Trust Group UK
Trust Group UK operates a number of car dealerships and parts businesses around the west Midlands.
Founded in 2006, the group has six dealerships and two parts locations. It represents the Volkswagen and Skoda brands and also offers a wide selection of used cars, in addition to conducting services, repairs and MOTs.
The Trust Group have 220 staff who produce vehicle sales of around 4,500 a year and look after 18,000 service customers.
A Rising Data Challenge
Co-founder and Finance Director, Nigel White explains that the network is an increasingly essential part of the business as the industry as it is becoming more digitally focused.
Over the last few years, the data demands placed on them by their partners have risen, and therefore, its systems have needed to expand in order to cope with this.
“The manufacturers that we represent – Volkswagen and Skoda – are becoming more web-based,” he stated. “The software solutions that we use are web-based, so more and more, we’re reaching out of our organisation on to the web to these providers in order to retrieve information. Therefore the pipes we need to transact down need to be ever-wider in order to take all that traffic.”
For instance, the dealerships feature a number of video screens that are used to display the latest information and details on the vehicles for sale. These are updated on a regular basis directly from Volkswagen and Skoda, and they are becoming increasingly bandwidth-hungry.
“They’re streamed in overnight and then they’re held and played through the day. They tend to update on our quiet times which is good. Nevertheless, they are very demanding on bandwidth,” he stated, adding: “We also work with a couple of providers of software solutions who are also web-based, so we’re liaising with their service all the time over links that we’ve got out to the internet.”
Delivering Fast Results
Another area that’s increasingly reliant on digital technology is the group’s workshops, where technicians are now able to communicate directly with external sources to help identify issues.
“Our master technicians would mostly be doing diagnostic work on Volkswagens and Skodas, where we would be downloading data to Volkswagen’s servers in Milton Keynes continuously, diagnosing faults on cars from black boxes,” Mr White said. “They’ll run that against their own data to see whether or not they’ve encountered that issue before, and they’ll run back solutions to our technicians to try in an effort to fix those faults.”
With this going on continuously, this leads to a huge amount of data being uploaded by Trust Group UK’s staff – but this does help technicians provide a much higher level of service than in the past.
“The speed at which now the technicians can do that is greatly improved over the last one that we had,” Mr White said. He added that in today’s “very immediate, responsive society”, people expect to get results immediately, and this technology enables Trust Group UK to meet these very high expectations.
Fit for the Future
Mr White stated that in the coming years, this trend towards more data-driven business is only set to grow, with an ever-increasing amount of his firm’s operations dependent on web-based solutions.
He said: “The pace of technology that we’re taking on in the business – particularly moving to iPads in our showrooms – will mean we’ll need increasing bandwidth to download all of those software applications. I don’t think it will be a revolution, but I think it will be an evolution over time that sees us require ever increasing bandwidth.”
“We’re always trying to futureproof, so the last solution that [BTT] put in, I would wager is twice the size of the solution we had before and should serve us for the next two and a half, three years.”