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5 minutes with… Charlotte Sumner of Magna Systems

Charlotte Sumner – Business Development Manager at our Magna Systems – talks to us about an upbringing in the automotive industry, helping dealers overcome challenges and a brief insight into life as a journalist…

What were your first experiences of the automotive industry?

Growing up my parents both worked (and still do!) in the automotive industry so I was very much brought up around it. My first role in the industry was as a Sales Executive for Skoda UK when I was 21.

How has it changed since then?

The biggest change I’ve noticed is the shift toward digitising the entire process, so you can really focus on the customer journey whilst maximising profitability and productivity. Either through paperless file solutions, smartphone apps to automate booking processes, or digital metrics to track progress. Very little is done pen-to-paper!

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing automotive retailers right now?

The biggest challenge is obviously living through these unprecedented Covid times. Understandably lots of people no longer wish to carry out transactions and enquiries face-to-face & also feel uncertain about their future, leaving many to feel ‘now is not the right time to buy’.

What do you think are the biggest opportunities for automotive retailers right now?

I think this challenge can also be converted into an opportunity.

Retailers can focus on changing their processes and structuring a seamless ‘contactless’ customer journey. This shows customers that retailers are really doing everything they can, within both sales & aftersales, to ensure a safe and reassuring environment which will reinstate buyer confidence and trust.

There is a lot to adapt to however the tools are out there to help. Utilising these tools allows Retailers to focus on the positive customer journey.

How do you help automotive retailers?

Magna Systems offer the tools to help digitise and streamline processes. This helps Retailers overcome these challenges. Some of these products include:

AutoBI: This provides Automotive Retailers with live information relating to the performance of the Service, Parts and Vehicle Departments directly from the DMS without the need for user input. In current market conditions it is essential to be aware of how your workshop is performing, and who is performing well. Choose from a range of insightful reports and displays, that refresh regularly as the day progresses. KPIs can be used to map progress against targets and previous years’ performance. We help Retailers take control of their data by helping them to demystify and display:

  • Live revenue and hours sold for yesterday, today, month to date and a month forecast.
  • Live work in progress (WIP) data including WIP status and month end projections.
  • Historical data covering the day by day revenue / hours, cumulative revenue / Hours and the Trending Revenue / Hours split by the various Sales Channel.

IT Consultancy: Magna Systems offer IT consultancy and services to businesses across multiple industries within the UK. Offering everything from a simple hardware installation to fully managed IT infrastructure and anything in-between. We have a skilled and experienced team who have many years of IT knowledge and are trained to the highest standards. We operate a 24/7 network operations centre who proactively monitor your systems. We can complement your in-house IT department or be your IT department.

Service Booking App (SBA): This offers an easy to use, rich and informative customer experience that is as simple as technically possible. The solution delivers a personal, direct and immediate service booking experience from a customer’s perspective. From a dealership perspective, the application enables rich and accurate 2-way information to be communicated with a customer direct from the DMS through the Service Booking experience. The Service Booking application has been designed to address the following business outcomes:

  • Improved customer experience and personalised service offerings to assist in customer retention.
  • Easy presentation of up-sell options to customers to increase average sale revenue.
  • Free up Service advisors to be able to spend more time with customers.
  • Improve data cleansing by enabling customers to notify if their personal or vehicle details need correcting.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love working in the Automotive Industry and really couldn’t see myself in a different sector. Each day with Magna Systems I get to connect with people all over the world in this industry, discussing solutions to help maximise their potential, so each day is different!

Magna Systems is brimming with talented people who have worked in each and every part of the motor trade with a wealth of experience behind them, so I feel lucky to work around them!

What excited you most about the chance to join Hub365?

Hub365 really is the one-stop-shop for the Automotive Industry, anything a retailer could need… they’ll find on there. It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate with the brilliant companies on there, I really believe it’ll open up even more opportunities for us all.

What’s the most interesting fact about you?

I actually studied to be a journalist for a year at university! However, I soon realised that studying Business & Management was where my interests lay and made the switch to that course.

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