Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) needed a new way to test brand compliance across its global retailer network. Together, we created a cloud-based platform that reduced the need for physical visits, saving JLR time and reducing costs.
To protect its reputation as a premium automotive brand, JLR needs to protect the complete brand experience for all stakeholders, including customers, prospective customers, suppliers and dealers. Simply producing luxury cars isn’t enough.
JLR’s network of retailers is one of the most tangible representations of the brand. It’s crucial that retailer sites match the expectations of what the brand stands for, offering customers luxury, efficiency, smart design and excellence from sales through to aftercare.
To ensure these standards are met, JLR runs a global retailer compliance programme where physical visits are conducted to verify compliance with its brand and operating criteria. The programme is indispensable, but it is highly manual, and very complex to manage and coordinate.
JLR was therefore keen to explore new data- and technology-enabled methods. that would use automation to drive operational efficiencies. The organisation needed access to real-time insights, so it could identify issues or trends and take swift remedial action.
COVID-19 accelerated the need to develop and implement a digital approach. This would enable remote working and help keep employees safe by reducing physical interaction between each dealership and the assessors.
“It has been truly inspiring to work with a prestigious client that shares the same passion and values around innovation, collaboration and excellence. The working relationship has been so good that I think an outsider would genuinely struggle to know who was from JLR and who was from PwC. We were all in it together, and the exciting part is that this is just the start of our journey.”
The objectives were to:
We set out to build a platform that measures retailer self-assessments against recognised and agreed compliance standards. The system would need to:
We brought together a remote, multidisciplinary team with the right balance of project management, business and technical capabilities. Our ‘design thinking’ approach to the whole project meant we had a strong focus on the needs of the people using the system. To achieve this goal, we hosted regular, collaborative workshops that maintained engagement and involvement with stakeholders across global markets.
As we learnt more about JLR’s business, we created new features that would deliver enhanced value – both at a corporate level and for the compliance team. For example, the tool is able to automatically bring in and analyse data from JLR’s central systems to autocomplete parts of the assessment.
For the launch, we ran global virtual roadshows and training sessions to get the markets and regional teams up to speed with the platform.
“Adapting to COVID-19 realities challenged us to increase our digital capabilities so that we manage the retailer standards compliance programme remotely...The programme has been delivered on time, quality and budget – a remarkable achievement in the face of COVID-19 adversity. Aside of the business benefits, we have been most impressed by the good nature and professionalism of the PwC team, their passion and pride to deliver a high-quality job, and their responsiveness throughout the engagement.”
Together we achieved all the original objectives of the project. For example, the integration of our platform with other JLR systems, together with the use of data analytics, helped to drive intelligent automation, such as smart scheduling of assessments.
The digitised programme has created a blueprint for future compliance projects, enabling JLR to assure brand quality and excellence in other areas of its business. We are continuing to work together to pilot new ideas and innovations in key areas of its operations.
We had to establish, manage and optimise a joint working team during the height of the initial pandemic lockdown. This required us to take a step back and replan our approach, to make best use of common collaboration tools, and adopt an approach that kept a suitable level of development momentum through sprints and timely check-ins.
As with any new technology, we had to consider the implementation rollout, which involved both process and cultural changes, to best exploit the technical capabilities of the new platform.
Having the right mix and diversity of disciplines, backgrounds and experience within a team – and a focus on the overall user experience and project outcome – is a foundation for success, whatever the challenge.
This project also reiterated the importance of establishing a two-way working partnership. Combining in-house knowledge, independent challenge and a shared drive for innovation and excellence proved to be a winning formula.
The platform was successfully launched and adopted across the global network on time and within budget. It enables digital brand compliance assessments for over 2,000 global retailers, and reduces the cost of each assurance event.
For example, by integrating with JLR’s retailer system, the platform can automatically schedule all retailer self-assessments globally with a single click, delivering near 100% efficiency gain over the old manual scheduling process. This scheduling includes intelligently assigning the appropriate compliance plans based on the type of services offered to the retailer and managing all communications (such as emails). This has resulted in a 45% efficiency gain year-on-year.
The digital platform uses the latest cloud, data and analytics techniques to autocomplete around 20% of the assessment for each retailer, using data held centrally by JLR. This represents another significant saving, and our aspiration is to continue to increase this autocomplete capability year-on-year using machine learning and AI.
By implementing a purely digital process, the compliance programme will save 35% of external spend on the previous year.