Why do you need a consultant that is able to perform strategic thinking at the highest standard of quality?
The answer is simple. It is because there are several big ticket topics on the horizon, each with the potential to affect your business heavily. These are precisely the types of challenges that can benefit from increased “depth of thought”. The magnitude of what is at stake make investments into strategic consulting projects wise investments.
This section provides an overview of some current trends in aftersales.
There is no doubt that additive manufacturing will quickly become one of many successful production methods in industry. What is less obvious, however, is its promise with respect to motor vehicle spare parts. Will 3D printing revolutionize the aftersales business?
How will 3D printing take foot in aftersales? How and when will this happen? These are the questions on most OEMs mind. And what are the roadblocks? At what point will 3D printing become a viable technique for mass production, rendering much of the classical supply chain thinking obsolete?
Aurelis has analyzed this topic in deep and prepared research reports about the current state of the art, about potential future scenarios, and the likely transition period in between. Our calculations show which parts and materials will be targeted first, and how the likely cost structure of manufacturing will evolve. Senior managers of course already need to consider today the strategic implications of what is likely to come. In fact, OEMs can (and should) already take action now.
Electromobility features very prominently in the media, almost everywhere you look there are stories about electromobility… Funnily enough, there are only very few articles about the impact of electromobility on aftersales. Contrary to the frequency of stories in the media, there is actually plenty to talk about, including the outlook of traversing what we have named the “valley of death”.
In fact, this is a topic area where Aurelis Consulting has identified several insights that are contrary to popular mainstream assumptions. A clear view can mean the difference between smart economic investments and misallocated funds – or even money lost through inaction.
Let Aurelis guide you through the different sub-topics related to electromobility in aftersales. We are not afraid to critically question some popular assumptions. In our typical thorough and thoughtful manner, we separate the real conclusions from the media sizzle.
Telematics not only holds the key to new service offerings, but also to transforming customer relationship management. For car companies, telematics will dramatically boost the importance of afterales organizations within company. For truck & bus, construction and agricultural companies, aftersales has of course always been highly important.
The topic is complex, even defining what is considered telematics is not trivial. What features are important, what features are customers willing to pay for? What features can be a relevant sustainable competitive advantage? How should aftersales organizations sell telematics? Should OEMs go it on their own or partner with silicon valley firms and other third parties?
There are a myriad of questions that perfectly lend themselves to strategic consideration, market research and rigorous analysis.
Carsharing & Ridesharing
Pundits that predicted a rapid growth of carsharing have been wrong in a sense that it has not significantly affected vehicle sales yet. Many customers still want to own (rather than share) a vehicle. On the other hand, forecasters that predicted strong growth in ridesharing could not have been more correct (and these forecasts appear to be honored by high stock market valuations). Interestingly, ridesharing may actually be “stealing” a number of miles from public transport.
Once legal hurdles are overcome, the conditions for a “boom” in ridesharing in big cities are in place. Ridesharing actually has the potential to strongly reduce vehicle ownership rates in big cities. While owning a car in cities like Manhattan was never really practical, ridesharing could be tipping the scales against ownership in smaller cities around the world.
Micromobility is an elegant and cute way to describe the electric scooters and bicycles that litter the sidewalks of some cities. However, the subject is anything but cute… This is less about making money with scooters and bikes than it is about customer data and market control. Micromobility is complimentary to carsharing and public transport. And in a funny way it both reduces demand for such services at times, and increases demand at other times.
As the quote goes “the future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed”… in some big cities the future of mobility is already here. Interestingly enough, Warsaw is one such city with low regulation, low costs, high supply and some of the highest adoption rates of Bird, Lime, Hive in Europe.
How will self-driving capabilities change vehicle ownership and use? Most probably we will see commercial customers become the first adopters for cars and trucks, and they will operate their vehicle parc around the clock. They will have high mileages and a corresponding need for aftersales service and repair. Are OEMs prepared for this? Where our fleet channel activities are mediocre or poor today, they certainly are not ready for B2B operators of self-driving fleets.
Our demand pattern will shift and this means it is necessary to increase investments into fleet service offerings already today. The best positioned companies are likely to be truck and bus companies as they are more familiar with such customer requirements already today.
Mergers & Acquisitions
As attendees of Aurelis Industry Overview presentation are aware, cheap capital has led to a feeding frenzy among suppliers and aftermarket distributors. There have been many mergers and takeovers in aftersales, the culmination of which are the growth of companies such as LKQ Corporation and Mobivia. Consolidation is increasing the market power of aftermarket players and enabling investments into new technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
It all started with books. Then came music CDs, films on DVDs, small plastic products. And not even two decades later we have Amazon.com as the dominant player in the internet space. eCommerce has by now become a mainstream phenomenon and continues to grow.
The question that should be on our mind is what is being bought and sold online. Who is buying spare parts and accessories and why? What is our strategy as OEMs to approach the eCommerce topic correctly? Is it partnership or conflict? How important is it to launch a solution that integrates our dealers?
eCommerce is another topic area that has highly strategic implications for our aftersales business. Aurelis can help you plan your approach, from market research to strategy design.
Predictive Analytics as a term almost seems like a faded trend by now. The reason for that is that the technology is not new, and in many data intensive businesses it has already been implemented. However, in the automotive aftersales world we are still behind, in particular when it comes to customer relationship management.
How can we leapfrog from where we are today to where internet champions are already today? Google, Facebook and Amazon know what you want and can predict what you will do next. How can we apply the same technologies to aftersales and predict the next service? Or predict what kind of a customer we are dealing with (cost conscious, convenience focused, quality interested, etc.)?
Aurelis Consulting can help you define your strategic approach. Aurelis’ in-house software development team can help to analyze your data and craft custom made solutions.
Virtual / Augmented Reality
After several false starts in the past, it seems like virtual reality and augmented reality are poised to take off for real this time. Complimentary technologies have developed to the point where they can now have a reinforcing effect on adoption. How quickly will we see this? Expect adoption to be quite fast as heads-up displays become more popular.
Aside from searching for Pokemon int he city how is this relevant for the automotive world? Virtual showrooms are already here and are likely here to stay. In the area of aftersales we will likely see augmented reality repair instructions on a tablet, or augmented reality goggles to guide the mechanic. In the warehouses virtual reality allows us to optimize storage locations and processes.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Supply chain experts will feel comfortable with the idea of the Internet of Things, since they have been exposed to RFID chips for over a decade now. And with spare parts warehouses handling hundreds of thousands of part numbers, they will naturally grasp the concept and benefits behind IoT.
What is worth exploring, however, is how IoT will change the sales and marketing aspect of aftersales service and repair. Is IoT purely of logistical relevance? For sure this is not the case. Contact us to find out more and learn about how IoT may impact your business.
There appears to be a growing hype about Artificial Ingelligence (AI). But beneath the hype we find what may be the most transformational trend of all for aftersales organizations. From automation of existing processes, to new insights into customers, to development of entirely new products – AI has the potential to revolutionize aftersales operations.
The media and software sellers appear to make AI look easy. The truth is, however, that it is not easy and that skilled AI experts are very rare. Aurelis with its internal development team has experience in developing AI algorithms. Aurelis can help OEM organizations frame the highest value opportunities, and support them to achieve solutions in those areas.