Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Extreme Gemba with Audi Cam




Watch your car being repaired!

Have you ever wondered what your mechanics are doing when repairing your car? Have you often wished “you were there” to actually watch the repair work? Well, Audi in UK has an answer for you – I call it the “extreme gemba” because the process allows the customers to watch and even talk directly with the mechanics as if they are there in “gemba” where the cars are being repaired.

Designed to get owners more involved in the repair process, the initiative forces dealership employees to wear a two-way radio and an “Audi Cam”. When owners take their car in for service, they sit in the waiting room and watch a live feed from the Audi Cam. If a problem arises, the customer can talk to the technician/service advisor over the two-way radio.



According to Audi's UK Director Jeremy Hicks, "Service departments throughout the industry are often accused of baffling customers with science - by offering ours full exposure to the work undertaken on their cars, and the ability to talk through that work with the technician involved, our aim is to demystify the process as fully as possible. We want to ensure that everyone who entrusts their Audi to us for servicing and repairs knows exactly where they stand and exactly what to expect."



Here’s the actual press release from Audi UK:

NEW ‘DIRECT RECEPTION' SYSTEM GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE MECHANICS OF AUDI

Pioneering new interactive audio visual system enables Audi customers to watch and communicate with Audi technicians as they work

• AudiDirect Reception system allowing customers to be more closely involved in work undertaken on their cars is currently being rolled out across Audi Centre network

• Technician wears ‘Audi Cam' which links to monitor in service reception, and communicates via two-way audio link

• Aim is to maximise ‘transparency' and instil even greater confidence by providing conclusive proof of problems in ‘real time'

• Fixed price servicing option now in place for A1 models

• Fixed price for five key maintenance jobs for A3, A4, A6 and TT models in excess of 36 months old and up to 2.0-litres in capacity

Candid cameras will soon be focused on all Audi Centre service areas as part of a new Direct Reception initiative being rolled out across the network that will enable Audi customers to view in ‘real time', and communicate with, technicians as they carry out diagnosis and repair work.

From the comfort of the Audi Centre reception area customers will have direct audio visual access to their cars as they are worked on by technicians equipped with ‘Audi Cams' and two-way audio links. They will be free to talk to the technicians directly, and service advisors will be on hand to answer any questions that arise. The aim is to provide full exposure to the investigative and corrective work undertaken, maximising ‘transparency' and instilling even greater confidence not only in the legitimacy of each diagnosis but also the quality of workmanship demonstrated by Audi trained technicians.

Customer feedback from Direct Reception pilot schemes has been overwhelmingly positive, with all participants polled so far confirming that they would recommend the service to others.

Commenting on the new initiative, Director of Audi UK Jeremy Hicks said: "Service departments throughout the industry are often accused of baffling customers with science - by offering ours full exposure to the work undertaken on their cars, and the ability to talk through that work with the technician involved, our aim is to demystify the process as fully as possible. We want to ensure that everyone who entrusts their Audi to us for servicing and repairs knows exactly where they stand and exactly what to expect."

As well as offering a straightforward, substantiated prognosis on the condition of every car, Audi Centres can also provide the added reassurance of fixed price maintenance to owners of A3, A4, A6 and TT models that are over 36 months old and powered by engines of up to (and including) 2.0-litres in capacity. Seven of the tasks carried out most frequently to these cars are covered by a fixed, all-inclusive and highly competitive price that applies nationally.

The tasks include major and minor services (£249 and £99 respectively), clutch replacement (front-wheel-drive £599, quattro £799), front and rear brake pad replacement (£99 front, £99 rear), front and rear pad and disc replacement (£229), front wiper blade replacement (£39), brake fluid change (£49) and cambelt replacement (£349).

Fixed price service plan for A1 customers

Buyers of the new Audi A1 premium compact hatchback can also specify an optional fixed price service plan which, for a one-off payment of just £250 (when the car is programmed to adhere to the long life service regime), will leave them safe in the knowledge that their servicing needs are covered financially for the first five years or 50,000 miles (whichever comes first).

All scheduled servicing, including brake fluid changes, is taken care of over this period, and any labour and parts (excluding items subject to wear and tear) involved are covered by a two-year Audi warranty.

Online service booking

Servicing for all Audi models can now be booked online by visiting www.audi.co.uk and clicking on ‘owners area'.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Crazy idea! This sounds great for the customer (Audi drivers, not me!), but is it Lean in practice? The customer doesn't know the repair process and may cause the mechanic to focus on non-value added activities, when he could be repairing the car. Or the mechanic could be doing things less efficiently, knowing that the customer is watching (window dressing).