Sewells Group, India, a leading provider of retail solutions to auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their dealers in the Indian market, developed an innovative engagement model for its clients. The model offered solutions based on the performance management of franchised automotive dealers using measurement, analysis, education and development. The first client for whom Sewells Group developed the dealer sales and service system was a late entrant into the Indian market and had about 100 dealerships across the country. It wanted to ensure that the brand promise communicated through its innovative and expensive marketing campaigns was supported at its dealerships when customers arrived to explore the cars. The client sought a comprehensive model of dealer management that did not suffer from the limitations of traditional models that were heavily focused on training and process compliance. In response, Sewells Group developed a novel 5-step dealer management model that applied principles of retail process efficacy to deliver three key outcomes: customer experience, productivity and profitability across all the departments of a dealership. As Jayesh Jagasia, CEO at Sewells Group, India, reviewed the impressive quarterly results of the model's implementation, he mulled over questions related to the sustainability, replicability and extendibility of this initial model to other firms in the automotive sector. What were the learnings from the first implementation of the model? Was it possible to effectively overcome the challenges that they had faced? Would the model work across the industry? Under what circumstances and for what brands or dealerships would the model work? What sort of consulting resources would the company need? Could some parts of the solution be automated? How would the IT departments of auto manufacturers respond to the automation of solutions?
This case can be used to analyze both strategic and implementation-related tactical issues surrounding an innovative channel management program designed to deliver on a global brand's promise in an emerging market. It involves a set of complex issues pertaining to (i)interaction between advertising-led international brand management and service-led brand impression,(ii) radical design of a service management system,(iii) sales strategy for a service and analytics-based consulting product.