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With RingCentral, NADA Transitioned to Remote Work Force with Ease Amid Pandemic

Company profile
Company profile:
NADA membership is open to any new-car and -truck dealership holding a sales and service franchise.
  • Represents franchised new-car dealers — domestic and import — before Congress, federal agencies, the media and the general public;
  • Provides education and guidance on regulatory matters; 
  • Represents dealers' interests with automobile and truck manufacturers;
  • Develops research on the retail automobile industry;
  • Offers extensive training programs to improve dealership business operations, sales and service practices; and
  • Operates a charitable foundation on behalf of franchised dealers.
Year founded:
Tyson, VA

Working Remotely Doesn’t Slow Down NADA Thanks to Proactive Thinking and RingCentral Cloud Communications

As the largest trade association representing franchised new-car and -truck dealerships in the U.S., the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) mission encompasses everything from legislative, regulatory and legal affairs at the federal level to teaching best practices and financial workshops. Like most businesses, the COVID-19 outbreak required the organization to move its operations offsite and deploy a remote workforce in a matter of weeks. In addition to helping its own workforce adjust to a new work environment, NADA also had to educate its members about rapidly changing legislative, regulatory and operational landscape. NADA was addressing a new unprecedented crisis on behalf of the nation’s auto dealers almost daily, and they found themselves among the critical vendors list. 
Rafael Maldonado, Vice President and CIO of NADA, is a seasoned IT executive, bringing more than a quarter century of experience to NADA. While no one could have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to Rafael’s forward thinking and RingCentral, NADA was prepared to keep their businesses up and running smoothly while teams transitioned to working remotely.
Because NADA was already using Microsoft 365 and RingCentral for their inbound call center and click-to-chat website application, it was an easy decision to deploy RingCentral’s remote access. With time being crucial, Rafael was happy to add to the suite of products his teams were previously utilizing.
“RingCentral has been critical for us to get our members the services and communications they need from us during this crisis."
Rafael Maldonado
Vice President & CIO

RingCentral’s Cloud-Based Telecommunications Enables Employees to Work Anywhere

Prior to the RingCentral implementation, this move to remote life would not have been as quick or easy. NADA was using a dated on-premises voice-over IP (VoIP) system that generated significant limitations should employees need to be off-site. While employees could forward their calls, if the building itself was no longer in use, the main phone number would have shut down.
Thanks to Rafael’s expertise, he realized this ahead of the pandemic, and implemented a total overhaul of NADA’s older IT systems. As they deployed Microsoft’s Office 365, their learning management systems, content management systems, and association management system, NADA was able to integrate the RingCentral’s cloud-based contact center directly into its IT infrastructure.
Rafael’s business continuity plan outlined a path to grant employees access to their critical information regardless of location, so they could do their jobs or make decisions anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
“If we could enable our staff to be more nimble, efficient and effective in our mission of servicing our members, we wouldn’t be limited by a building. RingCentral was one of those steps in us being able to get the work done from anywhere on any device,” Rafael said.
In addition to transitioning NADA’s contact center and telecommunication operations to the cloud, the organization proactively purchased laptops, something many companies have struggled with as computer supply chains were overwhelmed during the coronavirus pandemic. But because every NADA employee already had a laptop, they could all begin working from home right away.
Once he received the call to start helping team members transition to their home environment, Rafael said the deployment was easier than most would imagine.
“When the announcement came, I reached out to our partners at RingCentral and Microsoft. We had our questions answered quickly, underwent some training, and got everybody up and running and working right away,” Rafael explained.
To complete the transition, NADA made a few changes on the back end of its new VoIP solution, allowing the phone to ring on a cell, mobile device or desktop. They enabled a single sign-on system through Microsoft Office 365. Because they were already using RingCentral, they didn’t have to purchase any additional software, and the deployment was fairly simple.
“It was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be, and it works pretty seamlessly," Rafael said.

Everyone Can Learn to Work Remotely, Even Those Afraid of Technology

Rafael’s vision for remote-friendly telecommunications was a harder sell to some of the executive team and employees who were concerned about how the new technology would work. “A lot of people think they’ll break the technology, so they’re reluctant to learn something new because they think it’s too difficult or complex.” But, once they were forced to, they came to the realization that “this isn’t so bad,” he added.
With remote work on the table as a possible long-term solution, Rafael believes cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions like RingCentral will enable organizations to implement permanent work from home and telework policies.

NADA Looks Ahead to the Future of Work Possibilities

As the pandemic led to major business interruptions and an unparalleled Congressional response to the economic shut-down, NADA’s members looked to the organization for guidance on a myriad of issues. To assist their members, navigate the constantly changing landscape, NADA began publishing daily COVID-19 newsletters, webinars, and guidance documents.
Thanks to its new remote work policies, NADA seamlessly conducted four or more webinars per week, with as many as 5,000 people joining some sessions. NADA’s contact center transitioned from mainly inbound to one that proactively communicates with members to let them know about any resources available to them.
“RingCentral has been critical for us to get our members the services and communications they need from us during this crisis,” Rafael said.
In the future, he predicts NADA will offer a work-from-home package that may allow everyone to work remotely periodically. Although it came to fruition a little faster than Rafael might have initially predicted, the rushed version of his plan created a few silver linings along the way as NADA realized additional needs for the long-term.
“It's hard to work on a small laptop screen as a long-term solution, and so we're looking into that. Getting docking stations, monitors, keyboards and mice for every critical executive and/or position, so they can work from home as efficiently as possible, is a step we’ve learned we need to take,” he said. 
“RingCentral has been critical for us to get our members the services and communications they need from us during this crisis. It has been instrumental and critical in enabling us to do what we needed to do, especially for the call center. We literally didn't miss a beat. Those employees went home, they had everything they needed to work, and they were servicing our members, day one. So, it was great,” Rafael said.
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