To continue its fast-paced business growth without sending back-office costs soaring, the Giltrap Group worked with trusted partner FUJIFILM Business Innovation New Zealand (FBINZ) to automate key business processes using Kofax RPA™. Today, the group is saving hundreds of person-hours each year—containing costs and liberating employees to focus on more rewarding, value-added work.
Founded in Matamata, New Zealand in 1966, the Giltrap Group is a family-owned business specializing in everything motoring. Importing and distributing 17 automotive brands across a network of dealerships nationwide, including 12 dealerships owned and operated by Giltrap Group, the group offers new and used car sales, parts and servicing, as well as comprehensive vehicle financing products.
Through its global import and distribution network, the Giltrap Group brings some of the world’s best-known automotive brands to consumers and businesses across New Zealand. With dealerships specialising in Audi, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Jaguar Land Rover and more, the group provides an end-to-end customer service, including vehicle repairs, maintenance and financing.
In recent years, the Giltrap Group has grown significantly, both organically and through acquisition. With manual systems and processes driving each of its businesses, the company realised that operational efficiency would become a significant barrier to continued expansion.
Darren Lee, IT Manager at the Giltrap Group, explains, “To service and repair vehicles for our customers, our dealers need replacement parts from the vehicle manufacturers on a regular basis. In the past, our dealers would submit parts orders to us in our ordering system, and then our back-office employees would re-key that data into the manufacturer’s ordering system. If the work was covered by a warranty, our teams would submit a claim to the manufacturer, and then manually apply the credit back to the dealer—a time-consuming and error-prone processes.”
He continues, “As our business has grown, so has the number of parts we order each month. We realised that further business expansion would require us to onboard new full-time employees simply to handle manual, repetitive data-entry tasks. To avoid those costs and empower our existing teams to focus on higher-value activities, we decided to look for a new approach.”
Inspired by the latest developments in robotic process automation (RPA), the Giltrap Group engaged FBINZ to help streamline its back-office workflows using Kofax RPA.
“FBINZ has supported us for several years with document printing, scanning, digitisation and storage, and we consider them a trusted partner,” recalls Darren Lee. “Working with the FBINZ team helped us to define our requirements for a new RPA solution, and evaluate the leading options on the market.
“Our research convinced us that Kofax RPA was the optimal choice for our new software robots. Not only did Kofax have a proven track-record of success in complex automation projects, the Kofax RPA solution was tightly compatible with legacy systems. Some of our systems are green-screen terminals, so support for heritage environments was a must—and the Kofax solution met that requirement perfectly.”
After demonstrating the Kofax solution to key stakeholders across the organisation—including its service managers, warranty administrators and the group’s executive board—the Giltrap Group IT team began harnessing Kofax RPA to transform its back-office processes.
“During the evaluation and proof-of-concept phase, we gathered dozens of potential automation use cases from across the business,” says Darren Lee. “We felt that the parts processing workflow for our Jaguar Land Rover business was the ideal testbed for automation.”
In the past, a member of the Giltrap Group back-office team would complete back-orders sent by Jaguar Land Rover dealerships by adding the correct stock replenishment parts. The result was a long list of part numbers, which had to be submitted to Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. Each part number and quantity had to be painstakingly entered into Jaguar Land Rover’s web portal, one at a time.
Because the web portal lacked a save option and would time out quickly if left idle during the data-entry process, the employee had to key every part number into the Jaguar Land Rover system in a single session. On some days, the data-entry process could take as long as two hours to complete.
“Using Kofax RPA, we’ve designed a robot that automates the tedious and repetitive aspects of the parts ordering workflow, while allowing our employee to apply his expertise to the process,” explains Darren Lee. “Today, our employee reviews and creates each order in our internal system. He formats a file containing the correct part numbers and quantities and submits the order to the Jaguar Land Rover portal using hotkey scripts.”
By partnering with FBINZ to deploy Kofax RPA, the Giltrap Group is racing toward its efficiency goal.
“On average, the parts ordering process for our Jaguar Land Rover business took our back-office employee around 45 minutes per day, and occasionally as long as two hours,” comments Darren Lee. “Thanks to Kofax RPA, we’ve slashed the time down to just seven minutes per day—an average of 84 percent faster. Better still, we’ve eliminated the risk of human error, which helps to ensure that our dealers can service vehicles for our customers in a timely manner.”
Inspired by the success of its first automation use case, the Giltrap Group has harnessed Kofax RPA to enhance its back-office processes in its Porsche business.
Ehrin Wardlow, Service Support Manager at Porsche New Zealand, explains, “Each month, we receive around 400 warranty claims from our Porsche dealers, which we pass through to the manufacturer and then credit back to the dealers. Each of these claims can involve anything from one to 200 components, which must be submitted to Porsche for processing.”
He continues, “In the past, manually re-keying this data took me between two to four hours a day, which was a significant distraction from the key value of my role: supporting and upskilling our dealership partners. By working together with FBINZ, we’ve now launched an advanced software robot that drives the process automatically, with only a minor amount of human supervision.”
Each morning, Kofax RPA builds a list of dealership claims from the previous day, and then automatically reconciles each claim with the associated invoice in the company’s accounting system. Next, the back-office team validates that the data in the file matches the information in the accounting system, and then issues the credit note to the dealer.
“If we wanted to, we could automate the entire warranty claims process from end-to-end, but we chose to keep a final human review stage in the workflow as an additional check and balance,” adds Ehrin Wardlow. “In the past, the warranty claims process could consume half of my working day, but now I can finish in half an hour or less—around 87 percent faster than before. Recently, we took the robot offline for a month to reconfigure it for some changes that Porsche made to its website. The robot processed 30 days of claims in just 24 hours—a workload that would have taken a human half a month of full-time work to complete.”
Looking ahead, the Giltrap Group plans to continue its automation journey. The company is currently working with FBINZ to streamline the process of capturing and filing photos of vehicles taken as part of the servicing process, and predicts that the Kofax RPA solution will help it accelerate back-office tasks further still.
“Our work with FBINZ and Kofax RPA is empowering us to create a lean and efficient back office, which will help us to grow the business without sending costs soaring” concludes Darren Lee.