Audits of automobile dealerships in the era of COVID-19.

Audits of automobile dealerships in the era of COVID-19.

How can audits take place when general exit and travel restrictions apply?
In order to ensure that the evaluation of processes, structures and guidelines can continue to be carried out during the Corona period in accordance with the required standards in companies and their environment, an implementation had to be developed in a short time without the presence of the auditor on site.
Here, due to today's digital possibilities, the Munich Consulting Group was able to develop new formats and thus completely replace on-site inspections with digital audits. Good advance communication with the trading companies to be visited and structured preparation made it possible to digitalise the process in its entirety.

Flexibility through digitalization

The Munich Consulting Group has a highly qualified team of auditors throughout Germany who, through their many years of experience, have successfully mastered this challenge within a very short time. Through our existing digital network and the use of numerous tools, we were able to carry out the audits remotely during the entire lockdown.
For the audits on the topics "Efficiency and sustainability through professional environmental management" and "Customer Return - scrapping process in the trade" in the automotive trade, the process was adapted to that of an on-site visit.
This includes discussing the processes in accordance with guidelines and jointly reviewing the documentation belonging to the process, checking evidence and inspecting the premises together - steps that are essential for the execution of the processes.

The Remote Audit Process

With the switch to remote, the discussion and joint review of the documentation is now carried out via video call. If this is not possible, the documents are sent to the auditor via e-mail and discussed accordingly by telephone. Random checks of the documents are also carried out by e-mail. The inspection of the site is replaced by sending photos to the auditor. Here the auditor determines in advance which specific photos are required for the examination.
All in all, the changeover from presence to remote audits went smoothly and was very much welcomed and positively evaluated by the trading companies during this extraordinary time.
We have seen that through a crisis like this new ways can be tested, flexibly implemented and accepted. And this with great success.

Hybrid solution for the future

What can we learn from this special time and implement it in the future?
Travel and attendance times can be reduced by new processes, making a positive contribution to environmental goals and conserving resources sustainably.
Even though audits can be carried out in the usual way again, we were able to learn from this phase that familiar processes can be carried out in new ways and that a hybrid solution is conceivable and feasible for audits in the future.

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Marco Mauler
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