Women meeting at car dealership

Fortune500 Auto Retailer Streamlines Shared Services with a Custom ServiceNow App

The landscape of automotive retail is continuing to evolve as new technologies emerge. Rideshares like Uber and Lyft have become ubiquitous in urban centers around the US. Yet, the demand for new cars equipped with cutting-edge technology has stayed steady throughout most of the country.

This automotive retailer is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Fortune500, with locations all over North America. Knowing they’ll face increasing pressure as consumer demands shift and technology evolves, they set out to streamline their internal operations, priming themselves for growth and success over the next few years.

The retail industry as a whole has undergone considerable change over the past decade; these trends are intensifying due to the 2020 pandemic. Government regulations, store closures, supply chain disruptions, and a dive in consumer confidence all spell trouble for the retail industry, yet these concerns aren’t concentrated in a single sector of the economy. 94 percent of Fortune 1000 companies are experiencing disruption to their supply chain as a result of COVID-19.

Clearly defined business operations, an empowered employee base, and concrete metrics that are being tracked to inform business decisions are crucial for all companies looking to navigate the future. This company set out to do just that, choosing to empower its Shared Services department with a Custom ServiceNow app that would automate workflows and help them punch through to higher efficiency.

An IT Implementation Plants the Seed for Wider ServiceNow Adoption

The company had a previous ServiceNow IT implementation under their belt and now set out to automate and separate their Shared Services workflows from their broader IT workflows. The goal was to provide a single point of entry for their Shared Services associates and reduce friction for the user.

Acorio was recommended to the company by ServiceNow, who knew they’d need an experienced, industry-focused partner to help them realize their goals.

Stakeholders in the company’s IT department had already recognized the power of ServiceNow, so Acorio worked together with the organization to identify the need for a Custom App in ServiceNow’s Agent Workspace that would automate workflows and reduce entropy for their Shared Services department. The agents who would ultimately use the new tool would be supporting the entire business, including daily operations for all departments, especially financial operations such as loan transactions and processing.

From Emails to Custom App

This project was especially important because the Shared Services organization didn’t have any special technology. They relied on email to communicate and take in dealer requests, which left them with no visibility into what kind of requests were coming in, how long they took to resolve, and if any follow up was needed. A new Custom App would provide them with workflows to automate these processes and greatly increase their efficiency and ensure every request is completed.

Together, the retailer and the Acorio team set out to:

  • Create an intuitive user interface for Shared Service and Facility administrators to process workflow related activity through the Agent Workspace platform.
  • Consolidate requests in a single pane for administration.
  • Reduce email clutter and the possibility of missed requests and increased visibility around personnel utilization through reporting.

As the Acorio team dug deeper into the project, it became clear there would be two distinct populations that would be using the finished app to complete different tasks. Acorio remained flexible throughout the project, working with the company to adhere to best practices and stay OOTB, ultimately deciding to implement two separate apps to avoid heavy customizations and give each team the functionality they deserved.

The Custom Apps were created using Agent Workspace, a new feature introduced in ServiceNow’s New York upgrade that provided the capabilities the company sought.

The company now has two Custom Apps within ServiceNow to provide Case Management for Shared Services and Facilities. Email has been integrated so that users can still submit requests in the format most familiar to them, but now those emails are routed to the correct agents and prioritized according to set workflows that ensure a uniform process across the company.

Using this solution, the Shared Services agents experience greater visibility, improved efficiency, and reduced time to resolution. They’re even empowered to identify major incidents now that they have total visibility across the department with a single pane of glass.

The company rolled out the new solution in stages, introducing it to a few users at a time so that they could test for issues and ensure user adoption; they also took advantage of Acorio’s Virtual Assistant (AVA) services for post-go-live support and enhancements.

Now that the roll-out has been completed, the company has newfound visibility into daily operations, including what kind of requests are coming in, how long they take to resolve, what follow-up is needed, and more. Having this insight will help them avoid inefficiencies and major incidents, allowing them to be proactive instead of reactive as they grow and expand in the future.

Future ServiceNow Plans

The company’s Shared Services and Facility departments now have a single point of entry to view requests, allowing them to view all of their assignments and progress, automate tasks, and document their work.

It’s impossible to overstate the advantage this type of visibility grants the modern enterprise – streamlining business processes and unlocking insight is crucial to mitigate risk and stay agile in the new decade.

For this company, rethinking operations and achieving agility was crucial to stay competitive. They recognized that car-sharing and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are a reality, yet consumers will stay cognizant of technology advances and continue to purchase new vehicles with an increasing desire for the latest technology.

What’s next on the roster for this automotive retailer? An upgrade to Orlando with an eye on making ServiceNow a platform throughout the entire organization.