Britehouse Automotive adds CRM (customer relationship marketing) and automated marketing to industry-leading dealership management solution (DMS)

South Africa's oldest and most widely used dealership management solution, Automate, provided by Britehouse Automotive, now includes customer relationship management (CRM) and automated marketing functionality.

Launched in the first week of February, the two new solutions in the Britehouse Automotive offering give automotive dealerships and their OEMs the means to link their Automate financials capability with CRM, and to use automated marketing to enhance the effectiveness of both. Both new solutions can also be used as standalone technologies.

"The economy is tight and dealerships need every competitive advantage they can get," says Johnny Aucamp, Director of Sales for Britehouse Automotive. "In today's digitised marketplace, where both vehicles and their owners are equipped with the latest smart technology, the fastest way to impress customers and keep them loyal to your dealership or manufacturer is through superior service, delivered via devices.

"Our new CRM and Automated Marketing solutions enable exactly that – with minimum effort from the dealership."

Having started out as the country's first dealer management solution (DMS) more than three decades ago, Automate has become an industry standard, meeting the financial management needs of 1 200 dealerships and supporting the operational needs of some 10 000 individual users. The solution is currently being used in 22 countries in Africa and the Middle East with at least another seven new countries being targeted this year.

"What we've added now is the ability to track, analyse, and report on customer lifestyle and buying preferences as well as their service and repair records," Aucamp says. "The insights gained in this way have a direct positive impact on a dealership's ability to improve customer service.

"We have also made it possible for companies to target marketing campaigns very tightly around the customer insights gained via the CRM solution – and more effectively manage the conversion of leads into sales.

"In the process, we've freed up sales and service people to focus on what they do best while guaranteeing that the essential administrative work gets done behind the scenes."

Britehouse Automotive acquired Eliance almost two years ago, an IT company birthed in the automotive industry for the specific purpose of continuously enhancing OEM and dealership technology capabilities. Eliance has a powerful track record with a number of major OEMs operating in South Africa and the rest of Africa.

"Bringing these companies on board has given us the means to innovate on behalf of the automotive industry," Aucamp says. "Through Britehouse Automotive, we have a depth of understanding of both the industry and how technology can be best deployed to keep it sustainable. So, any new products and solutions we bring to market will not just meet the very specific needs of the sector but actually help it move smoothly into the digital era."

Additional products planned by Britehouse Automotive will, among other disciplines, address enterprise mobility as this has become a priority for its customers needing to transition into the digital era.