The service departments at #1 Cochran, a 24-store group in western Pennsylvania, used to have a software logjam.
Dealerships handled fixed operations with numerous products, which meant staffers needed an array of login credentials to access the systems and complete their work, said David Bernardini, #1 Cochran's regional operations director.
To be more efficient, the group consolidated fixed ops responsibilities with CDK Service, a system that aims to improve the service experience for customers, with features such as online appointment scheduling, while also helping dealerships maximize profits in the lucrative fixed ops space.
"We had multiple vendor products. We would use one to schedule appointments, another vendor to track multipoint inspections, [dealership management systems] for repair orders, another to take payment. It was cumbersome," Bernardini told Automotive News. "With each built-on product, you had a fee to communicate with the DMS. It was an efficiency drain."
Fixed ops is one arena where CDK Global, already a heavyweight on the sales side of dealerships, wants to have a bigger presence. CDK Service, a tool acquired from Superior Integrated Solutions around five years ago, enables service advisers to complete walkaround inspections with a tablet and makes passing a customer to another adviser seamless.
Bernardini credits CDK Service, which rolled out in 2014, with driving more volume through his group's service lanes while increasing both customer satisfaction and profits.
"We opted not to build it ourselves," said Tony Graham, CDK's chief customer experience officer. "We spent a couple years trying to stabilize it, rewriting it, making sure we could deploy it and support it in volume."