Business Background – What questions DBM 7.0 needs to answer
Today’s dealer organizations are challenged to find their route back to sustainable profits. They need to streamline their processes for higher efficiency throughout the organization, and, at the same time design the customer-facing side of the business around actual customer demands. Reduced complexity and increased integration is required supported by the right transparency for dealer group managers. Knowing where the business makes and where it loses money enables making the right decisions.
In fact, right now is the best time to react and do the homework. The recovering economy and the continuing consolidation in the market provide opportunities for growth into new territories or brands.
The following picture gives a simplified overview of the ecosystem a dealer operates in, with the customer put in the middle of a streamlined operation:
SAP DBM Solution Strategy & Concept
SAP DBM 7.0 is a solution offering based on a state-of-the art technology platform enabling automotive dealerships to:
- Integrate processes across the dealer enterprise
- Horizontal integration, vertical integration, and integration across rooftops eliminates waste, and allows people focus on tasks and processes that actually add value.
- Know their customers throughout their life-time at any time
- A 360° view on customers and their vehicles in DBM helps employees understand the customer’s current situation while talking to him/her on the phone, in the showroom, or in the workshop. Personalized service will increase customers’ satisfaction and the dealer’s share of wallet as “The first vehicle is sold by the salesman; all other vehicles are sold by the service and its quality along the vehicle’s lifecycle”.
- Manage the enterprise operationally, tactically, and strategically
- Providing transparency in daily operations including a realtime view on financials and cash flow is essential to run a dealer enterprise with its large amount of bound capital. In addition an ERP-based dealer management system supports and enables strategic topics such as adding or acquiring new locations even in new countries or brand diversification. Establishing a group wide shared service center for procurement, human resources & talent management or financials and controlling are other strategic activities only an ERP-based system is able to support.
SAP DBM 7.0 Technical Implementation
Integrate processes across the dealer enterprise
SAP DBM 7.0 is a major new software release with numerous new and enhanced business processes. The description below contains only the larger and most important ones. For further details please see our release notes on the service portal:
Vehicle Sales & Administration
New Vehicle Quotation & Order based on a Vehicle Model: The sales representative can now create vehicle quotations and orders for a vehicle model (in DBM 6.0 an actual vehicle master was required). The system determines the price for the model, and any added options, in the model quotation. If the customer decides to accept the offer, the sales representative can use the new extended search capability for existing vehicles (that are not assigned to another customer) with that specification. The sales representative can select one, and assigns the vehicle to the vehicle quotation. If the desired vehicle cannot be found, the sales representative can create a vehicle for the quotation model and the relevant options. The system assigns the vehicle to the vehicle quotation. The system can convert the quotation document to an order.
Integration SAP Vehicle Management System (VMS) & SAP DBM: This new process enables purchasing a vehicle in the vehicle management system and use it later e.g. for service in DBM. In DBM the documents and vehicles created in VMS can be seen and referenced. A new action enhances the VMS vehicle automatically with DBM relevant data, and a sub-screen in the DBM vehicle master displays the VMS vehicle configuration.
Vehicle Lifecycle Management: The vehicle lifecycle state reflects the different phases a vehicle can hold in the dealer and customer relationship. This could be “new”, “used”, “customer vehicle”, and “replacement vehicle”. These states can be set automatically depending on the business transaction and control for example the vehicle valuation class and the G/L account determination.
Suborder: Vehicle service is not always performed by just one dealer location, as some locations within a group are specialized on tasks, such as painting for example. In such a multi-location scenario the dealer who receives the customer order delegates the painting work to the paint shop. Capacity shortages could be another reason for distribution across two or even more locations. In DBM 7.0 such a suborder can be created directly out of the main order to assign the tasks to another location. The suborder for a task in the main order corresponds to a job in the suborder. During the billing process the relevant costs and revenues for the locations are posted to the locations involved.
Subsequent Costs: In some cases the customer is being invoiced before all parts and labor cost (time) are actually posted to the order. With DBM 7.0 these subsequent costs can be reposted from the header internal order to the bill-to party internal order. DBM 7.0 supports changes to the time sheet data after invoice creation, and price differences between the purchase requisition and incoming invoices (for external services with purchase order).
Backorder Processing: The backorder process accelerates execution of waiting service jobs by enabling redistribution of parts quantities, mass availability checks and mass goods movements.
Invoicing & Finance
Multiple Down Payments: In order to keep the cash-flow up, vehicle or service orders with longer lead times might require the dealer to ask for multiple down payments from the customer. It is thus an essential part of the dealer’s day to day business. The down payment is an up-front payment, for example when signing the contract before or after creating the DBM order or quotation. It is cleared when the remaining payment is due (for example before final invoice creation).
Order Cancellation: The new DBM 7.0 cancellation feature checks if the available billing and internal billing documents have reposting chains. You can view the billing and internal billing documents that do not have reposting chains in a new cancellation dialog box. You can decide which billing and internal billing documents you want to cancel.
Know your customers throughout their life-time at the right time
In light of the trends above customers and vehicles are the central and most important master data objects in a dealer system. In SAP DBM 6.0 there is already a comprehensive and flexible vehicle object, and, the ERP standard customer (for sales) and ERP standard vendor (e.g. for trade-in) are tightly integrated in the DBM retail & customer service environment.
In SAP DBM 7.0 these capabilities have been enriched by introducing a new customer object called Business Partner to the solution. This Business Partner is integrated into all business scenarios of SAP DBM, and allows dealers to get a 360 degree view about customers and their vehicles including sales activities, quotations, order history for sales service & parts, invoices, complaints and so on. The Business Partner originates from SAP’s CRM solution, but, is also available in SAP ERP. The usage of the Business Partner in SAP DBM, thus, also supports the further integration in SAP CRM in order to use it, for example, for marketing or interaction center scenarios.
Technically the business partner is a meta layer on top of the ERP customer and vendor. That means, when a new role for a business partner is created, SAP DBM automatically creates a customer/vendor master based on Customer Vendor Integration (CVI) in the background. This integration ensures that partner function and customer master concept remains valid for all standard follow-up processes (such as billing).
A new and easy to use application for maintaining business partner data is available, which is flexible and easy to enhance. It is called DBM Business partner cockpit and provides a single entry point for the sales representative and service advisors allowing them to
Create and edit customer information including a quick create feature
Create and edit relationships
Access the complete DBM 360 degree view (last contacts, DBM orders, vehicles, activities and complaints, storage goods, and credit limit information)
Create vehicles according to the customer’s request with an integrated vehicle quotation process and structured activity management
New Web-Based User Interface
SAP DBM 7.0 introduces a new web-based user interface for the service advisor designed to serve customers more quickly. Efficient handling of customer requests is a key element of success and customer retention. The Web-based work center provides a quick overview of customer and vehicle information and guided procedures to efficiently process service appointments or service orders. Customer and vehicle information, such as e.g. addresses, can also be quickly created or changed.
Another role within the new web-based UI is the backorder processor. This new UI enables the parts clerk to reprioritize and redistribute parts quantities in an easy to use environment that includes mass processing options and other features.
Please see a screenshot example of the new UI below showing the appointment scheduling process: