making within the company, decreasing the time spent by employees doing research, as well as possible inconsistencies regarding prices and stocks.

 

After the launch of the app, the company could already see an approximately 10% increase in revenue for the areas where the platform was used.

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