South Africa’s flagship BMW dealership, CMH Lyndhurst Auto BMW (formerly Lyndhurst Auto), saw an “immeasurable” increase in sales efficiency and significant dips in lost sales opportunities and call costs, since putting in KIRK DECT cordless telephony from Tellumat Telecoms.

The installation of 64 handsets, plus base stations and repeaters, was a rip and replace of Wi-Fi technology from another vendor, says CMH Lyndhurst Auto BMW customer relationship manager, Chantelle Roberts. “We’re very happy. If you just factor in the gains of clawing back lost sales opportunities, it’s worth its weight in gold.”
Roberts says CMH Lyndhurst Auto BMW was one of the first Wi-Fi installations in the country, but says the dealership found too many problems with the Wi-Fi service. “If you consider the amount of business we do on the phone, we just couldn’t afford being the guinea pigs. The handsets got warm, calls were dropped and there were issues with range and call handover between access points.”
This resounding endorsement of KIRK, DECT technology and Tellumat (the primary distributor for KIRK products in sub-Saharan Africa), carries other success stories in its wake. Not the least of these is the almost overnight rise of Toptel, the Tellumat reseller-integrator on this deal, to the top reseller spot for KIRK DECT within five months of taking on the technology.
Phil Rudram, Toptel MD, says although DECT’s reliability and stability make it a no-brainer, corporate SA and Toptel itself have dabbled prematurely in Wi-Fi telephony. “Wi-Fi will certainly take over in time with its IP-based functionalities, but not yet. Having done the original Wi-Fi installation, we had to rip and replace the handsets and base stations, but left the PBX intact. Then we integrated the DECT telephone system with the PBX, a simple task, as KIRK has a completely open interface.”
As a result, he says, CMH Lyndhurst Auto BMW is able to run a much tighter ship. Sales agents are able to move around freely and still field calls, dealing with business as it occurs. “They now have less than 4% unanswered calls, which could be as high as 15% normally. As for their call cost saving, they have taken off as much as 25%, they tell me.”
Bennie Langenhoven, GM of Tellumat Telecoms, says the advantages of DECT mobility are manifold. “Mobility gives a car dealership a major increase in productivity and efficiency. They’re on the phone a lot, and they move around a lot. If a customer calls and has to be phoned back, probably on his cellphone, not only is the dealer incurring huge costs, but a hot deal may have cooled down considerably. And no dealer wants to be unavailable to a discerning customer.”
Wayne Nel, Tellumat’s KIRK channel manager for the northern region, says mobility is a priceless commodity. “You have to ask yourself – what is the price of a customer putting the phone down?” Nel says the maturity of DECT telephony has another advantage, in that the handsets are both aesthetically pleasing and rugged. “They’re robust. A mobile device has to be. And there are constant advances in display, sound and functionality.”
Tellumat offers full dealer support and a 24-hour full swap-out to customers in the case of problems. “Most other vendors offer three-day swaps. When your business is mobile, the turnaround is crucial,” Nel concludes.