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Author's profile photo Ann-Sofie Lampert

AMAG drives transparency at full speed

Who has not dreamed of owning the perfect automobile? As the largest Swiss importer of Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, AMAG is dedicated to making those dreams a reality. However, a complex commission process was forcing salesmen to spend more time on administration, rather than focusing on the needs of customers.

Alleviating complexity in selling processes

AMAG, the largest Swiss automotive importer and dealer of Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Commercial Vehiclesis is driven by the passion of fulfilling the dreams of mobility of their customers. However, AMAG increasingly recognized the need to improve the complex commission processes overall and to grant an alleviating effect for their salesmen in the different dealerships. These roles have to create a commission for every car sale they handle, which varies according to the car model, the chosen features and optional equipment as well as the discount they offer to customers. All these parameters decide on the final price on which the vendors and purchaser agree in their sales contract. The approval process of the commission, however, is long and complex. To grant relief, AMAG joined forces with the SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center following a scoping workshop with the ultimate goal to complete satisfaction at both ends.

User-centric design paves the way to success

The DCC tackled the challenge by conducting extensive user research and afterwards held a design thinking workshop with representatives of AMAG’s various strategic departments, including HR, IT, Sales, Business Development and dispatchers of the commission as well as salesmen to have users of both sides of the process present. In this interdisciplinary composition they created personas which helped them to gain empathy, a core element of design thinking. This helped them focus on the previously defined personas, which were validated and extended in the workshop.

Even though the scope of the project has been defined as a user interface design for the salesmen, the cross-functional team took the entire process into consideration which triggered them to evaluate and question certain elements of the process, while at the same time revealing the value of transparency as the basis for an optimized and simplified process for all involved roles.

This was the moment in which we realized that design does not come second, but is essential from the perspective of a user. This caused a shift from initial skepticism towards the design thinking method which we had never applied before to pure excitement and endorsement”, reflects Thomas Hasler, Application Manager AMAG.

Based on all insights, the DCC redesigned the process and created interactive prototypes which they validated and optimized with dealerships in Switzerland. The usability tests led to to further refine the designs.

Design is the motor of change

We aimed for a user-friendly, simple, and intuitive solution. Our expectations have been a 100% fulfilled”, recalls Thomas Hasler. “Our solution was positively evaluated by all the car dealers who experienced the benefits of transparency and time reduction”, reflects Matthias Langholz, Strategic Design Consultant, SAP Design & Co-Innovation Center. The solution, an SAP UI5 application, which is already live offers a detailed and transparent view on the calculation of the commission, which presents the salesmen with a strong additional value: They can concentrate on their actual job instead of acting as administrator and also receive their wage faster. Stephan Villiger, Brand Manager Audi at AMAG’s retail branch in Zug, keeps his message to the point: “In short: the system has turned out very well for the salesmen.

The solution also brings a benefit for dispatchers and the brand managers who acted as approvers for the requested commissions. In the new process the dispatchers take on more responsibility for calculating the commission. Apart from that, they obtain more reliable data and have to deal with less inquiries. The support incidents around commissions have been reduced by 65%.

Until the launch of the cockpit all brand managers and salesmen entitled to commission have maintained their own Excel spreadsheets about the status of their commission. This process was exhausting and had resulted in countless inquiries to dispatchers, IT or HR. The cockpit has immensely reduced this effort and the administrative workload within the businesses. Brand managers and salesmen obtain insight into the status of their commission at a glance. Apart from the full overview of commissions for brand managers and salesmen the quality of the files has been optimized. The cockpit has been well received by all parties involved”, reflects Markus Stuber, Business Development Sales AMAG Retail.

The design project has encouraged the dialogue between different parties and created great enthusiasm for design thinking at AMAG. Looking further ahead, AMAG and the DCC will train AMAG’s employees in design thinking to establish this mindset for innovation at the customer.

During the past 1,5 years, AMAG has undergone a significant change and SAP has contributed substantially to our progress. SAP is a leader in data procurement and technology and has made us aware of a challenge we are now ready to take on with the instruments and tools the DCC has equipped us with.” Thomas Hasler, Application Manager AMAG.

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