Arnold Clark Automobiles
Real time location tracking of 2000 vehicles at flagship dealership
Arnold Clark is Europe's largest independently owned, family run motor dealer group. Founded over 56 years ago by Sir Arnold Clark, the business has expanded from a single car showroom in Glasgow to a UK wide organisation.
The group's core business is new and used car sales with over 145 dealerships throughout the UK and over 13,000 cars in stock. Employing and training over 8,000 members of staff, Arnold Clark sells over 250,000 automobiles annually and has a turnover in excess of £2 billion.
Arnold Clark required an intelligent vehicle monitoring and asset tracking solution to operate throughout its flagship Stafford branch which is designed to house up to 2000 vehicles at any one time. It was essential that the robust solution provided real time, accurate performance management information to both enhance the customer experience and to increase the productivity and profitability of the branch.
The key deliverables on the project were:
- Rapid identification of physical stock
- Vehicle presence detection - to prevent theft
- Vehicle movement tracking through the service, maintenance and wash bays
- Reduced expenditure and inventory depreciation
Following a series of successful ‘proof of concept’ trials, Boston Networks, a long standing technology partner of Arnold Clark designed, installed and commissioned a real time RFID asset tracking solution to meet their challenging and ever changing needs.
Offering seamless connectivity throughout the lively branch, the Boston Networks solution utilises internal and external IP wireless technology, encompassing:
- A Cisco® IP switched network
- An indoor and outdoor Cisco® unified wireless network for reliability, flexibility and performance
- A Cisco® mobility services engine (MSE) and an embedded AeroScout location engine
- An AeroScout vehicle tracking solution with over 1,500 Cisco® compatibleWi-Fi tags
- AeroScout exciters and location receivers
Additionally, through the integration of RSSI and TDoA technology the intelligent solution offers the client extra data and voice connectivity site wide.
The unified wireless network has expanded the capabilities of Arnold Clark's mobility system to include business applications like their existing inventory management, thus offering Arnold Clark a rapid return on investment and minimising overall operational costs. Integration with Arnold Clark’s existing systems was also enabled using the rich application presented by the RFID system, subsequently allowing the information to be embedded real time into the clients existing processes.
Thanks to the Boston Networks solution, processes that have made significant differences to the businesses performance include:
- When a car arrives on site it is now affixed with an AeroScout Wi-Fi tag and its information and specifications are entered into the inventory management system within one hour - versus the 1 to 3 days that the old process required.
- When searching for a car, Arnold Clark staff can now enter customer requirements directly into the inventory management system. The solution then instantly locates the relevant cars on the premises.
- The AeroScout vehicle tracking application is also used to locate customers' cars brought to the dealership for maintenance and repair. Staff can now track any car throughout the service process, improving staff efficiency and customer satisfaction. Initial results show an increase of 3 percent more cars serviced each week and a savings of 10 minutes per car serviced.
- AeroScout exciters placed throughout the dealership trigger the Wi-Fi tags to alert staff when an unauthorised car leaves the branch, thus preventing inventory shrinkage and theft.
"We have a customer's attention often for less than 10 minutes from when they arrive on the lot. If we can't find what they're looking for within that time, then they move on. And, with more than 1,000 cars at our Stafford, U.K., dealership, we needed a better way to serve our customers and track our inventory," said Eddie Hawthorne, Managing Director at Arnold Clark Automobiles. "We've seen compelling results with the wireless and mobility solution from Boston Networks, and plan to roll it out to more U.K. dealerships, and eventually standardise it companywide in our larger sites."
Lucy Fuller, Marketing Communications Manager, Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited