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Big data solution increases the quality of D'Ieteren's warranty claims


Creating, managing and checking thousands of warranty claims is not an easy task. Mistakes are easy to make. And any checks often happen long after the fact. AE’s algorithms elevate D'Ieteren’s after sales processing by several levels of quality. And the effect is remarkable. The return on investment has exceeded the investment after just one year.

As a customer-oriented organisation, D'Ieteren’s After Sales Department wants to help as many customers as possible by carrying out warranty repairs. However,
the high level of service to the end customer is not always easy to reconcile
with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

D'Ieteren imports car makes such as Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA. As Belgium’s largest car sales company by far, it wants to give its customers an excellent After Sales service experience. “Our 17 members of staff are the link between the factory and the dealers,” says Raf Claessens, After Sales Improvement Manager at D'Ieteren. “Our aim is to achieve the highest possible level of quality in our warranty claims, enabling us to give our end customers as many warranty repairs as possible.”

AE builds on existing systems

Before we used AE's services, our warranty claims were reviewed manually. That was quite a challenge, says Raf: "We receive thousands of warranty claims each month. Our dealers draw these up in good faith, but sometimes mistakes are made in the claims or not all possibilities are used. It is our task to detect and correct these mistakes. This avoids certain warranty claims not being paid by the factory."

However, this type of manual processing was time-consuming and not 100% reliable. The After Sales Department felt that state-of-the-art technology would significantly increase their performance and quality. It talked to several technology providers and soon selected AE. Raf: "We felt data could help us to check these claims more efficiently, but we didn't have the expertise to implement this. AE had the skills we needed."

"AE immediately stood out because it actively contributes to the process, looks for the best solution to the problem and is highly business-oriented."

Raf Claessens, After Sales Improvement Manager at D'Ieteren

"Interestingly, AE works in a multifunctional way. It has many in-house specialists who can combine their knowledge and expertise to achieve the best tailor-made solution."

AE immediately took a hands-on approach to tackle the priorities. "It was reassuring for us that the AE team listened closely, learned about D'Ieteren’s business logic, and adjusted its solutions accordingly. The team also had an eye for our people, i.e. the ones who would ultimately be using the solution. It paid special attention to the user experience."

The result has exceeded the investment

AE developed a more efficient process based on data and integrated it into the software that D'Ieteren was already using. “In the past, we used to generate Excel lists,” states Raf. "Today, the software gives us a set of reports on the warranty claims with the highest risk. Consequently, our specialists know exactly what claims need to be checked and how they can help dealers to eliminate mistakes. In short, we can manage our After Sales services more efficiently and in a data-driven way."

The data exposes mistakes much sooner than before. "We were flying blind in the past. Now we have a clear overview of which claims have been submitted and where mistakes have been made. Consequently, adjustments can be made straight away."

"The quality of the warranty claims has increased to an unprecedented level since the implementation of the AE solution. This meant that the project's return on investment exceeded the investment after just one year." 

Raf Claessens, After Sales Improvement Manager at D'Ieteren 

The return on investment was impressive and immediately apparent. "The financial component of the ROI was achieved within the year. The non-financial results, such as better support for our dealer network, were also achieved sooner than expected."

From check to assistance & coaching

The impact of the AE solution can also be felt in other areas of the organisation. As a result, Raf sees that the tasks of his department are changing: "From now on, our people can genuinely create new value for our dealers. This makes their job much more varied. The more interesting job content puts us in a better position in the current war for talent, e.g. in relation to young people who prefer to help others and contribute to change systematically rather than simply analyse claims and penalise mistakes."

The verification department is evolving into a high-performance department that can offer assistance and coaching to D'Ieteren's dealers. "Rather than check claims at the end, we want to help our dealers set up claims more quickly without any mistakes. This increases their confidence in warranty claims now that repairs are becoming increasingly complex. The data will help us with that more and more."

"If AE builds on existing solutions in the future, we will soon be able to provide our dealers with very specific advice throughout the aftersales process. This improvement will also save a lot of time and significantly improve the level of quality."

Raf Claessens, After Sales Improvement Manager at D'Ieteren

AE adds clear value

The D'Ieteren project is unique, according to Xavier Claerhoudt, Data Engineer at AE: “We are used to seeing the improvements we make, but here the financial added value of our project became obvious straight away.”

"We achieved this return on investment by loading the data with Python, enriching it and linking it together. This cleaned-up data was then visualised in Microsoft Power BI. We kept all the existing systems and integrated our solution into this tech landscape. This allows D'Ieteren to move forward without us."

Xavier also has good memories of the intensive brainstorming sessions and active collaboration with the D'Ieteren managers. "The organisation paid a lot of attention to our project. This resulted in new ideas every week."