Startup Story-Car Quality Automotive Combines the Resources of the Startup Terrace Linkou to Create Omni-Channel Smart Services
"Data" is the invisible underground gold mine. Can making good use of data become a key factor to improve the competitiveness in the market? Established in 2000, Car Quality Automotive utilizes the customer big data accumulated for many years to develop omni-channel smart services through AI. This year, it stationed in the Startup Terrace Linkou and cooperated with AWS. With this collaboration, years of historical purchasing records will be stored in the cloud database, and Car Quality Automotive will work together with the startups in the Startup Terrace Linkou, creating a next-generation business model for automobile parts and supplies.
The retail of automobile parts and supplies is entering an era of online and offline omni-channel. With 29 stores across Taiwan, Car Quality Automotive continues to innovate and transform in recent years. In addition to launching the automatic recommendation system with AI (artificial intelligence) for maintenance, online, and offline sales services, it also expanded its businesses by developing new stores with flexible and composite operations, such as the collaboration with Hi-Life this year in July and August to launch the new composite stores in Chiayi and Yangmei, Taoyuan. When car owners hand over their cars to Car Quality Automotive for maintenance or repair, they can go to the nearby Hi-Life store for shopping, or have a cup of coffee in the rest area designated for customers.
Jian-Ye Zhang, Deputy Director of the Administrative Department of Car Quality Automotive, said that Car Quality Automotive, which has more than 20 years of market experience and product resources, has firmly established itself as the leader in the automobile parts and supplies industry. With the largest number of branch stores and members in Taiwan, it will utilize the data of 1.28 million members to continue expanding its stores through AI application services. Car Quality Automotive also put its ideas into action, participated in the government's Smart City Taiwan project, and proposed the "368-Store Program" to promote its franchise business. It hopes to build 300 stores within the next five years to reach 368 stores in Taiwan, meaning every town and city in Taiwan has a store.
Using Data Gold Mine, the First to Apply AI to Automobile Parts and Supplies
In order to build 300 franchise stores within the next five years, a powerful franchising and information service system is required. Car Quality Automotive has many advantages in the promotion of the franchising system. It has accumulated more than 20 years of market experience, not to mentioned that it has a 24-7 all year-round service system in Taiwan, with 29 stores and more than 500 suppliers. The O2O website of Car Quality Automotive has accumulated huge business data to develop more innovative applications and create omni-channel smart services.
Car Quality Automotive stationed in the Startup Terrace Linkou and joined the AWS international accelerator, enabling its customer data and historical purchasing records to be stored in the cloud database. Through the cloud resources and the collaboration with the Startup Terrace Linkou, artificial intelligence (AI) was introduced to provide AI customer service, AI sales forecasting and recommendation, robotic process automation (RPA), and O2O digital service platform. Artificial intelligence that can be used by businesses and consumers are incorporated to offer an online one-stop integrated services via the cloud platform.
Jian-Ye Zhang pointed out that the number of passenger cars and small trucks in Taiwan has exceeded 8 million in 2018, and the overall after-sales market for automobiles is estimated to be more than NT$ 400 billion. However, the biggest challenge in Taiwan’s maintenance market is that maintenance shops in Taiwan varies significantly in terms scale, service quality and charge. It is difficult for small and medium-sized independent maintenance shops to gain trust from consumers in their maintenance skill. Another common problem is that cars in maintenance shop sometimes cannot be repaired immediately because of the lack of appropriate parts. The AI application and innovative business project implemented by Car Quality Automotive is to solve these problems.
For example, AI customer service robots and AI sales forecasting of automobile parts and supplies are used to connect system models of omni-channel services and mobile reservation services, establishing a one-stop customer online, cross-store reservation and experience. In the future, before visiting the store for maintenance, consumers can first make reservation online. Through the system, consumers will know which store is available for maintenance. They can also reserve parking space for maintenance, saving them time for traveling and waiting.
Use AI to Achieve the Goal of the 368-Store Program
Through robotic process automation (RPA), upstream suppliers including tires, batteries, engine oils and automotive parts can be connected to establish a fast and comprehensive product-on-shelf marketing and service ecosystem, allowing supplies to be more accurately provided based on the market demand. After implementing these AI applications, online e-commerce channels and offline physical channels are integrated, making the prediction of market demand more accurate based on the supplies offered.
Jian-Ye Zhang said that Car Quality Automotive has many advantages in promoting the franchising system. For example, in terms of product procurement, it has the advantage of applying economic scale to reduce the cost of purchases. In addition, Car Quality Automotive has completed its regular chains (stores) in major counties and cities of Taiwan, which serve as supporting centers for technology, warehousing and logistics to provide the needs of franchise stores in nearby towns and cities, reducing the burden on franchise operators. Moreover, with the cloud resources provided by the Startup Terrace Linkou to assist in the promotion and development of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI sales forecasting, the goal of building “one franchise store per town/city” can be achieve soon.
Car Quality Automotive revolutionizes the market ecosystem and creates a one-stop service for automobile parts, supplies and maintenance. Through collaboration with the Startup Terrace Linkou, more application opportunities are provided for the startups to truly realize an all-win situation for the enterprises, the government, and the startups and achieve the goal of innovative transformation.