PMF caught up with Tracey Hunter, Managing Director at GT Exhausts, to find out more about the company’s relationship with DataDream.
A well-known business within the aftermarket, GT Exhausts has supplied motor factors with emission controlled exhaust systems since 1975. Very few companies are able to survive for over 45 years without adapting to the changing landscape around them, and GT Exhausts is no different.
Like many other parts suppliers, the company has utilised TecDoc as a means of presenting its products to the aftermarket, enabling factors to find its parts via the TecDoc app. After finding the part they are looking for, factors can then get in touch with the supplier and place an order, but the team at GT wanted to go one step further. By teaming up with DataDream, GT Exhausts has been able to, as Tracey put it, “make life easier” for its customers.
“What we’re trying to do is provide seamless automation for online orders through to invoice reconciliations at the touch of a button,” said Tracey. “We want to make it so that our customers don’t have to pick up the telephone to check if there is a part available and place their order. The software that DataDream has put in place is linked to the TecDoc data, which we are updating continuously and adding to on a monthly – and sometimes weekly – basis. Our customers can go onto the TecDoc Catalogue, check the stock and the price, and place their order all at once. From here, they can inform their garage customers that the part that is required is in stock and can be with them by the next day.
“The software has taken this to the next stage by reconciling our customers’ invoices; the invoice will be raised, before being sent to their accounts department. The entire process has been streamlined from order to payment.”
Tracey alluded to the changing landscape of aftermarket purchasing as a contributing factor in the company’s decision to implement the software. “The industry is changing, and a lot of our customers have changed to online ordering. For this, they need stock feeds, and this is how we became aware of DataDream’s offering; they provided the stock feeds from our system to the customer.”
As with any supplier, GT responded to the demands of the market. “People don’t want to be spending time on the phones to check for stock, and then wait for a response before placing an order, so we have to move with what our customers are demanding,” added Tracey.
With smaller factors still able to place orders on GT’s website, the company’s relationship with DataDream is more beneficial to larger factors and buying groups. “If a factor is TecCom-enabled, the system that has been built by DataDream can essentially ensure the smooth communication between the TecCom system and our own system. We’ve invested heavily to ensure we’re there for our customers at the touch of a button.”
DataDream’s Director Luke Bettles had this to say on the project: “We have worked with GT Exhausts for a number of years now, and have helped them deliver many forward-thinking automation projects during this time. GT’s internal business management software wasn’t Order Manager compatible out of the box, so when GT approached us to see if we could bridge the gap, we were only too happy to get involved.
“Our job was to create a reliable service layer that sits in between GT’s internal sales platform and the TecCom Order Manager network. With this implemented, buyers can now take advantage of the time-saving and error-reducing advantages that being Order Manager-enabled brings.”
Getting to know GT
GT Exhausts has over 4,500 part numbers which cover over 36,500 applications. The company is releasing 10 part numbers every month to the aftermarket.