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Expediting aftermarket parts to a customer is no longer a thing of the past; it’s an expectation. Unfortunately, achieving faster turnaround times on part orders is easier said than done. Harvard Business Review reported that roughly 50% of consumers faced unnecessary delays in repairs because dealers didn’t have the right parts to fix them.
To support dealers in minimizing equipment downtime, OEMs must find a way to shorten the period between order and delivery. Below are some tips to help you meet the demand for a quick turnaround:
Standardize Order Processing Procedures
To curtail the order-to-cash cycle, Aberdeen Group’s research report suggests creating standard procedures for quotation, order management, order fulfillment and delivery, and then integrating these into a single portal from which all parts orders are handled.
According to the report, companies that have standardized their order management processes boast 30% lower invoice volumes requiring manual intervention than those that haven’t.
Online, commerce-enabled parts catalogs can make transactions quick and seamless as well as ensure every order received is moved seamlessly between programs, eliminating a large portion of the manual effort.
Activate Your Dealers
Give your dealers the means and information to act quickly, accurately, and decisively on their own so they can respond instantaneously to customer support calls.
Not only is self-service cheaper, but most people also prefer it. According to a study by Nuance Enterprise, 67% of respondents said they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative.
Making parts books and online ordering available 24/7 is like short-circuiting the order process. Dealers can find pricing and part availability and place an order in a matter of seconds. This bypasses lengthy, back-and-forth exchanges with customer service and shrinks the time between knowing a repair needs to happen and placing the order.
Manufacture Near Your Market
Many larger manufacturers have elected to open additional manufacturing sites near dealers to expedite turnaround time. The philosophy essentially boils down to, “build the majority of what you sell, in the market where you sell it.”
While it requires a substantial capital investment, moving closer to local markets can drastically reduce both shipping expenses and delivery time. Additionally, if a major disaster (like a flood or earthquake) slows production at one facility, the other site can keep the ball rolling to ensure dealers receive their parts promptly.
A similar strategy that we’ve seen is to manufacture near your suppliers. When order fulfillment slows down due to location, it might be time to consider switching suppliers or moving closer to your existing ones to avoid delays.
The advent of eCommerce has made customers accustomed to shorter timeframes between order and delivery. To allay dissatisfaction in cases where a fast turnaround isn’t possible, manufacturers must set realistic expectations for aftermarket parts delivery.
Tell dealers exactly when they will receive their goods as they’re placing the order. By establishing a more generous time frame upfront, you reset any misconceptions of immediate delivery notions.
Do you have additional suggestions on the way your business delivers aftermarket parts? Let us know in the comments.