Three years after being sold by Cox Automotive, incadea has sharpened its focus on product development
Editor's note: Since this article was originally published, Werner Leinauer was promoted to Portfolio Manager at Volaris from his previous position as CEO of incadea. Cem Ocek was promoted to CEO of incadea from his previous position as Head of Sales, Marketing, and Partner Management. Congratulations to both of our leaders!
Some software businesses go through many lives before arriving at a destination that finally feels like home. incadea, a provider of digital solutions for auto dealerships, was one of them.
During the company’s 20-year history, the software provider had weathered several tumultuous transitions and changed ownership at least four times. By the time the business joined Volaris in December 2018, it was ready to settle into a permanent home.
Now, three years after acquisition, the company continues to organize around one key goal: providing the best experience for customers.
Automobile at incadea’s head office in Munich, Germany
Making a Difference for Customers, Big and Small
After Volaris acquired incadea, the company welcomed back a former CEO. Werner Leinauer returned in early 2019, and his first priorities were rethinking the business model, customer relationships, and organizational setup.
Werner Leinauer served as CEO of incadea from 2019-2023. He is now a Portfolio Manager overseeing several companies.
incadea holds deep expertise in the automotive market, and has carefully nurtured long-term relationships with major car manufacturers like BMW Group, VW Group, and Opel. The company maintains a global presence, which gives them local market knowledge in Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. Combining all these advantages, their product aims to serve customers of varying sizes, including businesses where software can be mission-critical for streamlining daily operations.
“In some countries, a customer can be as small as a tire workshop.”
- Ilya Plotnikov, CFO, incadea
When thinking about product, incadea strives to provide solutions that fulfill all digital needs in the automotive process. Three years of working with Volaris have added to their insights on how to best serve their market. Their product development process incorporates feedback from customers and partners around the world.
Ilya Plotnikov, CFO of incadea
Chief Technology Officer Karsten Rudolph says that it is important to judge what value their product has for end customers – in their case car dealerships, who ultimately serve drivers.
“Every day, we are getting feedback from customers that we need to continually make our products simple and intuitive.”
That feedback is especially true for smaller dealerships that may have fewer employees and less time to grasp software products that they may see as overly complicated.
“As part of this ongoing feedback loop, we are reviewing every requirement and every demand,” Rudolph says.
Tackling Opportunities for Product Development
incadea's ongoing aim is to improve excellence in customer operations.
“Technology is getting more and more difficult to keep up with, as anyone will tell you when they update to the latest version of a software product,” Rudolph says.
Over the last three years, the company has begun offering new hosting services. Their new solutions have required different ways of organizing the team, so they have requalified staff and promoted them into new positions where they are better able to grow the business.
Like its competitors, incadea must respond to industry trends and market pressure to stay cost-effective. The company is interested in pursuing automation to help with cost innovation and cost deployment.
“I’m expecting that a lot of Volaris companies have faced similar challenges,” says Rudolph. It’s a topic he’s looking to explore with other leaders across Volaris at Quadrants, an upcoming internal event where software businesses share best practices.
Karsten Rudolph, CTO, incadea
An Optimistic Look Toward the Future
“Overall, incadea’s customers, partners and employees all see the acquisition by Volaris as the best outcome that could have happened,” says Leinauer. “Through the acquisition, incadea’s profile and regional structure were very much upgraded.”
Meanwhile, the team continues to ask themselves about areas of new opportunity and customer potential. One such opportunity could be in Germany, incadea’s largest market and home to their head office.
“Germany is very conservative compared to other markets,” says Plotnikov. “There can be a culture of ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.’”
Luckily, they now have a base camp and effective operating structure for them to pursue new ideas, with ongoing support from colleagues across Volaris.
“There is stability and support here in our new home so we can pursue our ambitions,” says Plotnikov.
Interested in knowing more?
- Read more about the Dealer Management vertical
- Get a taste of Quadrants, the Volaris event where software companies share best practices
- Cox Automotive carved out incadea to sell it. Read more about successful carveouts.
- Learn about the benefits of carving out software assets to Volaris