What a difference a day makes!

The recent Information Day, held at Birmingham’s National Conference Centre, provided the perfect opportunity for TecAlliance customers to learn more about how to get the best from the company’s many and varied products and for it to showcase its current and future plans.

Primarily aimed at its replacement parts supplier customers, TecAlliance had a team of five of its specialists who 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 will further improve the capabilities of the service the products provide and ensure that TecAlliance customers can future-proof their businesses in the face of an ever-changing 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 and international roll-out. Notable amongst the many useful topics covered and particularly poignant to the future face of the aftermarket, was the estimate that by 2030 – and that’s just a decade away – 15% of vehicles globally could be autonomous, which due to the safety margins these vehicles will be required to function within, could result in a 50% reduction in the wear rate of replacement components.

Another eye-opening statistic is that during 2020, European regulators are considering whether to dictate that vehicle manufacturer (VM) original equipment (OE) and vehicle identification number (VIN) data will be mad open to the market. Although this would be a positive development, it would mean that trillions of data records – 450 billion per day, in many different formats – will potentially need to be processed by individual replacement parts suppliers. This is clearly not a realistic possibility, which is where TecAlliance will again prove its worth, by standardising the data for the benefit of the independent aftermarket.

Handing over to Xavier Thilberge, Sales Manager France, Order Manager, the subject moved to the challenges faced by distributors in terms of stock management and processes. Developed interactively with replacement parts manufacturers and distributors since 2000, Order Manager provides a one-stop B2B platform for orders – requests/confirmations/despatch advice – invoicing – electronic invoices – data – part numbers and pricing – and returns – claims and warranty processes.

For wholesalers and workshops, the recently introduced Warranty & Returns solution that the TecAlliance team has recently developed, provides huge benefits, as they can not only create and submit warranty claims and returns to their replacement parts suppliers with minimal effort and without cost, but also quickly and accurately, as the system is supported by TecDoc parts and vehicle data. In addition, they can keep track of the status of their claim and, without the need to send parts back for examination, the solution also saves them money.

Bringing the focus on TecDoc, TecAlliance’s cornerstone product and the common resource to all the attendees on the day, Alexander Wegner, Product Lead Data Manager Trade, began by reemphasising 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 provided 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 improvements that have been universally welcomed by users across the globe. Many of these developments, such as the catalogue’s new intuitive layout, its VIN search capability, individual dash board set-up, repair and maintenance data integration and responsiveness have been well documented, but what took attendees by surprise was being asked to complete a 12 question survey in order to ensure that the feedback and requirements of both suppliers and users is considered, as the catalogue is refined still further.

In the penultimate slot, Jens Störmer, Product Owner Demand Dashboard, spoke about Data Manager, a suite of data analysis solutions designed to increase business profitability.

To put things in perspective, Jens explained that TecAlliance, through the TecDoc catalogue, contains 6.6 million articles (part numbers) and daily processes 1.5 million vehicle searches for 25 million replacement parts related requests. It therefore holds an enormous quantity of relevant data that suppliers can analyse through its various tools to ensure they offer the most relevant and comprehensive product portfolio to their customer base.

With Demand Dashboard suppliers can answer questions such as: How often have my products been searched and my brand viewed? How are my products and brand performing? How is the market developing? How can I optimise my daily work and effectiveness?

Using PMA, answers can be found to: Do I use my full sales potential and 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?

And with Analytics Consulting, TecAlliance can help them to apply all this data to suit their individual needs and improve their overall position in the market.

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 combined to assist European distributor, SBS Automotive to tap the full potential of the marketplace.

With VIO data SBS was able to calculate the potential for its parts in all 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 therefore identify range extensions, as well cater for supersessions and link other vehicles to its existing products, to maximise coverage and overall efficiencies.

Furthermore, by utilising TecAlliance 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, all from a reduced staff resource and subsequently at a lower cost. Full details of the SBS project can be accessed via: https://www.tecalliance.net/en/products-and-solutions/data-manager/success-story-sbs-automotive/

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 totally worthwhile, as it was overwhelmingly positive, with many expressing interest in adding more options to the products they currently use, in order to fully leverage business efficiencies.

“In such tough trading conditions, with many uncertainties still threatening to destabilise the market further, 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.

“It only remains for me to say thank you to them and my colleagues who made the presentations and to look forward to our next Information Day, which I’m sure will be equally constructive.”

For more information about TecAlliance, please contact Shaun Greasley on: 01829 752888 or email: shaun.greasley@tecalliance.net