Volkswagen of America – Milestones of a Successful System Implementation

Volkswagen of America (VW) was using a dealer visit reporting solution that was implemented several years ago. However, the company wanted to implement a modern CRM solution that would simplify the process of dealer visit reporting, provide accurate scorecard on dealer performance and would be easy to administer and manage through various operational and management reports.

VWoA selected Optimum’s IKON Contact Reports & Field Operations CRM solution that would address the above goals of the company. The system is now available for the field users and will be rolled out in multiple phases.

This article focuses on the initial implementation phase where various teams from VWoA and Optimum worked together to rollout the system in an effective and collaborative manner.

Key Elements of System Implementation

The system was implemented across the following milestones:

  • Core System Configuration

    The first important milestone of the project was to set up a core system instance and to configure it based on the needs of VWoA corporate and field users. This involved defining the structure of the network, the user roles, the contact process workflows and key areas that are important in field visits.

    The team also discussed how field users will write-up their contact reports and follow-up with action items and optimized the system to make it very easy and intuitive to use.

    Optimum team worked with VWoA administrative and with key business users to configure the system and to align the screens and data elements to the needs of the company.

  • Data Integration for Dealer Scorecard

    Optimum technical team worked on integrating data feeds from 12 different data sources to bring all data together in a dealer scorecard.

    The Dealer Scorecard is a 360 report that provides a comprehensive view of dealer performance across various dimensions and a powerful tool for the Field Managers to have meaningful & data-driven conversations with their dealer counterparts.

    Optimum team worked with VWoA key business users and IT teams to integrate a variety of data feeds including Vehicle Sales, Market Share & Sales Effectiveness, Customer Satisfaction Scores, Service Performance Metrics, Parts Purchases, Dealer Training Programs and Facility information.

    All the data feeds import processes were standardized and automated to make them reliable and readily available to the field managers. While most of the data feeds are received on a monthly basis, some are received every day.

  • Technology / Security Review

    Optimum and VWoA IT team went through an extensive technology review of the application including reviewing the security practices. Optimum is already TISAX / IS 27001 certified, but the VWoA security team was also launching new standards that required additional work to address.

    Optimum technology team was able to demonstrate commitment and flexibility in addressing some complex IT security requirements that are very important in the current environment.

    The system was also subjected to extensive Pen Tests and the few issues identified were remediated within a short amount of time.

    The combined team was able to win approval of the project with the VWoA Review Boards in the first major presentation itself.

  • Infrastructure Integration

    Apart from the data integration, IKON was integrated with the VWoA Portal for user access and single sign-on. The system is hosted in an external environment, but users are able to access it from the VWoA Portal through a secure single sign-on process that integrates with VWoA internal user roles.

    The SSO process ensures that all application access controls are maintained at a centralized place and user profiles can be activated, updated and deactivated easily at a centralized place.

  • Pilot Usage / System Adaptation

    VWoA created a team of key business users, who represented each of the regions, with the goal of testing out the new system and ensuring that it would work for the entire organization. Pilot users gave valuable feedback on system configuration, workflow, key information required, system usability and reporting.

    Most of the recommendations of the Pilot Users team were incorporated into the system as part of core configuration or changes.

    None of the changes required any VWoA-specific customization of the system. It is the goal of the two companies to use the standard system so the VWoA users will continue to benefit from the system improvements and growth that Optimum offers on a continuous basis.

  • User Training

    Post system adaptation and finalization, VWoA project team and Optimum team conducted a series of webinars to help train a wider cross-section of users. In a normal year, the trainings would be conducted in-person at some central location, but the pandemic pushed all training sessions to be hosted online.

    Optimum was able to put out new resources including active training, tutorial videos and access to a training environment. Users are now able to easily work with the system and get comfortable with the dealer contact management process.

In Summary / Next Steps

The VWoA team of Business Users, Application Administrators, IT & Security team and PMO were able to work well together with Optimum to successfully launch this complex initiative within the budget and within expected timeframe despite the difficulties put forward by the pandemic.

As the system is being rolled out, the company is already thinking of later phase of utilizing additional features of IKON which include Field Assignments, Dealer Assessments and Dynamic Scorecards.

It is through the flexibility of the respective teams and the flexibility of Optimum’s Field Operations CRM solution that we will continue to have a positive impact and add value to Volkswagen of America’s Field Operations and Management.

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