Reuse of existing IT investments cuts costs and improves dealer performance

Volvo

Beesd Automotive &  Automatisering BV, provides a Car Dealer Management System to more than 100 outlets in the Netherlands. BeesdA2 was recently awarded best DMS supplier in the Netherlands.

Challenge

Approximately 100 Volvo dealers, running the Volvo DAS applications, had used a combination of legacy S/36 and AS/400 applications running on 50 AS/400’s to support established business processes. Volvo evaluated replacement options and found the alternatives all required extensive modification to meet the evolving needs of their dealers. Volvo decided the best solution was to reuse the existing systems that supported the proven dealer business processes.

 

The evaluation concluded that a modernisation strategy presented the least risk and lowest cost and could deliver a modern solution that the dealers could continue to rely on for the foreseeable future.

Solution

Looksoftware’s modernisation tools were selected for webfacing and application integration. The dynamic rules-based architecture generated customised, web-based smart client UIs for the 400 screens, with no changes to the underlying code.

 

Additional functionality including support for web services, direct database integration and when required, support for thin clients and wireless devices, provided a platform for long term enhancements.

 

The browser-based UI included simpler navigation and a unified interface. For example, related screens were combined together on tabs providing instant access to key information without needing to know function keys and codes.

 

The rules-based architecture allowed a consistent look and feel to be generated for both S/36 and AS/400 screens.

Results

The dealers rely on Microsoft Office applications including Word and Excel, so providing transparent integration between the core DAS application with the desktop was important. The dealers are now able to generate and send MS Word proposals from within the DAS application.

 

The application was also extended to use web services for postal code validation, eliminating the need for Volvo to maintain its own postal code database. A planned enhancement is to generate SMS messages from the IDAS application directly to the customers to notify them that their car is ready!

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SummaryChallenge: Find a way for the existing dealer application to take advantage of modern technologies, including web-enablement, web services and application integration.

 

Solution: Looksoftware’s modernisation tools were selected for webfacing and application integration. The dynamic rules-based architecture generated customised, web-based smart client UIs for the 400 screens, with no changes to the underlying code.

Testimonial“The enhanced dealer applications have improved the dealer service levels and have extended the life of applications by at least 5 years.”

 

-Tjeu Bollen, IT Manager