Autoelectro UK sales manager, Nick Hood, explains why the Bradford-based remanufacturer chose to design and launch its active inventory management system (AIMS) to its motor factor customer network.
AIMS allows Autoelectro’s customers to have greater control over their old core and maximise the opportunity to return it.
The stockist is now able to have all of their outstanding surcharges listed in a downloadable format; therefore, it is easy for that distributor to allocate their old core against any outstanding surcharges.
Having the data available means the motor factor will know precisely what their surcharge liability is and if credit is owed.
Nick said: “Due to an increasingly-diverse vehicle parc, motor factors are faced with two issues.
“Firstly, greater stock investment to cover all ranges and, secondly, individual part numbers have a shorter lifecycle, which, consequently, can lead to high obsolescence costs.
“At Autoelectro, we recognised that it was important to maximise our core returns in order to maintain industry-leading availability.
“Good core and stock management ensure our customers are also maximising their capital invested in the product category, as any slow-moving stock is returned while still market-relevant.
“This allows us to sell-on the slow-moving part numbers across the whole market and reuse any old core whilst these part numbers are still in range and demand.
“If this window is missed, then it is less cost-efficient for all to return or accept the unit when it is no longer selling – presenting a potential issue between ourselves and our customer as to the value of that unit, given it is now obsolete.
“We want to avoid this outcome and provide our customers with the tools to manage their stock and old core, combined with optimising their sales opportunities and margins – hence, the AIMS project.
“Some may ask why we are not able to manage the process on behalf of our customer, reducing the onus on them.
“The short answer is, at any one time, we do not know how many units they have on their shelf and how much core is awaiting return, so we have to provide them with the best tool to enable them to manage stock and old core effectively.”
Openness and transparency
“Our system self-allocates the oldest outstanding surcharges, whilst it also provides invoice details relating to all surcharges and the value paid, so total clarity is given.
“The customer feedback so far has been positive; we’ve been praised for our openness in respect of surcharges in comparison to other suppliers that operate a surcharge structure in the aftermarket.
“We have also been complimented on how user-friendly the system is and how we have enhanced our customers’ ability to manage stock and old core.
“I am confident that we have assured our customers that we are being honest about a topic that can cause controversy.”
“In a sector where part proliferation is making a significant impact on stock investment costs, Autoelectro is one of the few businesses that acknowledge this.
“We are pushing hard on initiatives, like AIMS, restructuring of surcharge costs and reprofiling, to ensure we are maximising the return on our customers’ stock investment in our brands and products.”
New business opportunities
SES commercial director, Mark Rigler, explained how AIMS has proved to be a useful asset so far: “We have only been using the AIMS programme for a couple of weeks, but the results so far have been encouraging.
“Stock management is a crucial area of our business, so this new programme means we have greater control over our levels and surcharges.
“It is also refreshing to have full visibility on all outstanding surcharges.
“Autoelectro is the first supplier with surcharges to offer this information online and up-to-date, enabling us to know we are maximising our surcharge returns and profitability.
“The team, led by Nick, are always on-hand to help if necessary, but so far they’ve not been needed because of AIMS usability.
“We have always trusted Autoelectro and its honest and straightforward approach on old core, so AIMS has the potential to improve our relationship further, allowing us to invest in its products with full confidence.”
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