This global vehicle auction and brokerage firm turned to a cloud-based data integration platform to personalize e-commerce and automate its marketing programs.
Digital technology has forced businesses to move faster and handle transactions more efficiently. But nowhere is this fact more apparent than in industries that rely on auctions, exchanges and brokering. Minutes—and sometimes even seconds—can determine whether a deal takes place.
At JIMEX, a private firm that operates in Yokohama, Japan, but sells and ships cars, buses, tractors, trucks and motorcycles all over the world, the ability to move fast and drive transactions is critical. "Efficiency is everything," says Luis Ramirez, head of marketing for JIMEX.
Not surprisingly, trust is a big issue in the auto reselling marketplace. Not all companies behave ethically and legally, so the ability to process deals transparently and efficiently is paramount. JIMEX has focused on this challenge from its inception in 2010.
"We developed a system in which potential buyers can submit their bids in real time, and we can manage the auction in real time," Ramirez explains. At the heart of the business model: the need to integrate various databases and establish real-time, one-to-one connections with dealers and individual consumers.
The initial IT system, built in 2010, encompasses about 100 auction sites and handles the export of more than 25,000 auto units annually. However, over the past few years, it had become increasingly apparent to JIMEX executives that the legacy platform couldn't automate essential tasks.
For example, gaps in automation meant that employees sometimes had to be around after hours to handle customer issues and process bids. In some cases, opportunities to sell vehicles evaporated because the systems couldn't move fast enough.
Using a Cloud-Based Data Integration Platform
In August 2016, the company connected its existing internal software, including a Hubspot marketing automation platform and its databases, using cloud-based data integration platform Scribe. This introduced several important capabilities and features, including the ability to personalize and differentiate the e-commerce experience for consumers, automate the firm's inbound and outbound marketing programs, and conduct list scoring and other tasks that speed transactions and reduce staff time.
The process did not require an API programmer or a systems integrator, Ramirez says. The open API library delivered the flexibility and simplicity JIMEX required. "As the head of marketing, I was able to jump in and make the needed connections," he adds.
The results have been impressive. The system now refreshes every 5 minutes and syncs with auctions and prospects in near-real time. With enhanced automation, analytics and reporting capabilities (including mobile access to data), JIMEX account managers and others staff members suddenly had 60 percent more time available to handle strategic tasks and focus on the customer experience.
"We are able to match requests faster than before," Ramirez reports. "We can send the right auction item in less than 12 hours. In the past, it would often take 24 to 48 hours, depending on the region."
All of this has helped JIMEX boost market share and revenue. The company recently hired new sales representatives and expanded into new markets in East Africa and the Caribbean. In fact, the company now sells vehicles on six continents.
"We have a very elegant and affordable solution in place," Ramirez says, "and we can add fields and scale capabilities as needed. The platform helps us compete more effectively in the global marketplace."