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Timonium, MD – October 17th, 2016-- Helion Automotive Technologies announced today that New England based Balise Auto Group has enjoyed tremendous growth in the past four years, with some help from improvements to its information technology (IT) network. Since outsourcing its IT services to Helion, Balise Auto Group has established new, more efficient processes that have improved the customer experience. Additionally, the 23-store auto group has been able to pursue an expansion strategy that included the acquisition of four dealerships and moving ten of its stores into new facilities.
"Prior to working with Helion, we recognized that technology was changing faster than our ability to keep up with it, and being able to manage the computer system was becoming increasingly important in terms of how we run our business," said Jeb Balise, CEO of Balise Auto Group.
In 2012 Balise Auto Group was poised to take advantage of the economic recovery and ready to expand, but many stores were hampered with productivity problems associated with Internet outages, periodic system downtime and general slowness of PCs and software.
"For every problem we had we would come up with a solution," said Balise. "But the solutions kept getting more expensive and complicated our business model even more, until the point where we were focusing way too much time on computer issues."
Balise asked consultants and colleagues at other auto groups for recommendations, and the name Helion Automotive Technologies was mentioned several times. Soon after, Balise transitioned from an in-house IT staff to a 100 percent outsourced IT solution with Helion.
Helion's certified IT technicians began by reviewing Internet connectivity to see if the stores had enough bandwidth to handle data requirements. In Balise's case, Helion upgraded the majority of stores to fiber optics and ensured resiliency with more than one carrier. This greatly increased overall Internet speeds and eliminated outages.
Additionally, Helion's technicians made improvements and upgrades to the auto group's WiFi networks, software, PCs and other hardware.
"By eliminating bottlenecks the result is we have a much faster and more responsive system," said Balise. "This allowed us to finally focus on developing new processes, such as digital contracting and digital archiving. Before Helion, it was impossible to do this because we didn't have the system performance to take advantage of these features in our DMS."
A significant increase in WiFi capacity has allowed Balise to implement customer-focused processes in sales and service. In the service lanes, additional access points and outdoor antennas allow service advisors to greet customers and perform transactions with mobile tablets.
Wireless antennas also expand WiFi access out to the lots, where salespeople can interact with customers using mobile devices.
"Most of our customers use mobile devices out on the lot, so from our standpoint the sales associates have to be doing the same thing," said Balise. "If a customer calls and asks about a car while the salesperson is out on the lot, that salesperson can instantly pull up the information on their mobile device, instead of having to tell the customer they'll call back after they get back to their desk and look up the information."
Prior to Helion, Balise Auto Group experienced problems with its phone system and processes. Wait times were inconsistent, customers were occasionally routed to the wrong place and many calls were dropped. Helion established a new call flow and made some technical fixes that solved the issues. "We receive a huge volume of calls and not having the ability to handle those properly was a big problem," said Balise. "Helion engineered fixes so our call centers are much more efficient, and nearly eliminated misdirected or dropped calls."
While Balise Auto Group's management and employees focused on improving processes, Balise himself was focused on growth and expansion. Since 2012, Balise has acquired four dealerships and moved 10 of its stores into new facilities. Helion was tasked with setting up all the IT in the new facilities and integrating the networks of the acquired dealerships with Balise Auto Group's existing IT network.
"A real benefit to having Helion was the scalability of their services. They were able to swarm every new project with additional staff," said Balise. "With a fixed IT staff we could not have opened as many new stores or facilities. Our IT staff was kept so busy responding to tickets and keeping the status quo running, it was nearly impossible for them to be proactive."
Last but not least, Balise credits Helion with providing a peace of mind associated with increased security and redundancy. Helion's security services include maintaining and monitoring firewalls, performing software patches and upgrades and email security. "It's nice to be able to sleep at night knowing that the best people are taking care of things," said Balise.
For Balise Auto Group, outsourcing IT to Helion greatly improved system performance on every level. This allowed staff to implement new processes and provide the highest level of service to their customers, all while continuing to grow and expand.
"Since bringing Helion on board we spend a lot less time thinking about computer problems and a lot more time focusing on our core business," said Balise.
For more information contact Helion at 443-541-1500 or visit www.HelionTechnologies.com
About Helion Automotive Technologies
Helion...Putting Your Dealership in the FAST LANE!
Helion Automotive Technologies is a leading IT solutions provider, providing auto dealers with faster, more efficient networks and secure data protection. From managed services to IT assistance and service desk help, Helion offers both short-term IT fixes and long-term planning so dealers can focus on what matters most: selling more cars. Helion has specialized in IT for more than ten years and works with 650+ auto dealers nationwide. Dealers can request a free assessment of their IT needs at www.heliontechnologies.com.