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Fair + Atlassian

How Fair is disrupting the car industry with speed, service and simplicity


Fair logo
Industry

Transportation

Locations

Santa Monica, California

Company Size:

550 employees

Number of Atlassian Users:

1,300 (including vendors and contractors)

Quadrupling a team in nine months would challenge even the most experienced leader, but by focusing on a shared mission, prioritizing standardization and getting help from Atlassian Cloud, Fair has made growing their business as easy as getting a car on their revolutionary app.

If you polled a random audience about industries that haven’t changed much in decades, car sales would probably be near the top of the list. We all know the drill: Spend hours at a dealership evading pushy salesmen and haggling over price. Have your financial history poked and prodded in a back room while the contract guy repeatedly exits to “talk to his manager.” Pretend to read and understand the complicated contract. Sign on the dotted line. Drive off the lot five figures poorer and cross fingers that you made the right decision since you’re now stuck with that car for the better part of a decade.

Loads of fun, right? Not so much. Well, Fair wants to change that. They believe the process of getting a car should be easy, affordable and on the customer’s terms – not a lender’s. With Fair, users can shop a wide variety of pre-owned cars with monthly payments they can afford, sign for the one they want with their finger, and drive it for as long as they want. Instead of taking out a multi-year loan, Fair users make a one-time start payment and all-in monthly payments that include routine maintenance, roadside assistance, a limited warranty, even optional insurance. And the best part? They can turn the car in whenever they want with just five days’ notice, with no long-term commitment or even physical paperwork.

How is this possible? It’s all thanks to a passion for innovation and automation. And that’s exactly why Fair relies on Atlassian: for the agility to work faster and smarter, so they could transform the car-buying experience for their customers – and the work experience for their employees.

Driven by data, looking to scale

Fair has put just as much passion and effort into disrupting their internal processes as they have into challenging the norms of their industry. To accomplish both goals, they rely on data to inform their decisions, scale their business, and make more of an impact on more people.

For example, which markets should they expand to? Time to look at the data. How can they determine customer eligibility in a way that’s fair to those with imperfect credit? Look at the data. Which parts of their internal workflows and external experience are people struggling with the most? Look at the data.

The problem was that it was hard to collect and analyze data in Google Docs and email. These tools worked for collaboration and communication when Fair was a small team, but as they grew to 50 employees, then 100, then 500-plus, this basic system wasn’t cutting it. Fair needed a solution that would help technical and non-technical team members manage all the small details so they could spend their time and energy focusing on the bigger picture.

Pretty much every single contractor and employee uses Atlassian, from engineering to customer service to accounting to our creative teams to inventory, data operations, and vehicle returns to HR and facilities.

Nathan Oni

Program Manager

When Fair’s Engineering Team started researching potential options, they honed in on cross-organization cloud platforms that would help everyone be more organized and efficient. Several employees voiced their support for Atlassian, having worked with the platform at previous jobs. They were particularly interested in the cloud options. Associate Technical Program Manager Nathan Oni explains: “We’re scaling, so we rely on cloud products and Software as a Service to get most of our work done, as well as ticketing.”

Everything from equipment to seating to software access for a new employee can be handled in one Jira Software ticket. One of my team members was able to cut onboarding time in half.

Brett Lakey

People Operations Manager

After determining that Atlassian Cloud fit perfectly with Fair’s working style, infrastructure and security needs – and would make their own workflows as fast, easy and reliable as their customer experience – they set about adopting the tools full speed ahead.

Non-technical teams take notice

Fair’s Engineering and Concierge Teams were among the first to start using Atlassian, leveraging Jira Service Desk and Jira Software to manage customer requests and software bugs. It didn’t take long for non-technical teams to start noticing the potential for streamlining their workflows and communication too.

Their requests were shared with Oni, who Fair had just hired in part because of his past experience with Atlassian. “Literally on my first day, I was put into a meeting with our Inventory team, who wanted to use Jira Software for vehicle inventory operations and tracking,” Oni recalls.

“Then on my second or third day, our Director of IT approached me and said, ‘Look, the HR Team wants to use Jira for onboarding, offboarding, and managing equipment and access,’” Oni says. “Now pretty much every single contractor and employee uses Atlassian, from engineering to customer service to accounting to our creative teams to inventory, data operations, and vehicle returns to HR and facilities.”

With greater usage across the company came greater efficiency. And with greater efficiency came more impact. Since implementing Atlassian Cloud, Fair has introduced thousands more customers in dozens of cities to a better car experience, while proving you can increase productivity and service even amid fast growth.

Saving time – and sanity

Fair’s new workflows and systems were not only nice to have, but also necessary to keep up with their exponential growth. “When we had 20-30 tickets related to bugs each week, I could do it by hand. But when it grew to 90 each day, I couldn’t look at them all, let alone manage them,” Software Engineer Michael Slocum explains. “Now, I use Atlassian programmatically through the API to search, organize, and filter tickets at scale. It’s easily saved 25% of my time, and it’s a way better way to organize information.”

People Operations Manager Brett Lakey adds that Atlassian has played a key role in helping Fair improve communication as the company went from 200 employees to 500+. “Our team really values transparency. With Confluence, we can consolidate all information into a central location and then assign access as needed,” he describes. “Plus, everything from equipment to seating to software access for a new employee can be handled in one Jira Software ticket, as opposed to reaching out to different people. One of my team members said they were able to cut onboarding time in half.”

Fair’s engineers have also implemented several Marketplace Apps (Script Runner, Automation for Jira, Jira Spreadsheets, Portfolio for Jira, and more) to help teams across the firm work faster while still providing great service. Inventory Operations Manager Ashley Provencher says these automations have been huge timesavers, even for non-technical teams like hers. She explains, “The backend automation has freed up our time so we don’t have to worry about troubleshooting and can focus on setting up new dealers and processing inventory.”

By building these relationships, Fair is growing the supply needed to meet their ever-growing demand. And with each new dealer and each new customer comes a new opportunity to transform the experience for all involved.

Scaling fast without sacrificing service

The next few years at Fair will be all about continuing to scale their ecosystem and showing more people (dealers, customers and everyone in between) the power of a fairer car process.

I use Atlassian programmatically through the API to search, organize, and filter tickets at scale. It’s easily saved 25% of my time, and it’s a way better way to organize information.

Michael Slocum

Software Engineer

Efficiency will continue to be a huge focus, but not at the detriment of service. In reality, quite the opposite. Slocum says the automations his team develops with Atlassian actually allow Fair to provide better service. He explains, “If I can automate menial tasks, we all can focus on the more important things, like making the experience more exciting and more fun.”

Exciting and fun: two words that most people would rarely use to describe the process of getting a car. But with Fair – and the help of Atlassian – the concept is going from wishful thinking to refreshing reality.

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