Use telematics as an opportunity, not aftermarket intrusion

Jan. 1, 2020
Installers need to tap into the OE telematic arsenal to level the playing field and better establish lifelong connections with consumers.
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CHICAGO —

Installers need to tap into the OE telematic arsenal to level the playing field and better establish lifelong connections with consumers.

Projected to only continuing growing, the telematics market has been viewed as the gateway for vehicle dealers to create a relationship directly with owners, effectively cutting out the position of the aftermarket.

Supporting information-sharing legislation, adapting telematic options for vehicles — and key consumers — already on the road and utilizing the market’s existing strong CRM (content resource management) tools are all ways for the aftermarket to use telematics advancements to its advantage, says Mike Harvey with AFFINIA during a University of the Aftermarket Leadership 2.0 program presentation.

Geared toward fostering the development of visionary industry leaders, the Leadership 2.0 program challenges attendees with current industry leadership issues. Harvey, in partnership with T.J. Fontana, manager of Sales Operations and Training with Tenneco, and JR Bishop, director of Racing and Event Marketing, Federated Auto Parts, were named as the winning program group in their telematics analysis.

“Telematics can revolutionize the way customers are helped,” Fontana says.

Rather than contemplating the negative aspects of telematics, Bishop suggests the aftermarket focus on the technology’s benefits, which include speed, privacy and efficiency.

“Imagine the competitive advantages captured by knowing what work you will be doing next week or next month,” Harvey says.

The time a vehicle spends in the bay going through diagnostics and troubleshooting will disappear if the problem is identified before the vehicle is brought in, Bishop says.

And privacy can be maintained by encouraging customers to only purchase telematic devices that monitor mileage. “Even though mileage is all we are getting, from the vehicle, we are still achieving our ultimate goal of getting the vehicle in to the installers’ base,” he says.

The technology will also help to balance inventory, reduce returns and warranty claims, increase efficiencies during parts ordering and labor, reduce unperformed maintenance and raise owner awareness of the importance of routine maintenance.

“With this technology…the consumer gains peace of mind, the installer secures a customer for life and service and efficiencies are improved throughout the distribution channel,” Bishop states.