September 23, 2009 08:00 ET

Arnold Clark Automobiles Driving Changes in Sales and Service Experience

Europe's Largest Independent Auto Dealer Deploys Indoor-Outdoor Vehicle Tracking Mobility Solution for Staff Productivity, Collaboration and Superior Customer Service

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - September 23, 2009) -  Today Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is announcing that Arnold Clark Automobiles, Europe's largest independent auto dealer, is using the network as the platform and an AeroScout Vehicle Tracking solution to transform automobile sales and service at its Stafford, U.K., dealership. In addition, the network as the platform with the Wi-Fi RFID tracking solution enable the U.K. auto dealer to improve staff productivity and collaboration, deliver a positive customer experience, and help reduce expenditures and inventory depreciation, loss and theft while freeing up resources for alternative investments.

Arnold Clark Automobiles operates 145 dealerships across the United Kingdom with 8,000 employees and sells more than 200,000 vehicles per year. The flagship dealership, located in Stafford, maintains an inventory of 1,000 cars for sale at any given time on a 12-acre lot and 74,000 square-foot showroom.

Key Facts/Highlights:

  • Arnold Clark turned to its longtime technology provider of network infrastructure solutions and services, Boston Networks, with a challenge to use the network to enhance its business operations and achieve real business performance benefits.
  • Boston Networks, a leading provider of turnkey network infrastructure solutions and services in the U.K., specializing in IP convergence, wireless systems, cabling solutions and IP video surveillance, installed a Cisco® Internet Protocol switched network and indoor and outdoor Cisco Unified Wireless Network for reliability, flexibility and performance, a Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE) with Context-Aware and an embedded AeroScout Location Engine. It also integrated the AeroScout Vehicle Tracking solution that includes more than 1,500 Cisco Compatible Extension Wi-Fi tags, AeroScout Exciters and AeroScout Location Receivers.
  • The Cisco Unified Wireless Network, with the innovative M-Drive technology, and the Cisco MSE, expands the capabilities of Arnold Clark's mobility system to include business applications like the existing inventory management, offering Arnold Clark a rapid return on investment and minimizing overall operational cost.
  • In the past, Arnold Clark staff physically searched for cars that met a buyer's specific requirements, an extremely inefficient process that often resulted in customers losing interest and leaving for another automobile dealership.
  • Now, a car that arrives on the sales lot is affixed with an AeroScout Wi-Fi tag and its information and specifications are entered into the inventory management system within one hour, versus the one to three days that the old process required. When searching for a car, Arnold Clark sales staff enter customer requirements into the inventory management system, and the AeroScout solution instantly locates the relevant cars on the premises, whether indoors or outdoors.
  • The AeroScout Vehicle Tracking application is also used to locate customers' cars brought to the dealership for maintenance and repair service. Arnold Clark can track any car throughout the service process, improving staff efficiency and customer satisfaction in its service department. Initial results show an increase of 3 percent more cars serviced each week and a savings of 10 minutes per associate, per car serviced.
  • The Cisco Context-Aware Solution and AeroScout components also help prevent inventory shrinkage and theft. AeroScout Exciters placed throughout the dealership trigger the Wi-Fi tags to alert personnel when an unauthorized car leaves the dealership, so that they can respond accordingly.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "Arnold Clark Automobiles is an excellent example of the power of Cisco meeting customer needs with the most widely deployed wireless network, combined with innovative applications, which has transformed its business," said Ray Smets, vice president and general manager for the Cisco Wireless Networking Business Unit. "If you lined up 1,000 cars, the distance is more than four miles long. The business impact is overwhelming as cars depreciate every day, and immediately locating the right car for a customer is like finding the sought-after needle in a haystack."
  • "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 Cisco and AeroScout, and plan to roll it out to more U.K. dealerships, and eventually standardize it companywide."
  • "Arnold Clark took full advantage of AeroScout's unique capability to utilize its existing Cisco network to track assets in both indoor and outdoor environments," said Gabi Daniely, vice president of marketing and product strategy at AeroScout. "The implementation shows the range of uses and significant benefits of our Unified Asset Visibility solution for streamlining logistics."


Tags / Keywords: Arnold Clark Automobiles, Boston Networks, AeroScout, Cisco, Wi-Fi, WLAN, RTLS, RFID, Collaboration in Motion, collaboration, wireless, mobility, Context-Aware, asset tracking, Mobility Services Engine, MSE, new business models

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Embedded Video:

  • Tour the Arnold Clark Automobiles Stafford, U.K. dealership, and hear from managing director, Eddie Hawthorne, staff, and Boston Network's Scott McEwan who discuss the business benefits of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network and AeroScout asset tracking solution that are enhancing customer service and sales.

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