When it comes to umbrella brands in the independent aftermarket, the bilstein group, with 21 international subsidiaries, is one that stands out. The company sheds light on Blue Print and febi, as well as a tool it says makes finding parts much easier.
In 2017, Ferdinand Bilstein UK opened a 205,000sqft logistics centre, which houses more than 50,000 different articles. At the heart of the building is a Witron order picking system that picks and transports orders to bilstein group operatives, who then pack each order ready for delivery. The semi-automated operation allows the company to fulfil around 2,500 orders from motor factors each day.
Ferdinand Bilstein UK Marketing Manager, Traci Varley, explained: “One of our greatest strengths is reliability. This is guaranteed by constant product quality, combined with the timely delivery of goods. The same quality standards apply for the entire production line, which are assured by extensive and repeated product tests. These tests constantly question and continually confirm the claim of OE matching quality for every bilstein group component.
“To ensure consistent product quality in every delivery, extensive inspections of incoming goods are carried out following random sample checks. In state-of-the-art testing laboratories, parts are examined in full detail.
“These quality assurance measures are not carried out solely for the products produced in Ennepetal, but also for the components manufactured by carefully selected production partners.”
partsfinder – Searching becomes finding
In 2017, partsfinder was introduced to make finding parts across the bilstein group brands easier. The core of the system is the direct search by a spare part description box. partsfinder determines the correct result based on just a few keywords. Also, motor factors have additional options to search for a part, such as using the OE number.
Irrespective of which path is selected, results are never more than three clicks away. Many product pages even feature 360-degree illustrations, functional descriptions, or safety data sheets.
Additional functions are also available, such as a ‘Car Park’ that allows the user to save frequently used models to be quickly called up when required. On top of this, the VIN now displays when registration numbers are entered to help identify correct parts for a right-first-time fit.
The Blue Print range consists of more than 24,000 parts, over 160 product types. The company said that, since 1994, the programme has exceeded expectations through dedication to consistently delivering in five key areas: accuracy, identification, quality, range and cataloguing.
New products and the latest vehicle releases are continually being researched. This ensures that Blue Print is fast to market and continues to provide motor factors with the right parts to meet customer demand.
Built upon the strong coverage for Asian vehicle parts, Blue Print offers an all-makes range for filtration, braking and clutch.
Established in 1923, the febi range covers more than 40,000 technical replacement parts, and it specialises in steering & suspension, rubber to metal and engine management components. What’s more, the febiPLUS range often includes articles that are otherwise only available from the original equipment (OE) or vehicle manufacturer.
High-quality standards are reflected through in-house bilstein group engineering production of precision parts and quality control inspections at the on-site laboratory test facilities.