Kuwait City, Kuwait, 31 May 2009: AlGhanim Automotive Group, one of the largest General Motors dealers in the Gulf region, has selected Tagstone as its strategic business partner to assist with the development and enablement of the new business processes at its recently opened service centre, fully integrating the technology solution that would enable the new vehicle service approach.

AlGhanim has implemented Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) at its new improved showroom and workshop recently opened in Kuwait. The new systems based on RFID technology supplied by Tagstone allows AlGhanim to not only manage its vehicle inventory system and streamline processes but greatly improve customer service.

Chadi El Chammas, Division Manager with AlGhanim Automotive, said, “Wireless technology is one of the key factors that allowed AlGhanim to implement the vision of “Creating a Customer for Life”.  RTLS provided our dealership with vital vehicle location information in order to achieve service excellence and improve our internal dealer operational efficiencies.”

AlGhanim’s implementation challenges were focused on scale. Its new service department was about to become larger than its older one. This grand format would give AlGhanim the capability to service an exponential increase in the number of cars.  The business management team needed to create a new way of doing business that would accomplish the primary goal of customer loyalty while balancing this with the operational efficiencies of throughput time.  The formidable scale challenge brought about the opportunity to develop new business processes, which could be enabled by proven, leading-edge technologies.  The business management team was literally designing the facility and the processes from the ground floor, with little to no precedence or guidance from reference implementations.

Within these processes, AlGhanim had two major requirements for its technology solution – RTLS for vehicle tracking and operational efficiencies for service areas. The primary requirement (RTLS) was instantaneous, 100% accuracy for customer vehicle location at service completion. This requirement had the potential to minimize wait time at check-out – a key contributor to customer satisfaction.  The secondary requirement – operational efficiencies for service areas – would help manage process flows and bottlenecks during vehicle servicing.  In essence, the secondary goal would reduce total service throughput time, which would assist with continuing to improve operations and customer satisfaction at the same time.

Tagstone was selected based upon its wireless consulting through systems integration capabilities and its experience within the Gulf States.  With its wireless technology partnerships, Tagstone was able to assemble the “best fit” solution for Alghanim.  Furthermore, Tagstone has several installations that incorporate the challenges of the region’s harsh environment (e.g. extreme heat and sand).

“We were delighted to work with an enterprise with such a strong vision and a commitment to make that vision a reality,” said Mike Meranda, CEO for Tagstone. “The team from the top management down were quite clear on the objectives of the project and worked very closely with the Tagstone team to design and implement a system that would take the AlGhanim service to an entirely new level of efficiency.”

Under the new system, the customer’s vehicle is assigned a WhereNet RTLS tag upon entering the AlGhanim Automotive facility.  The tag is associated with the vehicle’s license plate number (or VIN), which allows direct interface with the company’s ADP Autoline Dealer Management System.  The customer waits for an available Customer Service Agent and the vehicle is received and is checked into the system. From this point onward, the vehicle can be tracked throughout the service process.  By utilizing online control reports, AlGhanim can monitor service areas in order to maximize its service area cycle time and overall throughput.  Once servicing is completed, the car is moved to a garage for cleaning and storage.  The customer is notified and cleared for check-out. Once the check-out process has been completed, the vehicle is instantly retrieved and delivered to the customer.

Founded in the 1940s in Kuwait, AlGhanim Automotive is the area’s exclusive Cadillac, Chevrolet, Hummer, SAAB, and Oshkosh truck dealer. The company consistently ranks in the top level of customer satisfaction ratings in Kuwait.

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