Automotive workshops today rely on IT just as much as they do on hydraulic lifts, spanners, and the trained eyes and ears of auto mechanics. Service technicians use specialised software for vehicle diagnostics and programming. Car maker BMW Group has developed its very own system for use by authorised repair shops. The hardware that makes it all go is manufactured by Panasonic. And supplied by Bechtle—whether it’s needed in Stuttgart, Switzerland or Singapore.
Authorised workshops all over the world use the Munich-based BMW Group's self-devised system, in order to provide the best service for their customers. Both the software and the working environment impose specific requirements on the end device. “This is a textbook case of establishing a universal hardware standard,” says Fabian Müller, Key Account Manager Global Accounts for the Bechtle Bielefeld IT Systems Integrator. “Purpose-built and field-tested technology enables smooth rollouts, reliable operation, and standardised service concepts.”
Rugged, powerful and easy to use, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-54was an obvious choice. This semi-rugged notebook is specifically designed for use in the automobile industry, as well as service technicians who conduct repairs and maintenance indoors.
Purpose-built and field-tested technology enables smooth rollouts, reliable operation, and standardised service concepts.
Located in the German state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, the IT Systems Integrator in Bielefeld, a partner of Panasonic, delivers Toughbooks to BMW-authorised repair shops in some 170 countries all around the globe, as well as related accessories such as docking stations and Kensington locks. In collaboration with their global partner, ACSL, Bechtle set up a dedicated webshop, through which the repair shops can order the products they require. Additionally, Bechtle provides a hotline to quickly answer any procurement-related questions. “This enables us to provide all hardware the repair shops need from a single source, supporting them both digitally and in person,” explains Account Manager Fabian Müller, who has supervised the global project from the very beginning.
Bechtle’s elaborate procurement concept also guarantees thorough after-sales service and support for the workshops. The Bechtle service desk is the first port of call for customers with hardware questions or who require repairs. Panasonic then takes over support for EU customers, while the Bechtle IT Systems Integrator in Bielefeld handles the service process for all repair shops in the rest of the world. This includes a pick-up and return service, where Bechtle has a problematic Toughbook collected from the end customer, arranges for it to be fixed, and finally sends the repaired hardware back to where it came from. Customers may also choose to make use of an advanced replacement service to minimise disruption of their day-to-day operations. Service level agreements are in place for all supply and support processes. “Our organisation is perfectly equipped to fulfil the requirements of global rollouts. As a result, we were able to implement and establish processes quicklyand to the high standard of quality required. And then there’s the personal angle—it’s simply great to be able to support customers from all over the world,” says Fabian Müller.
Bechtle ships the notebooks preconfigured and with the appropriate country kits, allowing customers to immediately install the repair shop system and get started right away.
In the first year alone, Bechtle supplied several thousand Toughbooks, “a great number in EU countries, but many, too, in Asia, North and South America and smaller countries like Trinidad and Tobago,” says project manager Fabian Müller. And orders are now coming from more than 100 countries. Bechtle ships the notebooks preconfigured and with the appropriate country kits, allowing customers to immediately install the repair shop system and get started right away. The lightweight Toughbook CF-54 hold its own in the bustling repair shops, its shock and vibration resistance, its splash-proof keyboard, and touch screen ensuring it can stand up to the rough conditions. Fabian Müller: “It also checks all the boxes for more common requirements such as long battery life and computing power, making it an ideal all-purpose device.”
Published on Jan 12, 2018.