Arabian Automobiles started its Business Excellence Awards journey with a Dubai Quality Appreciation Award in 2000. What organisational insights did you get from being a part of the awards?

In 1994, when Dubai established the Dubai Quality Award through the Department of Economic Development (DED), we initiated our journey of excellence with the implementation of the Balanced Scorecard. In 2000, we took the first step towards Dubai Quality Award programme, which enabled us to self-evaluate our processes and systems. This was followed by winning the Dubai Quality Appreciation award.

One of the key factors for marking our success is the strong execution of strategy across our operations

- Michel Ayat, CEO of AW Rostamani Automotive

The excellence model frameworks provided by DED have been highly beneficial to us and ensures a rigid mechanism to continuously improve our business standards and processes. We have committed teams, who analyse and recommend actions to continuously improve our operations and deliver a superior customer experience.

Arabian Automobiles won Dubai Quality Award in 2013. What were the best practices you introduced to better organisational performance this time around?

In 2012, the passion to focus on delivering a better customer experience through top-quality processes facilitated our car rental organisation, SHIFT, in being recognised with Dubai Quality Appreciation Award. This was followed by Arabian Automobiles winning Dubai Quality Award in the 2013 cycle. Some of the key initiatives we had put in place over the years that led to achieving the award included strengthening the Balanced Scorecard methodology across the organisation. Arabian Automobiles Company became the only private organiation in the UAE to be inducted into the Palladium Hall of Fame for Strategy Execution in 2013.

We also implemented various customer experience initiatives such as video mystery shopping, competitive benchmarking studies, and new technologies that were aimed at improving operational efficiency. The achievement of DQA in 2013 emphasised our full commitment to enhance our service offerings while continuously elevating customer experience.

You won the Dubai Quality Gold Award in 2016 reaffirming Arabian Automobiles’ status as a role model organisation. What were the innovations and changes you brought about to bag this award?

One of the key factors for marking our success is the strong execution of strategy across our operations. Incorporating innovation and digital transformation into strategy development and execution has helped mark ourselves as a role model in the UAE automotive market.

We have gone digital at our showrooms, enhanced after-sales services and enhanced the customer-centric approach in everything we do. We introduced various digital solutions to enhance customer experience such as RFID for vehicle management and introduction of IPads in showrooms and service centres. We introduced concept stores that assure a superior customer experience such as NREDI for Nissan, IREDI for Infiniti and R-Store for Renault brands. Expanding our portfolio of global standards by implementing ISO Integrated Management systems covering ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 has enabled our operations to be qualitative and environment-friendly while ensuring the highest health and safety standards at the workplace.

We also placed a strong focus on development and improvement of Emiratisation initiatives in line with the UAE’s strategic vision while at the same time incorporated various enhancements to our HR practices such as succession planning and salary benchmarking.

Arabian Automobiles has been winning the Best Service Performance Brand awards for its automobile showrooms over the years and this year, you won the award for Infiniti. What are the factors that have helped you win this award consistently?

As our mission states, we strive to enrich the lives of our customers through our people, products and services by setting best practices in everything we do. Dubai Service Excellence Scheme (DSES) provided an effective framework for promoting excellence in customer service standards. We participated in DSES for the first time in 2014 cycle where we achieved the Best Service Performance Brand in the automotive category.

We continued to outperform in this programme and successfully achieved this award consecutively for four cycles beginning from 2014 until 2017. Working closely on feedback from DSES reports helped identify areas of improvement and enabled us to focus on specific areas that helped us in providing customers with a fantastic, memorable and enjoyable experience. Beginning with Renault achieving this award in 2015, the success followed with Nissan winning it in 2016, Infiniti in 2017 and for the second time Nissan bagged this award in 2018.

What are the initiatives you have in place to maintain the competitiveness and productivity of your organisation?

Our ongoing initiatives to lead the industry are focused on implementing innovative and digital systems as well as processes. The automotive industry is undergoing rapid disruption through the introduction of new technologies such as electric vehicles, autonomous technologies and artificial intelligence, which are expected to transform the automotive industry in the future. Our goals and strategies will be to continually innovate ourselves and be ready for these future trends. At the same time, our focus will be to implement the latest technologies and processes aligned to the vision of the leaders of the nation by embracing a culture of excellence and innovation, which will further strengthen the UAE’s position as a global leader in the international business community.