How Hyundai freed its workforce from the office

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How Hyundai freed its workforce from the office
Bala Kothandaran

BI delivered to any device.

Hyundai Australia's management team claims to have boosted the productivity of field sales staff via use of a real time BI dashboard that can be accessed on any device.

The car company's mobile field force connects to a paperless purchase order system via virtual desktops - which is viewed as a compromise between advancing the local operation’s digital DNA, while remaining compliant with the parent company's corporate guidelines.

Bala Kothandaran, general manager of IT for Hyundai, has focused his efforts on using technology to help the company’s 200 employees remain competitive and hold or better the company’s number four position in the Australian market.

Virtual desktops enable 50 percent of company's staff to work on the road as they visit the 160 dealerships around the country.

The move to a virtual environment was prompted by a review of the company’s existing desktops. The IT team identified they could convert the company’s existing fat client PC fleet to a virtual desktop and monitors and still provide the information a mobile workforce needed to be successful. The motor company hosts its VMware virtual desktops on a Nutanix converged infrastructure.

Hyundai Australia has rolled out a near real-time dashboard, which provides summary information of car sales by region, buyer type and model sold, achieved via the writing of data directly from the company’s ERP system to a SQL database.

The BI dashboard has boosted productivity for middle management, which is now free to focus on sales and service delivery.

A more detailed dashboard, which can be accessed from any mobile device, has been provided for the sales team to drive more informed discussions with the dealer network and identify untapped revenue opportunities.

The dashboard, developed in consultation with the sales team, tracks relevant buying cycle indicators such as leads, test drives and sales logs. It further provides a snapshot and drill down by dealer; and can be sliced and diced on the fly while the sales force are on the road visiting dealerships.

Powered by a Microsoft SQL data cube, the information is extracted from multiple sources via an automated data extraction refreshed overnight and delivered to the sales force in an excel spreadsheet on SharePoint.

"The sales force are comfortable using excel and so this provides them with the information they need delivered in a format they can digest," Kothandaran told iTnews.

“Converting to the virtual desktop infrastructure and a virtualised computing platform, combined with tuning and tweaking resources, has helped us to make more efficient use of our technology investments,” he said.

The Hyundai team’s next project is to introduce two-factor authentication for access to these mobile systems, and the team is currently trialling vendors that provide either soft token via a smartphone or a physical token.

“Only a few years ago our sales and invoicing system was paper based," he said. "Now we’ve moved to a paperless office with everything on the system and the system follows the users, so Hyundai staff’s office is anywhere in the world.”

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