It appears that one of the most iconic pieces of hardware (the automobile) is finally getting an upgrade. Just as typewriters and wired telephones were transformed into computers and smartphones, the automobile is rapidly undergoing a transformation of its own. While computers and electronics have been part of the automobile since the late 70’s, the focus had been primarily on engine and drivetrain management.
We’ve published several articles in this blog about expanding the functionality in Motive Integrator, refining our processes for Dealer System Certification, and even Self Certification. Our organization has made huge strides toward providing Subscribers and Publishers with the tools needed to effectively implement and test integrations.
Until now Motive has provided certification services strictly as a managed service based on our Motive Integrator software. This approach has worked well as Motive Integrator provided the platform on which Motive Integration Analysts have delivered more than 150 dealer system certifications. In the process we have continuously improved Motive Integrator to make the support and certification process more and more intuitive and increasingly automated. The result is a proven system that can stand on its own and deliver certified dealer systems supported by OEM teams as easily as Motive’s team.
Beginning a little more than a year ago Daimler AG embarked on a journey to reassess their strategy for dealer integration.
When TiVo came along and freed people from the constraints of TV programming schedules, they were thrilled with the ability to watch shows “On Demand”. These days the concept of services or products being available “On Demand” is not only commonly understood, but increasingly it is expected. Now, in order to lower costs and satisfy customers, solutions of all sorts must be flexible, self-service and online.
Most automakers offer their dealers at least a limited set of interfaces for integration of the DMS with OEM systems to simplify routine activities like parts ordering and financial statement submission. A few OEMs provide a broader set of higher value integration points that are producing big improvements in dealership operations. Motive Retail is honored to have been entrusted with the job of putting these interfaces to work for several OEMs. These OEMs are enabling big operational improvements for their dealers. But dealers have still been hampered by the inability of the systems within the dealership to effectively, reliably and securely interact with each other.
Today we're announcing a significant enhancement in functionality to Motive Integrator. New Dealer Roll-out Management Apps have been added for our automaker clients to complement the functionality already available in the Motive Integrator Dealer Suite. These apps provide automakers a consistent, structured and streamlined set of tools for use during the launch of new software, interfaces or programs to their dealer networks.
We’ve been working for the past 5 years to expand the functionality in Motive Integrator and refine our processes for Dealer System Certification. Feedback from the DSPs we work with on behalf of our OEM clients is invaluable and we take all comments, suggestions, even criticisms seriously. We want to know what works, what we can improve and what users of Motive Integrator like or don’t like. Our feeling is that the better we can make our tools and processes, the faster DSPs can complete new integrations and roll them out to dealers.
A fundamental principle of Motive Integrator is to support the information needs of users in ways which improve efficiencies and offer flexibility during integration projects.
With the year-end upon us we’ve found ourselves reflecting on 2012 the past few days. It’s been a busy year and a good year for Motive Retail.
Everybody likes recognition. After working many years exclusively in dealer systems integration, it was nice to see the Woods & Seaton Briefing No. 30, dated November 29, 2012 confirm what we already believed, that “OEMs need a more efficient process for managing integrations.” Per the Briefing, automakers in Europe are expressing growing interest in having an ability to manage “integration of ‘100s’ of Dealer Systems.” Recently we are seeing more automakers who understand , as the Briefing states, that “integration is essential for Sales and Service performance, and Network control.” The result is that an increasing number of automakers in both Europe and North America are starting to evaluate whether they have the processes and tools necessary to keep up in an increasingly integrated world.
Recently when showing our Dealer Systems Integration portal, Motive Integrator, to an automaker we heard something to the effect of the following: “I can see how Motive Integrator produces big savings for the DSPs, so shouldn’t they pay for it?”
In Part 3 of our Testing series, we talked about independent testing, specifically testing performed by DSPs. Perhaps the most critical aspect of an integration project is the coordinated testing (or Certification Testing) between both parties which so often is known for being cumbersome, slow and expensive.
Motive is pleased to announce that it has added Porsche Cars North America as a new automaker client. Porsche is embarking on a new global program to implement a range of integrations with the key DMS systems used by its dealer body. This is the first project of its kind at Porsche in a number of years and demonstrates their commitment to improving retail performance through greater integration between systems. Motive will be providing all services for management of DSP Integration and Certification activities including the development of all integration specifications, DSP technical support, certification testing and dealer pilots.
Testing in any B2B integration initiative requires independent testing be performed by each “B”, i.e. the automaker and the DSP. It’s a critical aspect of any project as each party must take responsibility for testing its own integration code in advance of any coordinated / joint testing.
To begin, let’s talk about the types of testing needed when rolling out a new dealer systems integration . We group testing into 3 types or phases.
A third-party integration certification program which includes verification that the third-party dealer system complies with integration specifications provides great value to the automaker, the DSP and the dealers. A comprehensive testing process is the only way to ensure interfaces have been implemented correctly. Over the coming weeks, we will publish a number of posts on this topic, to highlight why testing is such an important element of any DSP integration program and how it can be implemented most effectively and efficiently. Our views on testing are informed by years of experience working with both OEMs and DSPs on dozens of integrations giving Motive a unique understanding of the perspectives, constraints and business objectives of both parties. Motive believes that for any certification program to be successful it must accommodate the needs of both sides. Look for upcoming posts about the nature of testing in a B2B integration program, the type of testing that is generally required and common pitfalls. We welcome your comments, questions and any anecdotes you may have from your experiences.
The Ford Motor Company’s Export & Growth Division partnered with Motive Retail in 2010 when it launched its initiative to integrate dealers with Ford Global Systems. Motive has managed the implementation of new dealer system interfaces for repair order, over-the-counter part invoice and parts inventory data with key Export and Growth dealers using its Motive Integrator portal.
Beginning in 2012, Motive will expand its support of this program with the addition of new dealers in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East. Once implemented, the total number of integrated dealers will represent almost 60% of Ford’s Export & Growth Service and Parts Business and will provide visibility into these dealer operations not previously available.
Also new in 2012 is the addition of online reporting of dealer business data, provided by Motive Retail. Reporting will be accessible via the Motive Integrator portal platform and will provide online reporting for both dealer and Ford users. The new reporting will provide Ford and its dealers with business intelligence not otherwise available, enabling the development of targeted parts and service marketing programs, dealership incentive programs and the sharing of data on post-warranty vehicle reliability and quality.
New reporting capabilities will be rolled out in early February.
Motive Retail is pleased to announce that its new integration and collaboration platform will be used in production for the Kia DSP Certification Program. Effective immediately, any DSPs participating in the program will use the online platform for accessing all Kia Motors specifications and performing all certification testing.