Sorin Iacob (Carfix App): We offer a complete set of solutions to save time on car management operations

Deniza Cristian 08/02/2022 | 14:13

The Carfix App was launched in April 2021, after two years of development and an investment of RON 3 million, to help car owners to save time. Sorin Iacob, founder, and CEO of GT Managing Services spoke in an interview about the development journey of the app and the demand of Romanians for digitalization in all areas related to their car.

 

Behind the Carfix App, there are two key people: Sorin Iacob, founder, and CEO of GT Managing Services, with over 14 years worth of experience in sales and the automotive industry, and Eduard Fogarassy, a Deputy director who has taken over the responsibilities of product manager. He manages a team that covers flow analysis, functionality design, coordination, development, the app’s legal compliance, visual identity, and marketing campaigns.

Until the app’s launch in April 2021, more than RON 1.5 million have been invested in developing the functionality and design of the Carfix platform, available on both mobile and web devices.

  1. How did you start as an entrepreneur? What was the initial investment?

The step towards entrepreneurship came naturally at the end of 2014, after six and a half years spent running a multinational company. The experience I gained, in combination with my ideas of digitalization, naturally led to the creation of a company in the field of services for the automotive industry and related services (insurance, leasing, fleet, etc.). With an initial investment of EUR 200,000, alongside a small but experienced team and a desire to innovate, we created new, digital products for B2B interactions between Insurance & Leasing players on one side and Repairers & Parts Suppliers on the other.

  1. What are the values of the company you founded and how did you get the business idea?

Our company is built on competence, integrity, transparency, and innovation by modeling technology and the industry’s best practices for each client’s specific processes.

Our experience over the past years has also taught us how important is flexibility and adaptation to market changes and the needs of our partners. We strongly believe in collaboration and promote this principle through the modularity and scalability of our solutions. Moreover, we focus on quality that is guaranteed and constantly monitored.

Over the years we have become acknowledged in the market by offering solutions tailored to the needs of the partner and costs adapted to the realities of the local market. Today, we are leaders in the repair authorization software market, used by leasing companies in their partnerships with service providers, and we are a relevant player in the damage authorization market. We aim to become the leading provider of technology to digitize the workflow of automotive faults and damage identification, estimation, and approval of repair costs using automation and A.I. technologies.

Based on these premises the idea of the Carfix App was born, the first Romanian application that digitizes 100% of the car damage notification and assessment process. The idea of the application arose from the growing need of car owners to streamline the entire bureaucratic process that occurs in the case of car damage. With our app, we enable the car owner to initiate the entire process of notification and damage assessment in a process that is 100% guided and controlled by the app. This cuts the lost time in case of damage from days or even weeks to just a few minutes. We are confident that we have reached our main goal, that is, to build an app that saves time and is easy to use.

The ultimate goal of the products we develop is to allow the end-users to get back to their daily activities as quickly as possible, and the service provider company (leaser, insurer, repairer, dealer, etc.) to have all the information in digital format, just a click away.

  1. What are your development plans?

The launch of the Carfix App was the first step we took towards more efficient personal car management. Since then, we have brought more functionality to the app, from managing car documents and the possibility of scheduling service or mandatory technical inspection (ITP) appointments to the possibility of purchasing mandatory insurance RCA directly from the app. These functionalities are mainly aimed at the average user who owns a car.

Today, we continue to innovate and develop for all our clients. On the one hand, we are extending the functionalities of the Carfix App for end-users, for whom we will automate, in three steps, the processes of purchasing car maintenance packages (servicing), as well as the possibility of requesting roadside assistance.

On the other hand, in parallel with the Carfix App, we have been working on an online platform that addresses insurers and insurance brokers, car repairers, leasing companies, and car dealers. The B2B application is designed as a tool that facilitates direct collaboration between companies involved in the damage, repair, or cars sale. This platform will be launched in the following weeks.

  1. What is the innovation that differentiates you from the competition?

In the development of the app, we used both established technologies, as well as proprietary technologies and algorithms that are not available in other apps on the market. On top of all this, we have used our experience in the market and integrated the expertise of insurers and car service representatives, resulting in a tool that is both intuitive for the user and of great help to automotive professionals involved in managing damage and repair files.

In other words, end-to-end digital processes for all the needs of car owners are the most important differentiator for the B2C market.

  1. How has the pandemic affected business?

Lockdown periods and telecommuting have accelerated companies’ digitization initiatives, as well as the availability of end consumers to use these channels. This has created the right framework for our business

The Carfix App was launched in April 2021, after two years of development and an investment of RON 3 million. The app was developed during the pandemic, which for us was an opportunity and a challenge at the same time. We were able to observe the behavior of car users and understood that the digitization process needed to go even further because people wanted to eliminate physical contact with insurers or repairers. So, the app was designed so that the only point of physical contact would be between the car user and the repairer when the car is left for repair. For our company and the app, the pandemic period forced us to be even more creative, innovative, and more focused than ever on the needs of the users in an unpredictable situation.

Could you tell us more about the experience in the app?

The design and user experience are simple, clean, and pleasant, at the same time. The app is available for free on Play Store, App Store, and Huawei Gallery.

Currently, the app offers its users the following functionalities:

  • The possibility to manage car documents (registration, RCA and CASCO insurance, ITP, Vignette) and the possibility to set individual alerts for the expiry date of each document;
  • Damage notification, damage report, risk inspection, or any other check-in/check-out process;
  • Purchase of mandatory car insurance (RCA);
  • Service appointment for maintenance, repair, or periodical technical inspection (ITP);
  • Automatic capture of information from photos – such as vehicle identification number
  • Automatic car identification based on VIN
  • Online check of ITP and vignette status

We offer the user a complete set of solutions to save time on car management operations. Moreover, in the case of car damage, the report is created in three simple steps, directly from the smartphone, so drivers do not have to get to an office to submit the damage report. In addition, the Carfix App automatically guides the user through the entire process and the accuracy of the data is ensured by format validation, automatic data retrieval from official registrations, and GPS coordinates.

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