Digital Transformation at the Car Dealership

How the WIEST Group leverages EMA to fully digitize service records.

With an annual revenue of around 150 million Euros and about 340 employees, the WIEST Group is one of the leading car dealerships in Germany. Operating in Darmstadt and Bensheim, the company represents top brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda, and Porsche, offering a full spectrum of services including repairs, maintenance, tuning, and accessories. Established in 1896, WIEST has thrived as an independent, family-owned business, priding itself on implementing cutting-edge processes and promoting a strong sense of autonomy across its divisions.

The WIEST Group processes warranty claims for the car manufacturers it represents. This involves generating a host of documents and records depending on the case, ranging from initiating repair orders, making warranty inquiries to the manufacturer, to ordering parts, notes hand-written by mechanics, or photos documenting potential damages. Such a case can quickly accumulate ten to twenty different types of documents. And due to the unique nature of workshop operations, paper documents remain indispensable and are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The Tedious Task of Managing Paper Documents

In the past, these paper documents were meticulously filed in folders—a crucial practice for the regular audits conducted by car manufacturers. However, this approach had significant drawbacks. For starters, storing these documents required a lot of space and careful consideration of the storage environment to prevent damage from moisture.

But an even bigger issue was the time-consuming nature of manual searches. For example, if an auditor wanted to see a particular document, it sometimes had to be fetched from a storage room at another location. And even when the right folder was already on hand, it often had to be searched through multiple times to locate the desired document.

These challenges were more than enough for team leader Norbert Fischer to push for digitization in the dealership, even in this area:

We had made early attempts at digitizing our records, which were quite cumbersome. But we were convinced of the potential benefits of going digital. That's why we decided to tackle this issue head-on.

EMA: The Go-To Data Management and Security System

Choosing the right technology partner was a relatively easy decision for the folks at WIEST Autohaus. They were already using EMA by ARTEC IT Solutions for managing and securely archiving their email communication. Expanding this archive system seemed like the next logical step. A closer look at the additional capabilities EMA offered as a comprehensive data management and security system quickly revealed it could meet all their needs across the board. Fischer, in particular, emphasized the importance of security. The goal was to establish a central system where data could be stored, secured, and retrieved at any moment.

In the world of auto dealerships, the security of backups and stored data is a matter of utmost sensitivity. There have been several major cyber-attacks on dealerships in the past, some perpetrated with so-called ransomware. These attacks often crippled operations for weeks—a nightmare scenario that we were determined to avoid at all costs. This was one of the key reasons why ARTEC's security concept won us over. With EMA, we're able to store data in a way that ensures it's protected against manipulation and completely inaccessible to unauthorized parties or potential cyber-attacks.

For the digitization of its warranty documents, WIEST decided to collaborate with Image Pro, a specialist offering professional scanning services. Opting not to scan the documents in-house was a deliberate choice influenced not only by the sheer volume of documents but also by the guarantee of consistent high quality provided by an external provider. This process includes checking the physical documents for any problems like dog-eared pages or obscured sections, thereby enhancing the data quality. Additionally, the scanning service manages the proper, GDPR-compliant destruction of the paper documents.

Quick Access Using Full-Text Search

Accessing the files stored on digital storage is seamless, thanks to EMA's efficient full-text search capability. Whether searching by order number, chassis number, or customer number, the needed documents are displayed in mere seconds—a significant improvement over previous methods, where each search could average up to five minutes. This efficiency is a boon not just for audits but has also greatly pleased WIEST Group’s staff. Necessary documents are now instantly accessible, making the process effortless. The user-friendly nature of EMA also means that the IT department didn't have to devise extensive documentation or hold detailed training sessions.

EMA stands out as a system that pleasantly surprises. In our experience, few solutions are as stable and reliable. It's also maintenance-free for administrators.

WIEST is on a path to further expand its digitization efforts. The goal is to keep paper documents only as long as it takes to complete the respective process, like a warranty claim, for example. Additionally, there's a plan to integrate EMA's full-text search capability directly into Outlook. This will enable staff to access all necessary documents based on their individual permissions directly. To protect privacy, the dealership has already implemented a four-eye principle within EMA for email archiving, ensuring no unauthorized data access.

Central Storage Hub for All Relevant Data

We view EMA as the central hub for storage within our corporate group. We strive to store all information and documents there whenever possible, making them available through the full-text search.

Data Management and Security with EMA
  • EMA S400
  • VSTOR Vault Storage
  • Modules in use: EMA Mail, EMA File, and EMA Scan

Key Takeaways at a Glance

  • Introduced a central data management system
  • Digitized workshop documents
  • Legally compliant archiving of email communications
  • Quick retrieval of relevant information and documents during audits
  • Implementation with an emphasis on IT security and data protection

Wish to Know More? We're Here to Assist!

Birgit Würtele

Christian Wieck

Michael Niehoff

Sasa Mitrovic

Keen to discover more about EMA's capabilities and uses? We'd be delighted to present EMA in a live demonstration. We eagerly await your enquiry!

Many thanks for your enquiry! It has been successfully received and we will respond at the earliest opportunity.
An error happened whilst sending the form. Please check your details and try again.