Select Car Leasing
Building a procurement team the right tools for the job
The legacy software used by the procurement team to manage leasing deals caused frustration, errors and anxiety on a daily basis
UX design, UI design, Front-end development, Ruby on Rails, React, Talend, Custom API
The new system improves efficiency, is more intuitive, saves hours of time on a weekly basis and allow the team to do their job without the anxiety the old tools gave them
Stop. Collaborate and listen
Our initial workshop with the team quickly highlighted some core areas of frustration with the legacy system. Some were immediately obvious such as corrupt data making its way into the interface. We knew that once documented these would be fixed in our build process. There were however a number of larger and more complex problems that would be harder to both understand and resolve.
It became evident that many processes and work flows performed by the team were done so unconsciously it was really difficult for anyone to articulate them. To better understand we prioritised a series of observational interviews of core team members performing essential parts of their routine work flows. We sat, watched and listened as team members talked us through what they were doing. The simplicity of this process is deceptive – without fail it’s always hugely valuable and gives our team necessary insight. Based on what we’d learnt we were then able to prototype and iterate on potential solutions based on a real person with a real job to be done, not our own assumptions.
Taking time to ask more questions and listen more carefully enabled us to make sure the solutions we adopted led to the desired outcomes.
One particular source of regular anxiety and unnecessary stress for the team came from various areas of broken functionality. We found a number of examples where team members were afraid to perform certain actions for fear of the software breaking. This led to certain elements of the interface being avoided altogether. It was a great reminder of the psychological impact a piece of software can have a team reliant on it for their work.
‘If you save a deal without an expiry date you lose everything 😫’
The procurement team were so familiar with the current set up we had to be careful to consider which areas we should aim to simply improve the basic functionality versus areas we could bring something new to the party. We had to be mindful that every core flow we re-worked actually added to the teams workload in the transition period and we could easily end up in a scenario where we unintentionally created different (albeit new) issues for them.
Do you really need to be doing that?
The team were used to certain processes consuming hours of their time in data verification and the importing of new deals. We saw a number of opportunities where the application could handle these tasks and so where we could automate processes we did. We built a separate application that used Tallend to import vehicle data imports and funder rate books on a regular basis into the main Rails application freeing up hours of the teams time on a weekly basis.
This automation of a few key tasks freed up the team to focus on the most valuable parts of their job – procuring the best deals for their customers. The new import process also meant the data was less prone to error.
Those legacy data issues didn’t just affect the procurement team. We saw how they directly impacted other areas of the business and caused unnecessary friction between teams. Team members were having to waste time second guessing the data they were given. By correcting these errors and simplifying the UI in areas they were communicated we were able to give more confidence in the data.
What we heard: ‘The team lose confidence in the price of a deal’ What we did: Made data imports cleaner and more accurate.
What we heard: ‘For each new deal you have to enter the information six times’ What we did: Dealer assignment is now more intelligent, and addresses auto populate.
The procurement team have a large work load. Leasing deals within the business are split between a number of roles but these delineations also need to be fluid. The new system allowed deals to be quickly assigned to particular team members in new flexible ways. For team leaders this allows better balancing of work loads. For all team members this means being presented with only the deals they are responsible for. The road map for the product includes plans to expand on the team assignment and explore how reporting may improve work flows.
What we heard: ‘You had to scroll through every deal to find the one you want’ What we did: Improved deal management through assignment, faster search and filtering.
We made data imports cleaner and more accurate
Dealer assignment is now more intelligent, and addresses auto populate
Improved deal management through assignment, faster search and filtering