Heartland Motors Case Study

  Heatland pic      Heartland quote

IT Transformation

Approaching its 50th year in business, Heartland Motors has been transforming its IT operations. With the help of Somerville / ISNet, Heartland Motors has significantly improved the performance, security and reliability of IT, reduced operating costs and freed up resources to focus on projects with greater strategic value.

A Completely Different Place

Somerville / ISNet has been working with Heartland Motors for more than five years, developing a great relationship as its trusted advisor. Over the past two years both companies have collaborated on a series of projects to removelegacy systems and implement best practice standards across the organisation. As a result, Group IT Manager Michael Casey has witnessed a fundamental transformation at Heartland Motors: "It's a completely diff erent place."

With 280 staff and nine locations across Western Sydney, including a centralised administration facility and parts distribution operations, Heartland Motors had been struggling with an underperforming network and decentralised infrastructure. It has a complex set of business relationships, including partnerships with 15 automotive manufacturers. Heartland Motors also transacts with a network of suppliers, distributors, dealers, insurance, banking and finance companies.

"We are heavily reliant on our IT systems and processes to function as a business. If any part in the chain breaks, like printing, it has an immediate impact. Without printing, our parts business can't process orders, and our sales people would have trouble writing up a manual contract," says Casey.

This was placing a lot of pressure on support resources, and creating productivity issues and outages which were having a direct impact on revenues.

The network also needed to be highly available so Heartland Motors could connect into its core dealer management system (DMS). DMS downtime translates into direct business loss in the hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour.

In the highly-competitive and time-critical automotive parts business, any inability to fulfil an order is more than just lost revenue, it also risks losing the customer.

"We have eight people in our parts call centre speaking to panel beaters, car repairers and dealerships from around Australia. If we can't supply a part as promised, the customer will pick up the phone and call one of our competitors. It's so quick to lose them," explains Casey.Heartland

Simplifying IT

Over the past two years, Somerville / ISNet has been helping Heartland Motors simplify its IT infrastructure and streamline operations.

Legacy servers that were out at each site have been consolidated and virtualised at Heartland's head offi ce. A new Microsoft Exchange email environment has been deployed and an upgrade completed for the remote workstations in use throughout Heartland Motors' wide area network (WAN).

A new highly available fibre network and upgraded switches have been deployed to each Heartland Motors site, running on Somerville / ISNet's fully-managed network and Firewall-as-a-Service solution.

"We have complete confidence in the reliability of our network and the security of our systems and data," said Casey.

"Before the changes, it was really diffi cult to diagnose and fix problems quickly. We couldn't leave anyone alone in the offi ce – the phone would go nuts. And weekend support was really hard work. Now, on weekends we hardly get a call."

Furthermore, Heartland Motors has additional support and resources with the Somerville / ISNet Service Desk Team. The Service Desk supplements Heartland Motors' in-house IT skills and provides invaluable expertise when needed to solve more complex technical issues.

Strategic Focus

Having the IT fundamentals in place has given Casey and his team the opportunity to focus on more strategic activities, including a review of its service agreements.

That strategic review of its various services, including telecommunications, has generated significant savings for Heartland Motors.

Another key strategic focus for Heartland Motors is mobility.

"We want our people to have everything they need to do their job at their fingertips," said Casey.

Extensive wireless networking is being deployed as the first phase, with plans to introduce WiFiphones and tablet devices both for sales people and at the service driveway to increase service responsiveness, customer experience and meet manufacturers' CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) expectations.

Enabling greater mobility for its sales people is anticipated to significantly reduce the cost to Heartland Motors for each prospect who walks into one of its dealerships. In addition to reducing the cost per prospect, mobility is expected to improve the customer experience translating into higher conversion rates.

More than just making life easier for Heartland Motor's IT Team, Casey highlights the engagement with Somerville / ISNet as a true partnership.

"Our industry is a complex one, and no two dealerships are the same. Somerville has really strong automotive industry knowledge and expertise, and we've seen a huge benefit from the Team's perspective and insight."

"The Somerville Team is outstanding."

Somerville / ISNet is a Leading Managed Services and Technology Provider. Our unparalleled expertise gained over the past 30 years allows us to deliver technically elegant, best-in-class solutions. Public and private cloud services are deployed over our managed network - a diverse, resilient and secure ecosystem. As trusted partner for many organisations we guarantee reliable, intuitive, responsive technology solutions for today and the future.

"The Somerville Team is outstanding."

www.somerville.com.au | 1300 209 233 | info@somerville.com.au

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