Developing custom database solutions
The Mr Clutch brand is nationally recognised as one of the premier autocentre groups in England. With over 40 branches across the country each of which providing a wide range of garage services; these include the fitting of clutches, brakes and manual transmissions. The different locations are also able to carry out full car servicing, general repairs and, in selected centres, MOT testing.
Mr Clutch had developed a website using Active Server Pages (ASP), the site had been working for a couple of years, but it wasn’t performing. Sales through the website were low, as were enquiries and allowing the individual branches to manage their own content was an administrative nightmare.
Mr Clutch provide all of the services you’d expect a leading professional garage to provide. All of the garages provide services such as clutch replacement, servicing and general car maintenance, many of the locations were able to provide certified MOT’s. But not all garages provided all services – so this made the development requirements more detailed. But they were a leading autocentre, providing the services required as a national company – but this was not reflected on their website and the functionality or sales were not what you’d expect for a business of their size.
With the advancement in web technology, tracking and advertising, Mr Clutch had to start to add this to their systems. To track all visitors to the site, the enquiries and their leads. To also track their marketing and advertising investments and to fully understand the return on this investment.
One of the first hurdles was the current infrastructure being written in ASP, which worked well but adapting to the new style of coding was difficult. A lot of new features had been developed which Mr Clutch could use, but ASP plugins were not as common.
It was decided to start to develop new systems in the latest languages and frameworks, we utilised the Laravel framework – a leading framework which allowed clean deployment of code and future proof the online business.
Mr Clutch had a complex IT infrastructure. Each branch used a point of sale (POS) system, a CRM had been developed, with the intranet and website among other systems.
The Project Included:
- Knowledge Gathering – Project Consultancy Wirebox invested time learning the Mr Clutch business and understanding how the systems work, how the system integrates to the different locations, the pain points in terms of spreadsheets and overall costs of running such a system. This involved working onsite and in branches to gather knowledge of all business systems and processes. This allowed Wirebox as a team to recommend the best technical solutions and the next steps in the planning and proposed development to enhance the online offering.
- Planning With the knowledge gained it was important to plan what was required from the business and market. From the knowledge gathering exercise – several days scoping the requirements – a list of development tasks had been created and this had to be planned with the Mr Clutch team.
- Development The planning roadmapped over 18 months of developments. Systems were developed to work alongside the current infrastructure. This included Integration of live bookings and requests, directly fed into Mr Clutch’s CRM database for live reporting and visibility across all locations. Integration into multiple 3rd party marketing platforms, such as Groupon for new clients and business. New optimised Booking Forms for all Services with Google Adwords API integration – allowed the business to understand the true cost per lead and sale generation. Digital online Diary to allow bookings based on real time availability for all the different garages and locations. ECommerce functionality to allow both bookings of slots and taking payments through the website
Our Approach Delivered:
- New system architecture and deployment Wirebox setup the new system architecture for Mr Clutch digital systems which included creating software deployment processes and delivery. This enabled Mr Clutch to release new features rapidly without affecting the live site, as all development was tested beforehand.
- Increase in Bookings The new website was developed following best practice procedures for development processes, which included, Wireframing, Prototyping and testing. This gave us great confidence that the transition would generate strong improvements. From the launch of the website, Mr Clutch had an increase in sales and conversions for all their services online of over 30%. Sales were not previously tracked efficiently, the business can now see instantly how each branch is performing – or where there is availability to directly target specific services in specific locations. Key performance Indicators (KPI’s) such as time on site, bounce rate and the number of pages viewed by visit has all increased. These improved KPI’s have been viewed by search engines such as Google – welcomed by Google and as such provided improved rankings on search terms and increased traffic and business.
- Rapid Development With the new systems in place, Mr Clutch were able to develop new features faster. Creating a new marketing campaign for Groupon or Black Friday took days, instead of months. This was mainly due to the latest technology used, which enabled new features to be developed inside of the framework.
- Development of new Digital Diary System Mr Clutch were using Excel and paper forms to manage the booking schedules for vehicles in branch. As a business, Mr Clutch was drowning in what we described as “Excel Hell”. Data was not shared – no one individual within the company had an idea of capacity or the availability of different locations. How can a marketing professional promote something where they were unaware of what was possible throughout the company? With the new infrastructure, the Digital Diary could be built as it could talk to all systems in the company. The online bookings, the CRM system and the POS system, talking to one central database. The Diary revolutionised the business, and improved efficiency 10 fold. Finally the company could align its marketing and sales to the capacity of each branch.
Working for a key client of Wirebox, I cannot thank them enough for their retained support. They’re effectively an extension of my Marketing Team, always suggesting new development opportunities, carrying out maintenance on our website/intranet/servers and ensuring that we’re getting the most from the services they provide. They’re always on hand for any issues that arise, and ensure that any issues are fixed as quickly as possible. I really cannot recommend Wirebox enough, thanks Andrew and team, keep up the good work!