The Carter platform was developed with the express purpose of helping consumers successfully make one of the biggest purchasing decisions they will ever make: buying a new car.
“The whole process of buying a new car is extremely complex and user-unfriendly. Our app aims to help consumers navigate this difficult purchase journey successfully using digital channels as far as possible,” says Amit Bholla, co-founder and chief technology officer of Carter.
“In this model, the website and app are paramount, and that’s our expertise, but the reliability of our technology platform is also critical. The latter skill is not our core business, and that’s where LanDynamix comes in.”
Bholla says that he has always seen on-site infrastructure as a risk, which is why he relies on LanDynamix to host and manage the servers in its own data centre.
“This way we are not distracted from our customer focus — and it also facilitates our ability to work from various locations,” he says.
We have been working with Carter since its inception in 2016. Initially, we funded the purchase of the servers, which assisted the start-up to utilise the quality of technology equipment it needed. This set the stage for a deepening partnership based on a clear understanding of both parties’ responsibilities.
Over time, the scope of the services we have provided have changed as the business has matured. For example, it soon became apparent that telephony was going to play a bigger-than-expected role in providing the right customer experience. In line with our role as a technology provider, we took on the challenge of providing the PBX solution that Carter needed.
In addition, as might be expected, the range of services performed by the server environment changes as new possibilities emerge — increasing use of data analytics and machine learning will likely require new infrastructure solutions in due course.
Another major development was the decision to acquire a brick-and-mortar dealership to begin creating a customer-experience ecosystem that Carter can control completely end to end without relying on the traditional dealership systems and processes. Carter set up the Renault Melrose dealership during the second half of 2018, geared towards serving both digital and walk-in customers. As Carter looks to grow its network of dealerships, so, too, will the IT requirement to support what is essentially a vertically integrated value chain. In particular, ever more sophisticated PBX solutions will be needed to support customers.
“The Carter team was very clear from the start that they wanted to be free to concentrate on the ongoing refinement of their online user experience and interacting with customers,” says Ethan Searle, technology advisor at LanDynamix. “That places a huge responsibility on us not only to ensure that their current technology platform is stable, but also to keep abreast of what the changing business requirements are.”
The Carter Renault dealership based in Melrose, Johannesburg has consistently been the top-performing Renault dealership in the country since opening and prides itself on its exceptional customer service and online buying process via the Carter platform.