Listers

Listers Group is one the UK’s leading privately-owned dealership groups. It is currently the twelfth largest UK group in the AM 100, with annual sales in excess of £1 billion.

Listers has over 40 dealerships operating across the Midlands and Lincolnshire, two paint and body shops, two PDI centres, a trade parts centre and group headquarters in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Key retail locations include Banbury, Birmingham, Boston, Cheltenham, Coventry, Evesham, Grantham, Grimsby, Hereford, Hull, Kings Lynn, Leamington Spa, Lincoln, Northampton, Nuneaton, Solihull, Worcester as well as Stratford-Upon-Avon and Droitwich. Listers currently represents 14 franchises including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, SEAT, SKODA, smart and Toyota.

2011 saw the opening of the group’s first Land Rover site at Droitwich, then sharing this site with a Listers SEAT centre. The group went on to open its first Jaguar site in Worcester and another Land Rover site in Hereford in 2013.  Following a reorganisation programme designed to bring the prestige brands Jaguar and Land Rover together into shared JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) sites, SEAT Droitwich was moved to Worcester while Jaguar was moved up into a renovated JLR Droitwich site, complete with multi-million pound interior design and new corporate identity.

The new Listers JLR Droitwich site was opened in July 2015 as the group’s flagship JLR dealership. January 2016 saw the opening of a new Land Rover site in Hereford which mirrors the same look and feel as the Droitwich site.

Listers JLR Droitwich today employs over 120 people. The site is responsible for sales of over 75 new Land Rovers and up to 30 new Jaguars each month, with peak registration months hitting 220 new Land Rovers and 75 Jaguars. Total new Land Rovers sold in 2015 from this site exceeded 1,100, while over 800 used Land Rovers and Jaguars were sold. It sold more than 450 new Jaguars and 400 used Jaguars during last year. The latest plate change month in March 2016 saw 243 new Land Rover and 81 new Jaguar registrations.

The nearby PDI centre is now handling 180 vehicles per month on average, serving Listers JLR Droitwich and Listers Jaguar Solihull. Plate change months see a 25-30% surges in throughput so that up to 250 cars are prepped for sale there.

To help handle the volume of vehicles across both sites, Listers leases a large secure car pound offering capacity for more than 300 vehicles in the Berry Hill Industrial Estate, equidistant between the PDI and the retail centre.

Requirement

During planning for the renovation of the Listers Droitwich site in early 2015, a senior management decision was made to upgrade the key management system at both the new JLR retail centre and Listers PDI centre, located on the Berry Hill Industrial Estate, about three-quarters of a mile away.

This decision to move to an electronic key management system was made in recognition of the increasing volume of cars that both sites were already seeing and an anticipated surge in sales following the upcoming opening of the new JLR site at Droitwich.

As numbers of cars on-site had increased, senior management were all too aware of the growing problems faced by staff in finding car keys quickly. The previous manual Peg in Peg out (PIPO) key system was proving both labour-intensive and prone to failure with keys being misplaced and precious time being wasted looking for them. There was a need to find a fool-proof system which was capable of managing the increasing numbers of keys, ideally providing a way of logging and keeping track of them via desktop PCs.

Listers’ senior management team went further to decide that they wanted to be able to network the key management systems in both Droitwich sites with all Listers single franchise Land Rover and Jaguar sites within a 40 mile radius - including Listers Jaguar Solihull, Listers Land Rover Solihull, Listers Land Rover Hereford as well as Listers JLR Droitwich and Listers PDI Centre.

The plan was to use the networked key management system to give staff real-time desktop access to highly accurate information about what Land Rover and Jaguar stock was located across all sites within a one hour drive of their location.

With this level of transparency across multiple sites, it would make it easy for senior management to monitor and manage stock levels more accurately and benchmark departmental performance levels. This system would help sales and engineering staff locate vehicles quickly following customer requests to view or test drive a specific vehicle, for example.

Solution

Traka Automotive fitted its networked key management systems, powered by Traka Automotive software, at the Listers JLR retail centre and Listers PDI centre in Droitwich in June 2015. A single Traka cabinet, unlocked by personalised 4 digit PIN codes, was installed in the PDI Centre. This offered capacity for 180 keys of cars parked to the rear of the PDI centre or in the secure car pound close by. Just eight months on, this cabinet’s capacity has been exceeded and a new 180 key cabinet has been ordered.

