How to harness the power of data and benchmarking

How to harness the power of data and benchmarking

While some motor factors are leveraging benchmarking and data to their benefit, Factor Sales believes many are yet to either explore or maximise the full potential of these powers and strengthen their operations.

Data isn’t merely numbers; it’s the linchpin to steering sales strategies, analysing customer behaviour, optimising supply chain processes and setting benchmarks to mark success.

Pearson Ham Consulting Pricing Director, Tom Wells, said: “Companies that make decisions from great snapshots significantly outperform those that don’t. There is a large, untapped data lake waiting for many businesses to improve their bottom line.”

Factor Sales, a premier aftermarket data measurement provider, stands at the forefront of the industry by offering a benchmark dedicated to evaluating the UK aftermarket. Based on real transactional data and monitoring almost 40% of branches across the UK, Factor Sales’ extensive approach to scaling transactional data allows it to meticulously analyse stock sales, examining both price and volume dynamics, down to individual part numbers – all to the benefit of you, the motor factor.

Factor Sales understands the nuances behind customer behaviour and can share those snapshots with you, enabling you to identify trends and strategically position yourself. It encourages you to use the following data tips:

Sales strategy

At the heart of any effective sales approach lies the ability to understand customer behaviour, such as product preferences and buying patterns from different customer segments. Transactional sales data provides you with invaluable snapshots into what products your customers want, need, and are likely to require in the future.

By comparing your own performance and trends to external benchmarks, reflecting the market that you sell to, you can extrapolate details that allow you to tailor your product offerings to meet your own sales strategy then reap the rewards!

Sales data analytics is a game-changer for inventory management too. By monitoring the speed of selling stock and analyzing margins associated with fast-moving or slowmoving parts, you can make informed decisions about stock levels and the use of discount strategies and margin targeting. This optimisation not only improves overall profit margins, but also ensures that products are readily available when customers need them and priced to reflect this.

Pearson Ham Consulting case study: A well-known UK builders’ merchant reviewed its 40,000 SKUs to define a new pricing policy and approach to customer segmentation, resulting in 5% jump in top line revenue.

Factor Sales data 2

KPIs: Building a foundation for success

Data without Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is akin to a vehicle without both a steering wheel and sat nav: you can drive it, but you will struggle to change direction or know where you’re going. Setting KPIs – such as the number of stock/units to be sold each month or the profit margin on slower moving stock – is crucial for tracking and measuring business performance, which, in turn, helps to set standards and targets – but how do you set them to be within reach and thus effective?

Factor Sales can help with its relevant and authentic data gathering, condensed into manageable and digestible reports. These allow you to set and evaluate realistic KPIs.

Manage your internal and external benchmarks effectively, ensuring that your KPIs align with expectations. Furthermore, regular review, evaluation and adjustment of KPIs are also essential in staying aligned with objectives and adapting to changing market conditions.

Pearson Ham Consulting case study: A PE owned, UK manufacturing company developed pricing credibility and sales efficiency from its unstructured sales environment, producing a 1.6%-2.5% increase in revenues, supported by customer scoring and KPI dashboards for branch staff to use.

Branch performance

If you are part of a multi-site factor, understanding the performance of each site could be a complex challenge. Perhaps you already undertake site-by-site comparisons using dashboards to unravel the intricacies of performance variations across different locations.

This is where the concept of Factor Sales’ premium performance reports take centre stage. These tools allow you to identify successful branches, pinpoint areas for improvement, and allow you to spot best practices across the entire network.

Factor Sales data 3
Figure 1

Two new upgrades to bolster business offering to factors

With the introduction of two recently upgraded solutions, Factor Sales has underlined its commitment to enhancing the quality of data reporting.

Motor factor performance snapshot: Factor Sales’ revamped, interactive and bespoke performance snapshots (Fig 1) are designed to be your research and analysis tools. You can now benchmark your sales against the national averages, assess performance and growth trends, and identify rapidly growing products within the aftermarket. These are available free of charge for all factors that contribute data to Factor Sales.

Premium data snapshot service: If you are seeking a more comprehensive data analytics solution, Factor Sales offers a premium, paid and interactive service. These reports allow you to conduct high-level analysis of sales and growth metrics, allowing you to drill down to part number data.

In addition to the free, monthly performance snapshots report, you can delve into product, range, or category performance, customise date ranges for data analysis, and benchmark against, not just national levels, but regional performance.

Notably, Factor Sales provides the ability to also benchmark performance across branch networks too – where and why does one branch outperform the others? Remember the section about branch performance…?

The updated monthly reporting feature, alongside the newly introduced solution, positions you at the forefront of aftermarket knowledge, equipped with the tools needed to thrive in an increasingly competitive and dynamic landscape.

Factor Sales Business Development Manager, Alex Jenner, said: “We always listen to motor factors’ feedback, and while the general feeling was that our data was helping them in their business decisions, the access and reporting side of it could be improved further. So we’ve implemented the changes desired by our customers, and we’re proud of what we’ve produced. Most importantly, we’re confident our clients will be pleased with the upgrades.”


Amidst this data revolution, Factor Sales has emerged as the benchmark to make datadriven comparisons of your business to the overall aftermarket – and it is dedicated to staying at the forefront of the automotive aftermarket arena – perfectly illustrated with its membership to the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).

The organisation, in a recent statement, acknowledged Factor Sales’ potential impact on the membership and wider industry – its CEO, Mark Field, said: “I’m delighted to have Factor Sales on-board as an IAAF member. Part of our added value proposition in recent years has been to deliver key aftermarket trends and data direct to IAAF members, so we look forward to developing this partnership in the coming months and years.”

As the industry evolves, it is crucial that all types of motor factors recognise the transformative power of benchmarking data. Your journey may have already begun, but there is still much to explore on the road to leveraging data for sustained success. Independent factors, especially, are encouraged to start their data journey before they’re left behind.

Those who embrace the data advantage will not only navigate the complexities of the industry but also thrive and lead in the competitive aftermarket sector. Factor Sales, with its modern and trustworthy solutions, is paving the way.

For more information about Factor Sales, click here.

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