Online and on track

05 May 2015

Having satisfactorily used a manual T Cards system as a workflow management tool for a number of years, when the time came to think about upgrading the system, Peterborough-based Monarch Automotive was keen to learn more about T Cards Online

Monarch Automotive is an independent motor dealer and vehicle workshop providing motorists with essential services such as maintaining and repairing cars, vans, light commercial vehicles and HGVs.


The company also offers additional products and services including air conditioning, tyres, valeting, windscreens, and wheel alignment, and regards itself as a credible alternative to main dealerships. It prides itself on delivering high levels of customer satisfaction, combined with a personal service, and this is acknowledged by its membership of the Motor Industry Code of Practice, which provides independent assessments of customer satisfaction.



Given the large volume of parts and accessories involved for such a wide range of vehicles, it is essential that Monarch Automotive utilises the most efficient systems to ensure that it effectively manages and tracks all items in a clear and precise, yet simple way. To do this it relies upon the well-established manual T Cards Direct system which it has used for about seven years. The T Cards system enables all relevant departments to see at-a-glance the status of all work and it has proven to be a simple, yet effective workflow management tool. The challenge however, was how could the company replicate the manual T Cards system with an online workflow management system running on PCs and enabling several different users to log-on at any time and view the current status of each job? 



Given the company's satisfaction with the manual T Cards system and its requirement for upgrading to an online version, Monarch Automotive wanted to know more about the development of T Cards Online.                                                                               

Developed and fine-tuned over a period of four years, and launched in early 2013, the T Cards Online workflow monitoring system replicates the manual card and board T-Card system which was introduced over 35 years ago. It enables users to manage workflow in real time using the drag-and-drop technique, moving job cards around the board to reflect current status. It features password-protected login and enables multiple remote access from anywhere in the world. All historical data is maintained so that it can be copied and reused at a later date.


A benefit of the new T Cards Online system is its simplicity. Once the virtual board has been configured to meet individual requirements, new cards are opened from the main menu bar. There are standard templates for Vehicle Workshops, Parts Ordering and Vehicle Stock Control. T Cards can also be tailored enabling alarms, signals and email notification to be added, and there is also a facility to attach external documents. Since a number of cards will appear on the same chart, they can be colour-coded for easier identification and, as work progresses, the cards are simply dragged and dropped into a new column.



Mary Gillespie, manager at Monarch Automotive, said: "We looked at various systems but decided on T Cards Online. It replicated our manual based system and required virtually no training. After a quick run-through over the 'phone with the team at T Cards Direct, we started using the system straight away. As a work flow management tool the system is excellent; it has enabled us to upgrade from the manual system to one which is easily accessible via PCs in our different departments.” 

T Cards says Monarch Automotive’s experience in using the new online system is another example of T Cards Online expertise in helping a wide range of automotive companies to explore the benefits of a simple, yet highly effective online management tool. The result, it says, is streamlined more efficient management processes, which ultimately leads to improved productivity, saving time and money.