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Mercedes-Benz Dealership Deploys AeroScout Wi-Fi Asset Tracking Solution to Optimize Vehicle Logistics and Service Levels

11/5/09 - AeroScout working with Telefónica and Cisco, announced that the Mercedes-Benz dealership of Valencia, Spain has successfully deployed AeroScout's Vehicle Tracking and Management solution. Using the AeroScout Wi-Fi RFID solution, the dealership is able to leverage its reliable, flexible and high-performance Cisco Unified Wireless Network , which is also used for Wi-Fi and voice applications. In addition, the dealership is able to extend operational efficiencies to its service department and ensure the distinctive, high-quality customer experience associated with the Mercedes-Benz brand.

The Mercedes-Benz dealership in Valencia covers 28,000 square meters and has seven workshops and four large parking areas. It deployed AeroScout's solution to monitor the real-time location of every vehicle brought in for servicing across the entire dealership -- both indoors and outdoors. The solution consists of AeroScout Wi-Fi Tags , AeroScout Exciters, a Cisco 3350 Mobility Services Engine (MSE) with Context-Aware Mobility Solution and AeroScout's MobileView software. The solution is integrated into an application developed by Telefónica that provides car history reports and prints the location of vehicles on a site map.

Every vehicle brought in for maintenance and servicing is fitted with an AeroScout tag, and the tag's identification number is automatically associated with the specific car using a license plate reader. Once a vehicle is tagged, the service department can monitor the location of the car anywhere in the dealership in real time. This significantly reduces the time staff spends searching for vehicles that are frequently moving around the facility. The dealership is also able to provide accurate updates to customers during servicing, and when customers arrive to pick up their cars, they are given a printed map of the lot with the appropriate vehicle pinpointed.

"Knowing where every car is on the lot at all times has helped us increase the throughput of our servicing department while delivering a level of service that strengthens our customer relationships," said Vicente Mesado, CIO at Mercedes-Benz Valencia. "For example, we can quickly see if a particular car has moved from the body shop to the paint area without having to send someone to search the entire facility. This means we can accurately predict how much time is left before the work on a particular car will be completed and keep customers updated accordingly."

"We were particularly interested in analyzing the actual duration that vehicles remained in each workshop to obtain real measures of our efficiency in order to improve processes and optimize resources," said Mesado. "It has been a tremendous benefit to our company and our brand."

Mercedes-Benz Valencia also wanted a solution that would increase safety levels at the entry and exit areas of the dealership. A security control application was integrated with AeroScout's software that only allows authorized vehicles to exit the lot. Additionally, the dealership needed to optimize the available space in its parking zones, as the indoor area is limited. To ensure that these parking places are utilized properly, vehicles in stock -- as well as customer cars -- are identified and tracked. This allows the dealership to not only gain more control over parking areas, but also to have a real-time snapshot of stock inventories.

"We're pleased to work with Telefónica and Cisco to help Mercedes-Benz Valencia operate more efficiently and deliver the best possible service to its customers," said Gabi Daniely, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy at AeroScout. "Importantly, the dealership gained this value by leveraging its standard Wi-Fi network, which enabled it to deploy a variety of applications across the entire facility."

By Robert Hoskins

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