Start your engines: Speed, technology matter in auto parts

The automotive aftermarket industry is a big one – Global Market Insights says it was a $450 billion industry in 2015, and it will continue to grow substantially over the next decade. People are driving more and for longer distances, and the DIY trend that has swept the nation includes automotive repair and customization. Like other industries, the auto parts market has seen a major impact from ecommerce players, and giants like Amazon and WalMart who continually create low prices, and same-day service models to successfully compete with brick and mortar counterparts.


Despite the predicted growth trend, auto parts retailers can’t assume they’ll retain their existing market share – let alone grow. Retailers will need to innovate in order to maintain a share of the market against their ecommerce competitors, and that means embracing technology to discover, develop and deliver products at consumer speed.


Auto parts retailers will need to:


1. Source digitally: There’s a world of suppliers ready to sell you their products, but how do you know which ones are worth your time and energy? Typically, retailers are forced to assess countless samples before narrowing down their options to the top sample set – a process that requires in-person analysis and can take weeks or longer. With digital sourcing, retailers can take a Pinterest-like approach to narrow down the selection, viewing only their top choices in person.


2. Speed time to market: It’s no surprise that traditional sourcing methods have typically relied on a manual approach requiring spreadsheets, JPGs and emails. This process can be accomplished much quicker when the right technology is involved. And in an industry like auto parts, speed to market is a critical metric that directly affects the bottom line. Auto retailers should consider using a PLM system that helps streamline efficiencies and eliminates manual processes – cloud-based PLM platform providers such as Bamboo Rose offer this technology that goes live on the first day of implementation.


3. Build a happier, more collaborative supply chain: Let’s face it – your employees and supply chain members don’t want to continue performing endless and manual tasks in order to get products to market. They joined the retail space because they were passionate about the industry, and they enjoyed the challenge of bringing the best products to market in a creative way. By relying on technology that enables a collaborative approach, your supply chain is more connected, more in-tune with trends and more likely to stay engaged in your product development process – a win for you as well as your customers.


The opportunity for the auto parts industry is tremendous, and by getting on-board with the digital trend now, automotive retailers can stay competitive during this boon time by matching the speed of their consumers.


See how you can take your PLM live on day one to speed innovation, cut costs and drive sales.