IP video & Automatic Number Plate Recognition, blended with improved workshop workflow, delivers workshop efficiencies and improved customer experience for Hyundai

Last month, this column brought you some details of how RFID, IP video and Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) devices could all be applied to the twin tasks of improving in-dealership customer experience and delivering workshop efficiencies. But no sooner had I penned that one, I was pleased to find out that my tech musings around IP video have already been ‘made flesh’ (or software) by Korean innovator Hyundai which has launched an IP video-connected ‘workshop automation’ system called 360 Workshop Automation.

Admittedly, IP video is not core to this workshop efficient management solution but nevertheless linkage to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and network cameras definitely enhances this innovative solution.

The system I saw was in place at Richmond Hyundai in Guildford, which just happens to be one of the dealerships we are talking to about installing Traka Automotive’s key management system right now.

360 Workshop Automation fits into a new online-based fleet customer focused programme which claims to be the industry’s quickest online service booking system. Booking a service online using this system should take no more than 10 seconds as it involves six short steps to complete – even spitting out an instant price for estimated works.

Data gathered at this booking stage is automatically loaded and made available within eDynamix’s heath check application, called iVHC, each morning ready for the service advisors and technicians to begin carrying out the required vehicle health checks.

Any identified concerns can be priced using Hyundai’s own menu pricing engine which is embedded within iVHC, and then sent to the customer for pre-authorisation.

Work authorised online through the Hyundai portal is then automatically updated and reflected in iVHC. This ensures that the relevant parts and service departments are notified and authority can then be passed to the technician to complete the work, thus providing a seamless process for both customer and dealerships.

This is already generating superior efficiencies in the workshop, while avoiding nasty on-the-day surprises for fleet customers getting their cars serviced. But the system gets better: Hyundai also offers an integration through to an ANPR software solution serving designated IP cameras cited at the entrance to the dealership to capture visitors’ license plates.

By marrying ANPR records to cars as they arrive, it’s possible to deliver a tailorable welcome message at the dealership’s entrance barrier, giving timely instruction on which bay to park in ready for their service.

Simultaneously, an alert is sent to the service team - telling them that a specific car has arrived, triggering a tablet-based physical inspection or ‘check-in’ process, during which any obvious additional jobs found can be costed, added to work and authorised by the customer now they are on site.

Once in the workshop, the customer can track the car’s progress on a dedicated screen in the customer waiting area. Any extra work found when the vehicle is on the ramp is then re-laid via SMS, with the option to request instant authorisation to speed up the process. Fleet customers also receive a free vehicle health check which is submitted live from the workshop, accompanied by supporting images and pricing to fix.

Once the service is complete, the handover process is managed through a touch-screen tablet, also in the waiting area, and includes an opportunity for customers to provide instant feedback on the experience.

The system continues to work even after the customer and vehicle has left the premises: personalised communications is sent by a management system to ensure additional or advisory work is carried out in good time to keep the vehicle road worthy. This system is fully integrated into Hyundai’s existing software to allow seamless data access.

If you already have a workshop vehicle health check solution or EMACS as well as network cameras covering your entrances and exits, it might be worth looking at how to link these systems up in this way. You could also potentially bring Traka key management together with both of these solutions to create a totally holistic vehicle progress solution which helps keep track of keys as cars travel through various stages from parking, through servicing to valeting and finally re-parking ready for collection.

It seems that Hyundai fleet operators in the Guildford area are already enjoying one version of the next leap forward for aftersales customer experience and workshop efficiency. How soon will the rest of us get access to it?