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Low code in automotive services

Transforming Automotive Services Through Intelligent Automation

Mendix / Success Story

Transforming Automotive Services Through Intelligent Automation

In the Netherlands, the complex regulations surrounding car imports can be daunting for car owners. VDS Automotive Group, a company specializing in the import, export, and wholesale of automobiles, has become a trusted partner in this intricate field thanks to its commitment to innovation and efficiency. Recognizing the need to modernize and streamline operations, VDS embarked on a digital transformation journey, leveraging the Mendix low-code platform and AWS to develop customized software solutions that enhance service delivery and operational transparency.

One of the major hurdles VDS faced was the cumbersome, paper-based processes that slowed down operations. The small IT team struggled with outdated methods that often led to miscommunication and errors. To overcome these challenges, VDS chose the Mendix platform for its simplicity and adaptability, which allowed them to develop applications much faster than traditional coding methods and with fewer resources.

“We relied mainly on Excel and email. There were separate systems made specifically for cars, stock management, even workshop planning. There was a lot of miscommunication,” says IT Manager at VDS Automotive, Lourens Akkerman.

The transformation began with the development of several applications aimed at improving different aspects of their business. For example, they developed a document processing application that was rolled out in just three months, significantly improving the management of vehicle importation documents. This app, called the VDS Import Portal (VIP), provided a streamlined way for users to submit requests, receive quotes, and track the status of their transactions, all integrated seamlessly with payment solutions and compliance checks with the Netherlands Vehicle Authority.

Furthermore, VDS addressed the need for accurate tax calculations for imported vehicles by creating the BPM Calculator, a native mobile app that simplifies and speeds up the calculation process. This innovation not only served their clients better by offering a free tool for tax calculations but also responded swiftly to regulatory changes, demonstrating the agility that digital tools can provide.

Custom Low-Code Solutions Driving Change

VDS also tackled internal efficiency by developing a custom CRM system within four months. This system became a central source for managing customer information and interactions, reducing the need for repetitive tasks and improving data accuracy and accessibility. The flexibility of the Mendix platform enabled VDS to tailor the system precisely to their operational needs and user feedback, further enhancing functionality and user satisfaction.

The strategic adoption of Mendix and AWS has not only solved immediate operational challenges for VDS but also set a foundation for continuous improvement and innovation. The integration between these platforms ensures that VDS can maintain lean operations, with scalable solutions that support both current needs and future growth. The capability to develop applications in-house has empowered VDS employees, giving them tools to innovate and transform their workflows effectively.

As VDS Automotive looks ahead, the roadmap includes further exploration of digital solutions to replace manual processes, such as advanced document and invoice management using AWS services. The journey of digital transformation at VDS highlights the powerful combination of visionary leadership and cutting-edge technology in driving business success and customer satisfaction in the dynamic automotive industry.

(Image by senivpetro on Freepik)