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5 minutes with… Iain Nickalls, eDynamix

Iain Nickalls, edynamix

How did eDynamix come about?

Vili Dimitrov and myself were software developers and integration specialists working with a number of dealerships and DMS systems around the country. One of those dealerships was Parkway Volkswagen, owned by Sean Booth. In 2006, we created an online bookings system, which was used on the Parkway website. In 2009, Sean asked us to create a bespoke service plan system. Parkway was top of the national league for service plan sales across Volkswagen’s network, which prompted other dealers to start taking notice. In summer 2010, Sean, Vili and I decided to make it a commercial offering and started eDynamix.

 

Has the business grown over the past year or so?

At the end of 2016, we had 48 employees, in 2017 this grew by 44%, closing the year with 69 individuals and in 2018 we have added a further 15, an increase of 22%. A lot of these additions are a product of our software academy. We also added a strategic account manager in 2018, whose responsibility it is to look after
our ever-growing relations with manufacturers in the UK and Europe. We have grown our customer base by 287%, from 530 dealerships in 2016, adding a further 331 in 2017. From the end of 2018, 2,050 outlets are using our software.

 

What new developments have you launched?

AutoPoint Lockers are the newest addition to the eDynamix aftersales solution (revealed at Automotive Management Live 2018). AutoPoint allows for both drop-off and pick-up of keys, integrates with iVHC and other back-end systems and will eventually allow for payment of invoice. The interest in the system has been amazing. We’ve already got pilot schemes with manufacturers planned and orders for when the system will be ready for commercial release this quarter.

Our Online Service Plan Quote offering has been available for a while, but we recently extended it to allow a customer to complete the transaction online. We are seeing a growing number of dealers adding this, and the number of plans taken out by the customer directly grow month-on-month. We have also made our service plan quoting tool available through API, which means it can be embedded into any website or third-party application.

The next stage is to allow customers to manage their servicing requirements, including their service plan, through our dealer/manufacturer app, called Automate, which will be available soon.

Our most widely used app is Connect which provides real-time information on things such as service plan sales, iVHC red and amber work conversion and online bookings. We are working on its next iteration, which will provide a more data-rich and interactive interface.

We have been working on a major update to our service plan system that will allow dealers to offer more than just servicing through the platform, in a way not seen before in the industry.

Our other major development is StockMaster, which allows dealers to view and manage group stock. Capable of close integration with Autotrader’s iControl platform, the system provides insights into market performance per model, allowing dealers to price costs more effectively and efficiently than before.

 

Will aftersales become a truly self-serve model?

Our goal is to create customer-centric systems that allow for 100% self-service. We have a unique offering where dealers can use fully integrated systems from one supplier. CRM sends out reminders for services due as part of a service plan with a link to an online bookings platform.

 

How widespread are online bookings?

Most dealers offer online bookings. However, many are a simple service request form, which a customer must complete and then wait for a call back.

Customers are now looking for more interactive systems that give them control. We have seen numbers of bookings made online grow month-on-month during 2018 and this is only going to grow as generation Z start to visit dealerships.

Dealers need to start preparing for generation Alpha. They will be growing up in a world where everything is connected and a simple service request form will not do. Parkway Volkswagen, for example, took almost 2,000 bookings online during 2018, with a value approaching £200,000. 

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