Autoglass® Consolidates and Upgrades Systems, Cuts Operating Costs 15 Percent
- Migrate systems without disrupting day-to-day activities
- Centralize in U.K. systems and servers previously shared across borders
- Lower IT and other costs
- Reshape IT-architecture strategy to split off 300 systems
- Develop migration plan
- Redefine service model to improve flexibility
- Cut IT operating costs by 15 percent
- Maintained customer service during migration
- Defined roadmap for future projects
Next-Gen IT for an Industry Leader
Autoglass® is the U.K.’s leading vehicle-glass repair and replacement company, and has 1,100 technicians in 100 branches across the U.K. serving more than a million motorists annually.
Autoglass® is part of the Belron Group, the world’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company. Operating 2,400 branches in more than 35 countries, Belron also owns Carglass in Europe and Brazil, O’Brien in Australia, Smith & Smith in New Zealand, and several brands in the United States and Canada.
Despite a challenging economic environment in most of Belron’s markets, sales for the company’s most recent year came to €2.8 billion (approximately $3.84 billion).
Separating French and U.K. Systems
Just over 2 years ago, Belron decentralized its IT support model. The goal: to more closely tailor IT services and capabilities to the needs of its national businesses. The shift involved switching from group-level IT support to a nationally owned and controlled IT support model.
Previously, under the group-IT services strategy, two Belron companies — Autoglass® and Carglass France — had shared more than 300 IT systems. In fact, even more centralization had been planned for Belron systems across the continent.
But under the new strategy, the French and U.K. systems were now to be uncoupled and run instead on a decentralized, national basis: The French systems would be run solely in France; and the U.K. systems, solely in the U.K.
As part of this strategy, Autoglass® embarked on a multimillion-pound change program. This effort included not only separating and consolidating its systems locally, but also implementing new labor management and mobile technologies.
For help creating a change plan and migrating systems without inconveniencing customers, Autoglass® brought in CSC.
The two companies had worked together for longer than a decade, with CSC providing a variety of infrastructure and applications support services to Belron Group. This major change in the Belron IT model required close collaboration to remodel both services and the associated support model to directly meet Autoglass® U.K.’s new requirements.
“This was a massive change, which CSC totally bought in to,” says Jonathan Colley, head of IT for Autoglass® in the U.K. “Without CSC totally believing in our vision, the transition from group- to national-level IT support would have been much harder to achieve.”
24x7 Customer Service Maintained During Migration
With CSC’s help, the Autoglass® systems-separation plan was drawn up and executed. Key to the effort was ensuring that Autoglass® customers continued to receive high levels of care and service without interruption.
“It took a lot of planning, a lot of execution, and a lot of care and diligence,” Colley says. “We have a fantastic brand reputation led by the customer service that we bring, so the key priority is always our customer.”
The system uncoupling and migration, which Colley describes as a high-risk effort, was a success. “To be able to deliver that change and still maintain customer service has been hugely rewarding for our team,” he says. “And the team for me includes CSC.”
The uncoupling has delivered major budget reductions, including a 15 percent savings in IT operating costs — about 4 percent better than planned. “That’s quite significant,” Colley says.
New Opportunities for Expansion
Now Autoglass® and CSC are looking ahead for new opportunities to drive additional revenue and market share with technology.
Areas being considered include mobility and big data. Recently, for example, Autoglass® delivered more than 1,000 mobile devices for its field technicians, allowing them to connect digitally with both back-end systems and customers.
“A lot of trust has developed, and that has allowed us to share more information with CSC about how we operate,” Colley says. “That’s allowed CSC to look further at where they can add value.”
The Autoglass®-CSC relationship has evolved beyond that of merely supplier and client, Colley says. Instead, the two companies are working together to develop ideas for new opportunities, technologies, software products, efficiencies and savings.
“This is really a partnership,” Colley says. “When I look into the future, I’m quite excited by the great opportunities I see.”