Each year prior to the NADA Convention, STAR (Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail) hosts its annual meeting. This meeting is attended by members and interested parties alike and provides an opportunity for folks to network, share ideas, and collaborate on key topics related to standards for dealer system integration. A crowd favorite is always the lessons learned presentations. This year Motive Retail led a presentation which included Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) and DealerTrack Technologies and provided attendees a rare opportunity to hear first-hand about a project involving the implementation of STAR interfaces from both an OEM and DSP perspective.
The project reviewed was VWGoA’s ElsaPro program which involves the introduction of ElsaPro, a service information system, to dealers in the US and Canada. Key DMS interfaces are being implemented to support the sharing of basic repair order data between ElsaPro and DMS systems in addition to providing the DMS direct access to OEM recall, campaign and vehicle information.
There are some interesting aspects of this initiative, not the least of which is the fact that VWGoA came together with Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) to align on the use of the STAR BODs through a single specification that also includes PCNA requirements for integration with its own service information system called PIWIS. While use cases, business process and other requirements of the interfaces differ between the two OEMs, the STAR BOD structure is consistent. Another commonality is that there is a single endpoint used for both OEMs helping to significantly streamline implementation and support of the communications by DSPs.
Both VWGoA and PCNA are Motive Retail clients and our tools for automated testing are being put to work in this project. We’re providing online, automated tools for Developer Testing plus Certification Testing and they are significantly accelerating DealerTrack’s project by increasing both their self-sufficiency and their efficiency during implementation. Developers and QA personnel are able to validate they have correctly met the VWGoA and PCNA requirements well in advance of formal certification and the online instantaneous results support agile development practices and better enable the use of distributed and offshore teams. DealerTrack’s experience has been shared by other DSPs involved in the initiative, helping keep the project on-time and within budget. Further, this approach is requiring very little support from VWGoA or PCNA staff.
All in all, the presentation was well received and spurred a lot of discussion. Thank you to our friends at VWGoA and DealerTrack for joining our efforts to share with the STAR community. For anyone interested in further details on this presentation or this program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also download a copy of the presentation from STAR’s homepage.