Norton Way Transform Consulting Case Study

The Norton Way Group incorporates six locations in Hertfordshire and four in West London representing Honda, Nissan, Kia, Peugeot, Mazda, MG, Skoda, and Citroen. The group has since been acquired by Marubeni Corporation’s subsidiary Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited which consists of 40 companies/dealers and turns over more than £1bn. Jason Cranswick took over as managing director in January 2023 alongside his role as COO of Marubeni Auto Investment (UK) Limited 

Transform Consulting

Autofinity’s Transform Consulting was appointed to undertake a systems audit to gain understanding and oversight of the multiple applications the group had in place. The audit identifies the systems in operation, processes undertaken and any gaps left open. Senior leaders can then implement efficiencies delivering improved deployment of dealer group IT technology. 

Systems Audit

Autofinity’s platform architect Chris Banks, who has more than 20 years’ experience of systems development and platform architecture in the automotive retail arena, led the project. It’s his task to understand a dealer group’s issues and challenges surrounding IT and systems inventory, duplications, discrepancies and gaps which are often fulfilled manually by dealership staff.

Chris Banks: “Often dealership employees are the glue holding all these systems together and it isn’t unusual to find one person who really understands the different elements and undertakes the manual tasks to enable smooth delivery of a single process.”

As part of the Norton Way audit, we discovered more than 150 systems in operation across the group including as many as three systems seemingly undertaking the same task although on closer inspection, we found that each were used slightly differently to fulfil specific tasks.

“Dealers are paying for systems and licence usage several times over to undertake very similar functions,” Banks explained. “Once a group has oversight of the systems in place, cost savings are often immediately apparent. In addition, it is easy to identify where lack of connectivity creates the need for manual interjection.”

The Solution

Transform Consulting provided a systems map and a process map delivering a visual overview of systems, their connectivity and the various steps involved in any one given process.

Systems Map

A visual reproduction of the systems in operation, the functions each performs and connectivity in an accessible format allows senior leadership teams to pinpoint duplications, flaws and breakdown in the flow of information.

Chris Banks: “The gaps and the way these are plugged are not known to line managers and senior leaders because they are managed manually at the coalface. The visualisation also prompted additional questions which no one knew to ask until they could literally see the web of systems in front of their eyes.”

Process Map

A step-by-step understanding of processes and how systems both aid and impede progress enables dealers to take action to improve efficiencies. The processes where duplications and breakdowns in the flow are typical of most dealerships, for example:-

  • The internal transportation of vehicles relied on the exchange of emails between managers at different sites with holdups if these did not take place.
  • The inability to transfer the deal stack if a vehicle was sold by one dealership but located at another resulted in a time wasting and potential error inducing copy and paste solution. 
  • Three workshop management systems each fulfilled slightly different functionality but information was not shared between them exacerbating the creation of silos which interrupts the smooth transfer and access to information.

Map Creation

Transform Consulting undertook the audit and created detailed mapping without extensively upending the day-to-day working lives of dealership staff.

We undertook the audit spending four to five days working alongside employees spread across two to three months. Initially, we spent around half-a-day with head of marketing and digital transformation Ben Athow devising the maps with input from employees who typically provided twenty-thirty minutes of their time minimising the impact on their daily activities.

Norton Way’s Views

Managing director Jason Cranswick said: “The systems audit has proven to be incredibly valuable. We thought we had a handle on all the systems at work across our dealerships and the tasks they fulfil but the audit brought it home to us in a purely visual way enabling us to identify duplications and unnecessary applications. We can also see very clearly how the lack of connectivity and data sharing between systems is creating obstacles and bumps in the road for a smooth ecommerce experience for both employees and customers. We are now in the process of implementing actions that the audit highlighted and when completed will improve efficiencies and provide essential savings for the group in a challenging climate.”


Streamlining processes to deliver maximum efficiency can only be achieved with a full understanding of the steps involved. Likewise, the way systems deliver and interact and any disconnection can only be addressed and transformed from a solid foundation of knowledge. 

Chris Banks: “Our systems audit is insightful and identifies gaps, duplications and the labour-intensive manual interventions. Retailers can then take steps to reduce duplication and implement connectivity and automation where it currently does not exist. Costs are saved, applications and licences are either reduced or information pooled and employees’ time is freed up.”

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