Modernizing vehicle maintenance management in the car rental space.
Hertz’s leadership team understands the importance of embracing digital transformation to streamline internal processes, increase scalability, and maintain the brand’s competitive edge in the car rental industry. And that’s why in the summer of 2021, Hertz came to Codal with a business challenge that needed an elegant digital solution.
In 1918, Walter L. Jacobs, a mechanic from Chicago, started his own rental car service with a modest fleet of 12 Model-Ts—and the Hertz Corporation was born. Now, more than a century later, Hertz has over 10,300 locations worldwide, offering a wide range of rental vehicles, from luxury sedans to trucks.
Vehicle maintenance is a crucial aspect of any rental car company’s operations. To ensure a successful customer experience and minimize vehicle downtime, Hertz requires an advanced system for requesting and tracking routine and off-cycle maintenance—such as tune-ups, oil changes, tire rotations, brake pad replacements, and so on.
Hertz local edition (HLE) locations—or off-airport, neighborhood sites—outsource their vehicle maintenance to various third-party service providers, such as Firestone. These vendors use a software called Auto Integrate, which allows maintenance managers to receive, approve, and assign repair orders from vehicle suppliers like Hertz.
For years, Hertz used a third-party solution called Snapsheet to facilitate all US-based HLE maintenance projects. But this software was never designed for Hertz or fleet maintenance in general. Rather, Snapsheet is a solution for managing and tracking insurance claims.
Therefore, relying on this platform resulted in expensive licensing fees and inefficient workflows. Also, any platform customization requests from Hertz to the Snapsheet software development team were either unfeasible or delivered too slowly.
Hertz partnered with Codal to replace Snapsheet with a faster, smarter, and less expensive internal solution—custom-designed to meet the business’ unique goals and requirements. This would soon become known as the Hertz Maintenance Portal.
Codal and Hertz kicked off the project with a two-day session at Codal’s headquarters in Chicago.
We started by diving deep into the Snapsheet platform, walking through current business processes, user pain points, and considerations for the new solution—based on Hertz’s goals for the fiscal year. We also performed stakeholder interviews, data analysis, and general market research to help guide our strategy.
After the initial Discovery, we put together a list of objectives that the new solution needed to accomplish, then divided those into phases—with the highest-priority objectives to be tackled first. These included:
Next, we documented requirements for the entire product roadmap into a detailed feature list, assigned features to phases based on the identified objectives, and performed a MoSCoW analysis to determine which features should be prioritized for the initial launch.
The platform had to give both desktop and mobile users the ability to:
To reduce the amount of manual work required for managing maintenance tickets and communicating with vendors, the platform also needed to automatically:
These are just a few examples from a long list of features and functionalities that Codal designed, engineered, tested, and deployed to build out the platform and help streamline Hertz’s maintenance operations. Each feature was developed through Codal’s comprehensive design sprint process.
At the start of each sprint, the Design team would collaborate with the Product team to ensure that everyone understood the business requirements documented in Jira. Then, once the initial design of a feature was complete, the Product team would conduct live and offline reviews to confirm that all business and technical requirements were met.
Each week, we held one or more sessions with Hertz stakeholders to review the feature designs in detail. Hertz would provide feedback so the Design team could revise its work, then re-present in a future session until they received approval.
At the end of every week, our Product and Engineering teams met internally to plan the upcoming one-week sprint. This involved updating priorities, estimating the backlog, assessing progress against the project timeline, and flagging risks to communicate to Hertz.
Throughout the following week, our team would execute the plan. And each Friday morning, we would present our accomplishments from the previous week, as well as provide the Hertz team with a demo using the latest build. Hertz would provide feedback and address potential risks or blockers, helping us to adjust the sprint and overall project plans accordingly.
After many team meetings, design sprints, demo sessions, and tests, we successfully launched the Hertz Maintenance Portal.
This cloud-based application can be accessed through a desktop or Hertz-managed phone, so employees can quickly and easily request, track, and manage vehicle maintenance from home, at the office, or out in the field. Integrated with Auto Integrate and other third-party solutions, the platform allows users to smoothly communicate with vendors and centralize important information.
Built with cutting-edge, data-driven technology, this internal tool is helping Hertz increase burn-down rate on maintenance work, reduce vehicle downtime, streamline employee workflows, save money, and improve the customer experience.
Codal continues to work with Hertz on making updates and adding new features to the platform to ensure long-term success and scalability. We’re proud to partner with industry leaders like Hertz, and are excited to see what the future holds!