In 2012, Daimler became one of the pioneers in automotive integration by adopting an open approach to dealer system integration. At first, like many manufacturers, they believed that by standardizing the software choices available to their dealers, they were simplifying dealer integration and reducing their risks and costs. However, after objectively reviewing the results of that approach, they recognized that the risk of remaining in the “old model” was greater than exploring new alternatives, namely opening access to their systems to any qualified DSP that wanted to participate.
After reviewing their integration objectives and consulting with industry experts, Daimler decided to offer broad access to their interfaces. In 2012, Daimler contacted Motive Retail, and a strategy was devised to implement this new initiative.
- Expose the Daimler interfaces to a larger number of dealer systems used by their retail network
- Utilize an on demand, self-service integration solution which would limit the costs for all parties
- Enable a self-funded model whereby Dealer System Providers can elect to support interfaces their customers demand
- Limit the direct role Daimler plays in supporting, testing and working with providers around the world
Fast forward to today, and what began as an initial proof of concept has now grown into a strong, thriving program benefiting a wide array DSP's! To date, Motive Retail and Daimler have:
- Registered 67 DSPs
- Initiated 29 active interface projects with 11 sales and 2 aftersales projects available globally
- Made available a broad range of sales and crm interfaces available for integration with more aftersales interfaces coming online soon
- Rolled out interfaces that can be utilized across 46 countries
- Initiated the process for 8 more systems to be certified for various interfaces
The success of the program has positively impacted Daimler in 2 key areas. First, the Daimler-Motive Retail integration program enables Daimler to offer its interfaces to a larger number of dealer systems used by their retail network, ultimately benefitting thousands of dealership users across the globe. This open approach works with all systems, in all locations, fostering a much higher level of adoption. Better software in more dealerships means that the Daimler customer has a retail experience that is par excellence.
Just as importantly, it does so in a cost effective, efficient manner for Daimler.This now proven approach provides a repeatable and scalable mechanism for the rapid rollout of new integrations without the typical drain on systems and resources, providing Daimler with significant cost savings and it’s dealers with improved efficiency.
While Daimler and it’s customers have certainly reaped the benefits of a true open integration program, so have the DSPs, who now have an opportunity to improve both the functionality and the marketability of their systems. A level playing field means DSPs can compete for new dealer customers, no longer shut out due to a lack of system integration with Daimler. Tighter integration means that the DSP customers (Daimler retailers) have access to systems that can co-exist and work in harmony with Daimler systems and processes.
The integration process is accelerating, driven by DSP’s having access to Motive Integrator™, which functions as a one stop shop for interface documentation, testing, certification and activation. This integration automation platform is available globally, 24/7, via a convenient web interface. DSP teams can integrate their systems with Daimler, while working at their own pace, allowing them to seamlessly dovetail their software development and rollouts with Daimler.
Daimler’s bold approach and willingness to go beyond the status quo has brought them to the forefront of manufacturers looking to improve their retail execution. Win-win situations are great, but Daimler has pulled off a rare feat, they have made winners of themselves, their dealers, their retail customers and the DSPs. All the while lowering costs and decreasing risks. Many in the industry now believe that approaches similar to Daimler’s represent the path forward and represent an untapped potential for growth.