A French manufacturing organization, aligned with importing private and corporate vehicles focusing on high quality in selling and delivering cars and services, contacted Audittrail. The quality manager had created a new Quality baseline with specific instructions to improve on quality for the dealer network in the Netherlands (450 sales and aftersales locations).
Through the implementation of this baseline the dealer network would be enabled to conduct business in a uniform manner, enhancing internal quality. Ranging from showroom interior to the presentation of car accessories, and from handling a car for repair works to delivering a repaired car.
So far, the quality baseline had been distributed as voluntary tool. However, the organization aimed to implement the quality baseline as a standardized “one way of working standard” for internal fact-based quality assessments. The aim herein was to assure a comparable standard high-quality service model amongst all locations. Audittrail was asked to audit all sales- and aftersales locations.
Earlier, the organization had used incidental ‘mystery visits’ where actors posed as new customers. This functioned as way to measure how hospitable the location was and to which extent certain actions were implemented as advised by the main office. Activities that typically take place ‘behind the scenes’ were not assessed. Zone-managers had insufficient time and means to audit the implementation and adherence to the quality baseline. Importantly, the organization wished not to audit in order to penalize, but rather facilitate a qualitative impulse among the dealerships.
In order to audit the chapters and standards in the quality baseline, these needed to become normative. We translated the entire quality baseline into an auditable framework.
In collaboration with the organization we defined assessment criteria and scoring. We proposed our audit methodology and ran a number of pilot audits. The two-way advisory conversation at the end of the audit was an important part of this. The main idea behind the audits were to stimulate improvement instead of a blame culture.
After a successful audit-cycle in the Netherlands, functioning as a baseline status assessment, we were asked to conduct quality audits for the whole Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). So far, we have been involved in these audits for three years in a row.
Continuous improvement is what drives us.
We like to challenge our clients and support them with continuous attention for improvement. Each year we incorporated an extra step into our audits, for example. We not only expect a location to score better, we also ask for additional evidence, and inquire about specific norms that needed improvement previously.
Simultaneously, we have improved our own organization as well on the auditing method, advising dealerships, and using software as a real time- and fact-based reporting tool. Through this tooling dealerships and the organization gain insight in scoring, findings, and recommendations.