Specialist Cars Collaborates With Cooper Solutions To Achieve A Seamless CDK Drive Migration

Partnership removes an age old IT challenge for dealers

Specialist Cars, one of the largest privately owned BMW and MINI retailer groups in the UK, has undertaken a seamless DMS migration to CDK Drive, and benefited from strengthened financial and forecasting capabilities, thanks to its partnership with Cooper Solutions.

In addition to the move to CDK Drive, the DMS provider of choice for BMW and MINI, Specialist Cars was able to create a bespoke solution that maintained access to Cooper Solutions’ range of services, including FullForecast, FullCover and FullAppraisal.

“We have been utilising FullForecast for over a decade, and it revolutionised our business from the outset. To this day, it continues to deliver a level of forecasting and accounting that is superior to any alternative solution on the market. So when the time came to switch to a new DMS solution, it was crucial for us to be able to continue benefiting from its real-time financial reporting. Any sustained interruption would have had a significant impact on the business and our daily operations,” explains Clive James, Finance Director for Specialist Cars.

In addition to avoiding disruption to daily financial reporting, Cooper Solutions enabled Specialist Cars to mitigate risk on customer courtesy and demonstration vehicles by ensuring FullCover’s fleet management and daily rate insurance offering was sustained throughout the migration.

Specialist Cars believes that the success of its seamless Drive migration was driven by a team of experts within the Cooper Solutions business, who combine powerful knowledge of state-of-the-art IT systems and algorithms, with a coherent understanding of motor retailing processes. Continues Clive James, “More than just a provider of technology solutions, Cooper Solutions understands motor retailing, delivering bespoke, dedicated services that cater to our needs which strategically support our business. This is why Cooper Solutions continues to be a first choice partner for Specialist Cars.”

Andrew Whicher, General Manager at Cooper Solutions adds, “This successful migration builds on our long-standing relationship of over 14 years. Not only were we able to ensure the smooth, consistent operation of our solutions which Specialist Cars rely upon daily, we were perfectly placed as a consultant to assist them in the mapping of thousands of accounting codes that enabled quick and easy reconciliation of accounts, whilst retaining prior year information.

“This was only achievable because at Cooper Solutions we have a team of passionate motor industry specialists, working with dealers to maximise the benefits of today’s technology in building business profitability, alongside customer loyalty and retention.”

Robins & Day Stays In Control Of Costs With Cooper Solutions

FullFinancials reduces debtor days by 201%

Robins & Day, the largest Peugeot and Citroen dealer group in the UK, with 42 sites nationwide, is enjoying the benefits of Cooper Solutions’ FullForecast and FullFinancials. Celebrating a partnership of 10 years, FullForecast, a financial management system, which has increased staff efficiency, forecasting accuracy and the financial culture of the whole business and FullFinancials, a cash management system, have helped to reduce debtor days by 201%.

Richard Garbutt, Sales Director at Robins & Day, explains, “FullForecast is a fast and easy to use digital solution that has made us, as a business, more robust and our reporting more accurate. Prior to FullForecast we were using Excel spreadsheets which had to be manually filled in by our managers – this was extremely time consuming for them and more crucially, less accurate. It also meant our head office then had over 40 spreadsheets to collate and consolidate each week. With a web based system like FullForecast every level of report is produced automatically, by department, by dealer, by division and group. We now spend time acting on the data, rather than producing it.

“Our line managers also find that using FullForecast enhances their understanding of what’s happening in their departments as they can see exactly what’s happening in real-time, rather than having to extract it directly from the dealer management system. At a glance, they can see revenue, expenses and performance against budget, creating a faster and more streamlined process. The consolidation and transparency of the information it has given us means we’d struggle to operate without it today. It’s at the heart of our forecasting and has become an integral part of how we run our business.”

Complementing FullForecast, is FullFinancials which Simon Lawrence, Director of Finance & Group Strategy for Robins & Day, sees as a key tool for the business. He says, “The FullFinancials Debtor analysis module has had a dramatic effect on our credit control performance. The increased visibility afforded by this solution has helped reduce debtor days by 201%. Our credit control teams now spend more time doing what we need them to do; collecting debt, not collating data.”

Andrew Whicher of Cooper Solutions concludes, “We offer a full suite of tools, which are designed to help businesses like Robins & Day streamline their processes and focus on day-to-day operations. Both FullForecast and FullFinancials collate crucial data into web-based reports that support businesses as they focus on strategic growth through tighter management of revenue and costs.”

Motorline Turns To Cooper Solutions To Digitalise Forecasting

Centralised and paperless solution sees reporting turnaround reduce from
4 days to less than 3 hours

Motorline Group, one of the largest motor groups, has streamlined forecasting and capitalised on released resources to focus on sales and business expansion, by partnering with Cooper Solutions. Using its range of integrated dealer management products, Motorline has created a more agile business that is successfully accelerating continued growth plans for this year.

Motorline represents a wide range of brands, including Volkswagen, Toyota, Lexus Hyundai, Renault and Maserati, and has increased its number of sites from 12 to 50 over the last 5 years With a wide geographic-spread, Motorline needed to be able to gain an overview of its entire network’s forecast in order to maximise growth opportunities and operate efficiently; FullForecast, and FullAccounts from Cooper Solutions has not only achieved this, but radically reduced the man hours previously spent by the business in producing and reconciling reports.

Paul Betts, Financial Director of Motorline Group, explains, “FullForecast provides us with an automated daily financial month-to-date and year-to-date report, including a number of department drill downs, such as vehicles sold and ordered or even labour hours and work in progress. This used to be a manual process for line managers to conduct every 10 days, and would take a good couple of days to compile. Now, it’s done automatically, within hours, and the accuracy means we can plan strategically and react to trends against both budget and forecast, which is vital given the wide geographic spread of the business.”

FullAccounts is an add on feature for FullForecast delivering additional reporting such as profit and loss, balance sheet and model analysis. Introducing FullAccounts has enabled Motorline to consolidate eight separate ledger systems, saving time and improving accessibility to information.

Betts continues: “With 17 management accountants using nominal ledger management, standardisation of the system has ensured consistency across the business. We can access information, at all levels, at the touch of a button. In addition, reporting has been maximised with benefits to the income side of the business, for example, we have better control of bonus income. The professionalism, consistency and ease of the management system ensures it has had complete buy-in at all levels of Motorline.

“Our partnership with Cooper Solutions has been instrumental in taking Motorline closer to becoming a virtually paperless system across the Group. On acquiring new sites, we introduce the products immediately as a matter of course. Teams see the benefits at once rating the them as second to none. In addition, Cooper Solutions continues to develop and improve systems in reaction to our needs, delivering the stability we need to take our business forward.”

Andrew Whicher of Cooper Solutions concludes: “We work closely with retailers like Motorline to help them implement the latest, web-based solutions putting them back in control of their business. Using FullForecast with FullAccounts has given senior managers a helicopter view of the business, producing financial and operational information that can be analysed by dealership, brand, entity and group.”

May 2017