Two further 180-key cabinets have been installed in the JLR retail centre. These provide secure storage for the keys of cars being worked on in the 24-bay workshop, or being displayed inside or outside the dealership. These cabinets are also now operating very close to capacity.

Traka Automotive’s systems enables all new vehicle details to be transferred automatically from Lister’s Dealer Management System into the new key management system as soon as they arrive on site. It now takes less than a minute for all key vehicle information (make, model, VIN, status, registration and customer details) to be assigned into the system which powers the Traka cabinets. New sets of keys are then attached to an iFob which holds all vehicle information linked to those keys. This is then placed into a secure Traka key cabinet. As soon as the iFob attached to a set of keys is slotted into the cabinet, an electronic record of its location, together with the identity of the key’s last handler, is made available to authorised users of Traka’s software via their desktops. 

The whole system at Listers JLR Droitwich currently has capacity for 540 sets of car keys but is due to be expanded shortly to handle a further 360 keys. Across all five Listers’ Jaguar, Land Rover and JLR sites now on the networked Traka Automotive key management system, there is capacity for 1,260 sets of keys.

Results

Since the new Traka Automotive electronic key management system was installed at Listers Droitwich PDI centre more than 3,000 unique keys have been added to the system there. iFob-attached key movements (when keys are taken from or returned to cabinets) are now in excess of 19,000 in the first eight months of using the new system there.

Key movements across the JLR Retail Centre itself have risen to more than twice that at 39,000, proving 100% adoption of the system by all staff handling cars. Such is the value of the system that everyone is using it to manage and access keys quickly and easily. Across all networked sites more than 20,000 key searches are now being run monthly and the number of recorded key movements now exceeds 30,000 per month.

Amanda Binner, Head of Business, Listers JLR Droitwich, explains the management value of the system:

If keys are not in the cabinet at the end of the day, managers can quickly probe who had those keys last and make enquiries. Likewise, I can run a quick report to check if a new demonstrator key is out over the weekend. If speeding tickets arrive through our door we can run checks using Traka and pin-point who had the car in question at that time. In this way, we’ve cut costs and risk of prosecutions considerably.

Areas of measurable improvement have been seen early in:

  • Elimination of lost sales due to not being able to locate keys in a timely manner
  • Speed and percentage of stock imagery being posted onto our online store which itself boosted online sales and test drive bookings - also leading to more sales
  • Speed of preparation of vehicles and improved PDI completion numbers, again improving sales and after sales volumes.

Amanda Binner sums up:

It’s made a real difference to efficiency, productivity and morale here. Everyone here sees the benefit of having access to the information it provides. In fact, those responsible for preparing, moving and valeting our stock probably see the most benefits as they save time, every time they need to locate a vehicle which they do many times each day.

Anthony Hope, Brand Director, Listers JLR Droitwich adds:

Although the Traka Automotive system is not cheap, I was able to build a business case for its installation across several Listers sites very quickly, especially after both Jaguar and Land Rover enhanced their security - imposing a limit of five sets of keys per vehicle’s KVM port in issue. This means that if keys are lost, there is a strong likelihood that we will also have to purchase a new KVM port alongside any new key being ordered – bumping up the overall cost per loss event to nearly £750. With the Traka system we’ve simply eliminated this cost to the business. Moving to a modern, fully networked electronic key management system was not only a sensible business decision but also one that supported our brand values. We want to offer the very best possible customer experience here. That means examining every interface we have with the customer from a video chat with a customer via our website, to our handling of their keys when their car is in for a service. I would not have invested in this system unless I knew it was both fool-proof and future-proof. The fact that we have not lost one single set of keys in over eight months since we put the Traka system in speaks for itself. Overall results so far give me confidence that we made the right decision and further system expansion is now planned group-wide.

"Losing keys has got a whole lot more expensive as key security has been enhanced. The new electronic Traka Automotive system we put in across four Listers sites to date provides better traceability, security and visibility of where all our keys are. Put simply, it enabled us to stop key loss events within days of installing the Traka cabinets and software."

Anthony Hope, Brand Director, Listers JLR Droitwich