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“There has not been one customer incident call related to this last release.  This is our best release ever!”

Jeff Woolcock, Chief Sales Officer, TRADER

Driving Performance with REALagility

TRADER Corporation is the leading digital player in Canadian automotive.

It boasts the top marketplaces autoTRADER.ca and autoHEBDO.net, which cumulatively generate 17.7 million visits each month.

TRADER helps consumers find the cars they want – with the largest inventory of used and new cars available in Canada, and encourages better vehicle buying decisions through helpful reviews, buyers guides, pricing tools, and more.

TRADER accelerates dealers’ ability to market and manage their inventory through a powerful suite of solutions that we call the TRADER Advantage – with leading Marketplaces, Web Solutions, Web Traffic, Inventory Management, Conversion Tools, and industry-leading customer service.

Partnering with global leaders, TRADER delivers best-in-class digital web, advertising and inventory management solutions to help accelerate business performance of dealers across Canada.

With REALagility, development lead time improved from 34 days to 11 days, critical defects were reduced by 71%, and TRADER customers are happier than ever. This improvement was the direct result of the guidance from and collaboration with four BERTEIG certified REALagility consultants within just five months.

Key Business Benefits Identified

Competing Priorities

Crisis

THE PROBLEM: TRADER needed to migrate from an old technology platform to a new one in order to stay competitive.  The old platform had critical problems that were getting worse day by day.  Sales depended on keeping promises that could only be met with the new platform.  The teams were struggling to deliver quality results in a timely fashion.  Some leaders in the organization were near-panic due to the existential threat this crisis was exposing.

THE SOLUTION: BERTEIG introduced customized visual communication tools that allowed executives, managers, and all technologists to perform the critical work, almost eliminating defects altogether.  For example, due to seeing a bottleneck in the work revealed by the techniques from by BERTEIG, the VP of engineering improved lead time by 50% over the course of three weeks by temporarily stopping all new feature development and implementing quality automation.

Leadership

THE PROBLEM: Leadership was top-down, with everyone waiting for someone else to tell them what to do. This was partially due to a lack of transparency and visibility of the work being done within the organization. Teams were using tools like Jira to collect a lot of data about their work and individuals were devoting a lot of time toward analyzing that data. But often, that data wasn’t valuable. There was also a culture of competitiveness between teams, causing delays getting features to TRADER customers, with no visibility or insight into how to best get work done. Individuals and teams were not empowered to make decisions on the priorities.

THE SOLUTION: BERTEIG helped TRADER’s leadership become more service-oriented. They were then able to identify the service bottlenecks and make necessary adjustments to keep work flowing smoothly. BERTEIG empowered everyone to become leaders by proposing solutions and changing the way they worked. BERTEIG enabled more unity amongst teams, eliminating the competitiveness and aligning them towards common goals. Transparency improved, allowing everyone to see the big picture clearly and work together to improve delivery.

The BERTEIG Difference

BERTEIG sent a team of agile consultants to TRADER’s Toronto and Vancouver offices. They worked closely with both the executives and staff over the course of five months.

Over the life of this partnership, BERTEIG delivered four key pieces integral to TRADER’s rapid improvement:

  • Assessment: a three-week program that included a cultural survey, interviews and workshops with TRADER staff to gather information about the state of the business and the challenges within. BERTEIG then made recommendations based on those results.
  • Leadership training: using various agile practices, BERTEIG showed TRADER leadership how to think about the work they’re doing in the form of services and develop techniques to visualize and manage that work to maximize flow within the organization.
  • Team training: BERTEIG helped TRADER staff to understand how their teams can remain focused on continuously delivering value to their customers by removing wasteful activities. BERTEIG also provided technical training to help improve the quality of the work being delivered.
  • Coaching: BERTEIG consultants coached leaders, teams and individuals at all levels to apply the training and develop a greater sense of unity within the organization.

Results

Learn more about the Real Agility™ – Delivery Track.

BERTEIG provided Trader with consulting, coaching and training for process, teamwork and technical practices at the delivery and management levels.  Through that work, Trader achieved measurable results key to their success as a business.  The main phase of that work lasted five months.

From the start of our assessment to the end of the main phase of coaching and training, Trader saw a 67% improvement in lead time on committed work (34 days to 11 days) and a substantial reduction in defects.  Overall defect rates per month reduced by 57%, and critical defects reduced by 71%.