Sandown Group

Bespoke Quality Control Platform

#software #internal #reporting #management #data

The Sandown Group are proud representatives of the prestigious Mercedes-Benz brand. With beautiful dealerships and well equipped, modern workshops across the south of England, they are dedicated to sourcing the perfect vehicle for each customer and maintaining it to the highest standards - as you’d expect from Mercedes Benz.

Having accurate, digestible and reportable data is critical to the success of any business, no matter how large or small, how new or established. The management team of Sandown’s after-sales department understands this and came to us with a request to streamline their workshop’s quality control reporting process, with a view to using the more accurate data to drive decisions on expansion and further growing the business.

Until now, the tracking and reporting of their vehicle technicians performance was a manual task of taking notes with a pen and paper, then transferring these notes to a spreadsheet which was submitted to management at the end of each month.

Each month a new spreadsheet needed to be duplicated, cleared down and prepared ahead of the new reporting month kicking off, and the data from the previous month’s sheet digested and entered into a larger ongoing spreadsheet. Often the team needed to dig through historical data which required retaining years worth of old spreadsheets and archives.

The management team’s main requirements were to:

  • Simplify the input of quality control data for the workshop team
  • Simplify the reporting process for the back-office team
  • Improve the quality of the generated reporting
  • Provide near-real-time snapshots of the captured data

We also identified some areas of improvement that could be improved by implementing a custom tracking platform, such as:

  • Reduced reliance on potentially fragile spreadsheets
  • Easily identifying trends and training opportunities from the data
  • Providing easily digestible visualizations
  • The ability for the workshop team to enter QC data using a hand-held tablet rather than using a pen/paper and transferring to a spreadsheet using a PC

As with all software projects, our first step was to spend time with the back office team to document the current process, its strengths and weaknesses and to identify pain points and any potential pitfalls that could prevent us from being able to replace their system. We then also discussed the process with the workshop team - after all, they’d be using the system just as much as, if not more than, the back office team.

Once we had a full understanding of what both teams were trying to accomplish and the data and technologies we had available to us, we could spend time exploring some potential solutions.

Given that this project was undertaken at the height of the pandemic, most of the Sandown team (and ours) were working exclusively from home. Working closely with Sandown’s IT team, we were able to undertake most of the work remotely with only a couple of in-person training sessions and meetings required.

We explored a few options (including building a custom mobile app) and finally landed on building a client/server solution with a web front end. This allowed us to deploy the application within Sandown’s own infrastructure, protected by their VPN and IT team, but still allow the workshop teams in each of the dealerships to access and update the centralised data whilst also enabling the back-office team to report on this data across each or all sites in real-time.

Since rolling this platform out across the existing sites, Sandown has grown again, bringing on two more dealerships, each with their own workshop teams. The nature of the solution we developed has meant that adding these new dealerships required little more than logging in to the back office console and completing a form. The simplified input process has improved accuracy and adoption, whilst the reporting facilities have increased confidence and allow the management team to quickly make decisions for the business.

YANDA’s approach was methodical, efficient and thorough. We’re already seeing the benefits of the solution they have provided for us and are looking forward to working with YANDA again very soon.

Jo Golden
Group Aftersales Manager, Sandown Group

Jo Golden

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