Traka Automotive helps to eliminate costly key losses at BMW Harry Fairbairn

Traka Automotive has installed its networked key management system at Harry Fairbairn’s Glasgow BMW and Mini dealerships in Giffnock

Traka Automotive has installed its networked key management system at Harry Fairbairn’s Glasgow BMW and Mini dealerships in Giffnock

Traka Automotive, the provider of electronic key management systems, has installed a networked variant at Harry Fairbairn’s Glasgow BMW and Mini dealerships located in Giffnock. Early results are showing that car key losses have been eliminated while agent productivity is also on the rise.

Following a careful evaluation of several systems, BMW Harry Fairbairn’s team selected Traka Automotive’s fully-networked key management system powered by eTag software. Since the system’s installation on site, the dealership has seen 100% user adoption, realised very positive feedback from all staff and engendered quantifiable business benefits.

Agents use the desktop system to locate which key cabinet the key they need is in or who took it out last. In the near future, the system will be extended for use via tablets such that members of staff away from their desks can access the system and locate keys they need.

Once a new car is logged on Harry Fairbairn’s Kerridge Dealer Management System, it takes less than 60 seconds for this data to be automatically relayed to the central key management system. Each new car key is attached to an iFob which carries the vehicle’s details in relation to model, colour and registration, etc.

It’s only a matter of time before all busy dealerships will have some form of electronic key management solution in place

It’s only a matter of time before all busy dealerships will have some form of electronic key management solution in place

Callum Rankin, dealer principal of BMW Harry Fairbairn, explained the benefits of the new key system to Risk UK. “Our previous solution had a knock-on effect in terms of lost sales,” outlined Rankin. “If a customer visits our dealership to test drive a specific used car that they’ve researched on the website and cannot access it in the 20 minutes they’ve set aside in their lunch hour to test drive it, they may not come back and that sale could be lost. That issue has been eliminated by the Traka solution.”

Rankin, who has served as dealer principal at BMW Harry Fairbairn for three and a half years now, commented that the system is: “The single best business improvement investment I’ve signed off on since I began my role. It’s about more than storing keys. Traka’s fully-networked key cabinets are unlocking efficiencies right across the operation.”

Management information system

Paul Smith, director of Traka Automotive, told Risk UK: “It’s only a matter of time before all busy car dealerships will have some form of electronic key management solution in place. What we’re talking about is effectively a management information system that tracks and accounts for dealers’ key asset base even if vehicles are offsite. The system reveals far more than just the location of keys. In fact, dealer principals are now beginning to use eTag’s reporting tools for the assessment of departmental productivity levels.”

Detail of the key management system on site

Detail of the key management system on site

In conclusion, Callum Rankin explained: “We now know all the efficiencies that the Traka system has helped us unlock have contributed significantly to online and in-dealership sales increases. We wouldn’t have invested in this system unless we knew it was both fool-proof and future-proof. Overall results so far give us confidence that we made the right decision. Indeed, we’re now recommending that Arnold Clark rolls this system out group-wide.”

Purchased in 2006 by franchise dealer group Arnold Clark, Harry Fairbairn is Scotland’s leading Mini and BMW dealership group. It currently operates four major dealerships in Inverness, Kirkcaldy, Irvine and Giffnock.

The Glasgow site alone sells up to 100 cars per week and processes an additional 100 used cars, either selling them from the dealership direct or via auction.

The Traka Automotive business was created following ASSA Abloy’s acquisition of eTag Solutions in November last year. Traka Automotive forms part of Traka which is an ASSA Abloy Group brand.

Originally the manufacturer of one of the world’s first electronic key management systems, Traka’s solutions are now used extensively across the UK and in over 30 countries worldwide. They’re deployed in diverse sectors including property access control for prisons, in secure units, hospitals, hotels, schools, universities and for managed accommodation, distribution and MHE management, in fleet management for the police service, road haulage, asset management and control in casinos, at airports and docks, on the railways and by the Emergency Services.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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