This blog belongs to the overall introduction blog about the About The New, New Automotive Dealer Portal. We would like to give you an overview on the features and function for vehicle sales management, as available per the Business Package “Automotive Dealer Portal for Vehicle Management 1.4“.
When dealers purchase vehicles, they must have access to the systems of the importers and OEMs. The quality of this access significantly impacts the effectiveness of the cooperation between dealers and importers. Are dealers able to access the supply chain of the importers quickly and comprehensively for their needs, can they see planned vehicles, unsold vehicles in production or e.g. used returns from fleet customers, are they able to place orders earlier for a vehicle than waiting for the moment when finished vehicles leave the assembly plant. Backorder processing should become an exception, no more complex change of open sales order items with individual vehicles. Search capabilities across the whole pipeline should not lead to an empty table. The dealers will work within the pipeline of the OEM and importer network and reduce their efforts to check for vehicles in other channels.
- When the creation of a customer order for one or multiple vehicles becomes a matter of a few clicks and optimized data keying, the efficiency will increase. Fewer errors will result and the process is more transparent to all entities.
- Can the dealers track those vehicles all along the way to their lots, are they informed immediately on changes – changes to configuration and logistics, allowing them to inform their customers and adjust and optimize their daily activities more efficiently.
- If the vehicle model configuration including prices and conditions is actual and valid, sources of failure and in particular corrections and additional information requests become obsolete.
- Dealers should have access through the Internet and just need a web browser, so no further software needs to be installed at the dealers’ sites for vehicle ordering. All data shall always be available and be always correct.
These benefits for vehicle sales management can be achieved through the use of the automotive dealer portal. This automotive dealer portal is operated by the OEM, importer or wholesale organization as a web-frontend of their own SAP ERP solution for their retail network. The automotive dealer portal offers role-based and web-enabled user interfaces and functionality of the SAP Vehicle Management System, tailored for the role of automotive dealers.
And, how does the new Business Package “Automotive Dealer Portal for Vehicle Management” look?
Let’s check the functionality and take a close look at it. Just not to forget, I’m accessing the business package through the SAP Enterprise Portal.
On the left hand side, you see the navigation panel. There are three sections: “detailed navigation”, below that is “services“, I will explain the purpose a bit later in this blog, and “Portal Favorites”, this one should be clear for you.
Detailed Navigation: Work Overview
The work set “work overview” is displayed in the content area.
Here you see the central overview of tasks that are derived out of my user settings and assignments. This central overview includes a powerlist of vehicles that
- Have reservations, done by my dealer organization ‘DEALER’
- Are assigned to my customers
- Belong to incoming and outgoing transfers from other dealers
- Will arrive at my lot soon.
From here, relevant vehicles for each category are listed. I select a vehicle in the list and work with it by the execution of a user action.
The user actions are context sensitive (remember, in the old dealer portal this was always a long list and untrained users often did the “try&error” way), and only possible actions can be selected from the drop-down box.
Below the Work Overview, is the
Work Set “Vehicles”
The vehicles work set starts with the search screen for vehicles. Let us see whether I can find a suitable vehicle for our customer, the end customer:
First, we select one or more vehicle models from the drop-down list and enter additional data.
In addition to the vehicle configuration – what you see on the right side of the content area -, further vehicle data explain the supply chain status of a vehicle. I can search for vehicles based on their planned delivery dates (that date could be set by the assembly plant) or other logistic data, e.g. status information like “ordered”, “sold” or across vehicle locations what can be a storage location but could also be something like “under way to custom stock in Singapore” and so on. These statuses are the same as in the SAP Vehicle Management System, the backend system. The search goes across the vehicle database, and is pre-filtered through user authorization settings done for my user and role to keep control what dealers can see and what has to stay importer internal.
Found vehicles are listed in a table.
- Define different views on the vehicle list so that columns are sorted as appropriate and fields are hidden/displayed in the way I need it for my work purposes. If required, I can also download this list to MS Excel.
- Display details of a selected vehicle: vehicle data, configuration, history, sales price details and attached documents.
- Trigger a user action to place a sales order for selected vehicles, copy vehicle configuration for new vehicle creation or place a reservation for the vehicle; that’s done in the same way as it is available in the SAP Vehicle Management System.
To order one of the found vehicles for a customer, I select a vehicle and then select the user action “Create sales order for vehicle”. I’m asked to enter necessary and further order and vehicle data.
A sales order for my dealer account will be placed in the backend system, I just need to click on the “execute” button.
This vehicle is than added to the “vehicles scheduled for delivery” category in the work overview iview.
Let’s see what else is there:
Work Set “Documents”
In the navigation panel, click on the work set “Documents”:
Documents mean ERP SD sales orders and inquiries. Here you can search for sales orders and inquires that are created for your dealer account. Inquiries can be used just to store customer demand; the customer may return later to the showroom and will complete the configuration then and hopefully order a vehicle. The inquiry can be copied to a sales order and the chosen configuration is taken to create a new vehicle. Inquiries can also be used as a template to accelerate the configuration of vehicles, mainly used for complex vehicle configurations – in this situation users don’t have to start from scratch.
To complete the close look at the navigation panel – let me spend some time on
First of all, these services have nothing to do with enterprise services or service bundles (as you may think): The three entries are kind of simple shortcuts for this business package.
- New configuration: you can start the business process with the definition of a new configuration, and from there, check for price details, including your rebates and surcharges, search for vehicles or create new vehicles.
- Create end customer: you can start the business process with the creation of your customer, create sales orders, inquiries and vehicles as a second step. Sales documents and vehicles are put into relation with your end customer.
- Personalization: This is the link to make a few settings for your user.
Is this enough information for a first overview on the new Business Package Automotive Dealer Portal for Vehicle Management? It has a compelling look and is easy to use, right?
What else is for your interest?
I hear you asking … how is this house built? How can it be extended so to say “customized”? What about user settings and further personalization? Well, this is another blog.
Until then, all the best,