At Group Delorge-Peerlings, the network and communication are a part of all of the business processes. There’s free Wi-Fi while customers wait, the mechanics carry tablets, and the office staff collaborate on a UC platform.
In recent years, the Group Delorge-Peerlings has grown considerably. The full-service dealership for Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda and VW Company Cars was created in 2012 through the merger of Garage Delorge, with locations in Sint-Truiden, Borgloon and Hasselt, and Garage Peerlings, based in Lommel and Overpelt. Shortly after the merger, they decided to move the activities in Hasselt to a new complex of buildings. The result is the Delorge Business Park – with separate buildings for the activities for Volkswagen and Audi – located on the ring road around Hasselt. For Audi, this represents the largest private investment by a dealership worldwide. Last September, the Group Delorge-Peerlings started up operations at the Business Park.
Single point of contact
“We were constructing a whole new facility,” explains marketing and communication manager Liesbeth Lemmens. “This gave us the chance to incorporate all the equipment we could possibly need from the start, including for IT and telecom.” Because of the large scale of the project, Delorge-Peerlings decided to seek the help of a specialist. “This quickly brought us to Proximus. We were looking for a single technology partner for the entire process: a company that could offer extensive expertise and a single point of contact.” From the very beginning of the project, Proximus sat down with the architect and the design consultants. This approach resulted in two striking new buildings, fully equipped with all the latest technology.
For Delorge-Peerlings, Proximus took care of the development of the network and telecom infrastructure – WAN, LAN and WLAN, Unified Communications (UC) and data security – for all of the group’s locations. “Initially, we were only looking for a solution for Hasselt,” Lemmens recalled. “But once we discovered the possibilities of the B6000 platform from Cisco, we decided to equip the other four locations with it as well.” The UC solution makes telephone calls between the employees working at the various locations a lot cheaper and more convenient. What’s more, the platform also helps improve the service. “We can now more easily transfer a customer to the right person, even if they are based at one of our other locations.”
Open to the future
The Delorge-Peerlings employees are also saving lots of time thanks to the ‘presence’ function. Lemmens: “In the past you would often have to call around to locate a certain staff member. Now we can instantly see who is present at which location and we can tell if he or she is available.” Another advantage of the new environment is that there is only one central communications platform required for the different sites. This is located in Hasselt. “That’s a big difference with how it used to be, when we had to maintain a telephone switchboard at each of our locations.” In this way, the new infrastructure is a good example of the evolution that Delorge-Peerlings has undergone. Five years ago, the entities which currently make up the group were each other’s competitors, based in five different locations. “The new IT and telecom infrastructure also opens up many possibilities for the future,” Lemmens concluded. “For example, we are investigating whether we can start videoconferencing soon. And later this year, when a sixth location is scheduled to open, we will be able to connect it to the network in no time.”
Group Delorge-Peerlings is a full-service dealership for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and VW company cars. With locations in Hasselt, Sint-Truiden, Borgloon, Lommel and Overpelt, Group Delorge-Peerlings has a workforce of 150 employees and groupwide sales of 3,500 cars annually.
Group Delorge-Peerlings opted to construct a brand-new state-of-the-art complex in Hasselt. That called for a state-of-the-art ICT environment:
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