“Every day we ask what drives people.”
The Van der Walt brothers have turned a love of cars into a lean business machine.
Having a passion for cars isn’t unusual. But there aren’t many people who have the vision and determination to turn that fascination into a successful business.
Faan and Dirk Van der Walt grew up in Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa. The family cars were often old and unreliable, so the pair spent countless hours helping their father fix them.
In 1993, Faan bought his first car (a blue VW 412) and quickly sold it for a profit. The seed of a business idea was sown, and in 2001 the two brothers set up WeBuyCars. As the name suggests, it specializes in buying and selling pre-owned cars.
Starting from a single warehouse in Pretoria East, the business now has the largest showroom in South Africa, operates eight warehouses, 17 regional teams and buys and sells an average of 5,500 cars per month.
This fast-paced growth has not changed the culture of the business or either of the founder’s involvement in the day-to-day. If a classic car or performance sports marque comes up for sale, Faan gets personally involved. Their involvement and passion helps retain a sense of family within the company; Dirk is the innovator dreamer, while Faan is the practical realist.
From the earliest days, Faan and Dirk knew that to drive efficiencies within their business they needed to build their company on a foundation of technology.
Quantin van Rensburg, Head of IT at WeBuyCars has helped shape the integration of technology within the organization by automating tasks from the buying process, lead nurturing and stock control.
“Cisco’s Meraki cloud network plays a pivotal role across our business”Quantin van Rosenberg
Today, WeBuyCars has 190 vehicle buyers located throughout the country. They use mobile technology that runs proprietary software and apps to ensure that every vehicle is bought and sold at just the right price. After all, “If we get it wrong at buying, we’re going to get it wrong at selling”, says Quantin.
It also means that updates or bug fixes, things could easily turn into an IT nightmare, can be easily resolved with Meraki enabling the company to push through new updates and even lock down a device if required.
Meraki also helps WeBuyCars streamline their operation - having the ability to efficiently manage 1000s of stock items through an inventory system is critical. We need to be able to track each and every vehicle from when it’s brought into the warehouse through to being inspected, prepared, cleaned, photographed and loading all necessary information onto the WeBuyCars website.
With cars being sold online, at live auctions, and through a wide dealer network, there’s no hanging about. “With a two-week turnaround on every vehicle, we swing stock quickly”, says Quantin.
Using Meraki also means the company can offer guests an enriched in-branch customer experience that provides detailed information services on all vehicles.
Moving forward, Quantin believes that Meraki can help drive further innovations for the business that delivers improved interaction with customers and increased sales conversions.
Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi 6, cloud-managed IT solutions help organizations build a high-density network that saves time and money with technology that simply works.