TecAlliance’s recent Information Day, held at Birmingham’s National Conference Centre, provided a good opportunity for the company’s customers to learn more about how to get the best from its products, and for the company to showcase its current and future plans.
A team of five TecAlliance specialists provided the attendees with a wide range of useful information to allow them to not only have a greater understanding of the products they presently use, but also those that they are not currently utilising. The spotlight was also put on the company’s future developments that are aimed at further improving the capabilities of the service that the products provide, and ensuring that TecAlliance customers can future-proof their businesses in the face of an everchanging market.
First up was Jürgen Mehlis, the company’s Executive Vice President Data Management Products & Sales, who presented a detailed overview of TecAlliance’s global vision. Jürgen estimated that by 2030, 15% of vehicles globally could be autonomous, which, due to the safety margins that these vehicles will be required to function within, could result in a 50% reduction in the wear rate of replacement components.
On top of this, during 2020, European regulators will consider whether to make vehicle manufacturer (VM), original equipment (OE) and vehicle identification number (VIN) data open to the market. Although this would be a positive development, it would mean that trillions of data records will potentially need to be processed by individual replacement parts suppliers. This is clearly not a realistic possibility, so TecAlliance’s plan is to standardise this data for the benefit of the independent aftermarket.
Xavier Thilberge, Sales Manager France, Order Manager, was up next, and he discussed the challenges faced by distributors in terms of stock management and processes.
The company claims that Order Manager’s recently introduced Warranty and Returns solution enables users to quickly and accurately create and submit warranty claims and returns to their replacement parts suppliers, with minimal effort and without cost. In addition, users can keep track of the status of their claim and, without needing to send parts back for examination, the solution also saves them money.
Bringing the focus onto TecDoc, Alexander Wegner, Product Lead Data Manager Trade, began by re-emphasising that to ensure the quality of the data held within the catalogue remains high, suppliers must provide relevant and complete information.
An example of irrelevant data was demonstrated by a filter manufacturer that had listed an oil filter for an Audi E-tron electric quattro, despite having an electric motor, not an engine! When it came to incomplete information, examples were given where suppliers had not provided fitting data, or given brake disc descriptions or product dimensions. It is in these areas in particular, that the onus is on data suppliers to supply their data in the correct format, and with the most helpful supporting information.
Moving onto the latest catalogue version 3.0 update, Alexander highlighted a number of the catalogue’s improvements, and introduced a 12 question survey set up by Tec Alliance as a means of refining the catalogue even further.
In the penultimate slot, Jens Störmer, Product Owner at Demand Dashboard, spoke about Data Manager, a suite of data analysis solutions designed to increase business profitability.
Jens explained that TecAlliance, through the TecDoc catalogue, contains 6.6 million articles (part numbers), and processes 1.5 million vehicle searches for 25 million replacement parts-related requests on a daily basis. Therefore, it holds a large quantity of relevant data that suppliers can analyse through its various tools to ensure that they offer the most relevant and comprehensive product portfolio to their customer base.
With the Demand Dashboard, suppliers can discuss how often their products have been searched, how their products are performing, how the market is developing, and how they can optimise their daily work and effectiveness, amongst other things.
Using PMA, Tec Alliance claims to have the answers to various questions, including: how do I utilise my sales potential? How well do I know my competitors? What is my market position, and how do my products perform in comparison? Do I offer the right products, and meet current and future market requirements?
Finally, Fabrizio Giannelli, Sales Lead Data Manager Manufacturer, took to the floor to present TecAlliance’s vehicles in operation (VIO) and OE data, as well as its car source/cataloguing/utilities (CCU) software, and how they combine to assist SBS Automotive.
According to TecAlliance, with VIO data, SBS was able to calculate the potential for its parts in its operating markets, discover the gaps in its portfolio with the greatest potential for return, forecast product evolution, and therefore define development priorities, as well as analyse range coverage.
In a similar way, the OE data allowed the company to identify gaps in in its current catalogue and subsequently identify range extensions, as well as to link other vehicles to its existing products, in order to maximise coverage.
By utilising TecAlliance’s CCU calculating software, SBS was able to streamline the analysis, updating and publishing process, improve its data quality and decrease the time taken to get its parts to market.
At the end of the day, Shaun Greasley, Regional Sales Director CEE, GB/IE said, “We had an intensive day, packed with a great deal of information, but the feedback from our customers made it worthwhile.
“In such tough trading conditions, taking time out of the office is particularly difficult, so we are grateful that so many of our customers attended what was a very worthwhile event.”