A partnership for innovative engagement
The best businesses in the world make sure they continually innovate and are engaged by actively seeking feedback from their customers, their suppliers and from their employees.
By doing so they’re able to target their offering to meet customer demands, impress their suppliers to get the best possible deals and run their companies to provide their employees with the right capabilities to do their job.
Paul Convery, Head of BT Business NI, cites Lookers, the stock market-listed automotive retailer and distributor, as a good example of a company that engages more closely than most. Through the adoption of the very latest technology, the lines of communication are now much broader, faster and more accurate and this has helped the company grow to become one of the biggest in a crowded market over the last 100 plus years.
From showcasing stock on the company website, providing Wi-Fi access while customers are waiting for their car to be serviced, ordering parts from suppliers and in many other parts of the business which would have seemed impenetrable to it only a few years ago, technology is now key.
“Wi-Fi, network, internet and telephony are all massively important to us and now underpin everything we do,” Andy Garrett, UK IT Director at Lookers, says. “Obviously all our systems rely on the network, so if this is not available we can’t sell a car.”
The newly appointed IT Service Managers act as a lynchpin between the business and the IT provision at Lookers. Andy is acutely aware of how important technology is to the day-to-day running of the business and how important it is to have a trusted strategic partner to deliver the infrastructure behind it.
That’s where BT Business in Northern Ireland comes in. As Paul says: “BT is providing Lookers with the technical ability to match their ambition. Increasingly businesses are looking for trusted strategic partners to work with them and embed themselves in the business and that’s what working collaboratively allows us to do.
“We have built a framework within which the business can evolve and grow over the coming years.”
Andy says: "BT provides Lookers with a fixed and Wi-Fi network, an IP Telephony and Unified Communications platform and managed services throughout the UK, a range of services which not only keeps the company operating but also opens up the lines of communication from customers to showroom or workshop and back again.
"The network is used more and more each day and has allowed Lookers to improve their customer experience; for instance, they create and send thousands of personable short videos to their customers on how they are servicing their cars and what, if any, work is required. It means everything we’re doing can be accounted for and is clear to see."
That engagement extends to other stakeholders within the company, including its employees and the manufacturers which supply the business. “We are actively trying to engage with all our manufacturers and brands to create collaborative partnerships to achieve operational excellence,” Andy says. “We invest in our employees and equip them with the right tools and technology to do their jobs, so they feel proud about the service they give to our customers.”
That even extends to suppliers like BT with which Lookers has adopted a partnership approach.
“We work with them in an open and collaborative way, to make sure they understand our goals and strategy and build solutions that are right for us.”
The partnership works.
It helps Lookers retain its place as one of the biggest in the motor industry and stay engaged with its customers, so it really is, as its strapline suggests, Lookers, for you, for life.
For further news and insights, join our BT Business & Public Sector Network in Northern Ireland LinkedIn group.