Success Stories

The Client: Fortune 500 Automotive Retailer

Client Overview:

With 15,000 team members nationwide, the fourth-largest automotive retailer with the second-largest inventory provides personal transportation solutions across the United States and is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Fortune 500. Through its omni-channel retail strategy, customers can buy, sell and service vehicles whenever and however they like—online or through their 182 service and delivery centers. In addition to their primary mission, the client also drives to continuously improve and give back to their communities.

Business Issue: IT Systems Not Keeping Up with Aggressive Expansion Strategy

The new Chief Technology and Innovation Officer for this automotive retailer quickly identified several dealership groups across the U.S. that were acquired over the past few years, but the IT network and systems were never integrated due to other project priorities that had been assigned to the team. This was a concern – not only for ensuring the security of their company’s most valuable assets – but because there were potential new integrations on the horizon. He needed the entire team focused solely on the integration of these dealership groups for the remainder of the year. No exceptions.

The client required a seasoned project leader who had experience managing large, complex IT projects and the ability to juggle many moving parts, dependencies and third-party vendors—a leader with strong communication skills and the drive to “make it happen.” So, he contacted Maven Project Management, a company that has managed projects for him in the past and earned his trust by meeting milestones and exceeding expectations.

The project was not short on challenges: 5 individual dealership groups across the U.S. with approximately 69 stores combined requiring integration – all within a 4-month timeframe. Meeting this tight timeframe required a significant amount of planning – communicating with dealership management teams, working with local and corporate IT staff and third-party vendors and coordinating overlapping project resources.

Solution: Project Management Leadership and Expertise for Complex IT Integration Projects

Clear and consistent communication throughout each dealership group integration effort was crucial to the success of this project. The overall project scope included:

  • Active Directory migration which involved moving approximately 5,400 users and PCs to the company’s domain.
  • Standardizing data and internet circuits, switches, and WiFi, etc. across the company.
  • Upgrading 686 PCs for three of the dealership groups (the other 2 had already been completed previously).
  • Providing central IT support model to all 69 newly integrated dealership stores.

To ensure the success of the project, Maven:

  • Set up planning sessions with the IT management team at the start of each migration to discuss timing, schedule by group/dealership, requirements, resources and hardware required, etc. 
  • Made calls to every dealership management team to discuss timeline and expectations.
  • Arranged team kickoff meetings for each dealership group—along with local IT teams, corporate IT, and vendors—to present the migration schedule, review the implementation plan, and discuss onsite team expectations.
  • Held touch base meetings with teams to ensure all pre-migration tasks were being completed and address any issues, risks or roadblocks.
  • Sent email communications to all dealership employees to keep them informed throughout the migration and provide information on how to use the new system.
  • Ensured the tech teams had an open communication channel during evening migrations to address any issues and supported each migration to ensure resources were in place.
  • Provided a post-migration feedback loop for dealership General Managers.
  • Managed onsite migration challenges, including hardware and circuits not arriving on time, rogue switches found, and unreliable contract resources.
  • Documented all issues and/or areas for improvement during each migration and presented this information to the teams for input once all group dealerships were complete.

Result: Successful Systems Integration for the Client Today...and Down the Road

Maven Project Management met all client expectations for integrating their dealerships which paves the way for future integrations.

  • Upgrading 686 PCs completed within the 4-month timeframe as requested by the client.
  • Active Directory migration and central IT support for 53 out of 69 dealerships were completed within the 4-month timeframe. Remaining stores experienced delays due to end-of year dealership sales activities and were fully migrated within 3 weeks.
  • Implementation of standardized IT networking (i.e. circuits, switches, WiFi) was completed for 40 out of 69 dealership stores. The remaining stores experienced delays due to third-party vendor circuit delivery timelines and were fully integrated by 2nd quarter.
  • Integration process refined, documented and posted on SharePoint based on lessons learned from each migration.

In the end, the Maven Project Management was able to help the team remain focused on the end goal, while developing a new integrations process with document templates and reporting for future projects.


 “There is a delicate fine line difference between a project manager and a business change leader. Few PMs are both, but Veronica Thraen is unquestionably both. She was able to take on an extremely difficult challenge within a short timeframe and deliver with proactive, sound change leadership. She took the extra step at every turn to deliver the most personalized and detailed communication to each store and make the changes as simple as possible. She also had the know-how to drive the cross-functional teams to deliver against all objectives. We would 

welcome working with Veronica and her firm again for our future business change initiatives.”

- Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Fortune 500 Automotive Retailer 


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