AAPEX speaker explains how ‘analytics’ benefits aftermarket

"Big data" is allowing businesses in many industries to market their products and services more successfully. Rod Bayless, product director at Epicor Software Corp., a provider of business management solutions, noted that analytics are taking hold in the automotive aftermarket during a presentation at the AAPEX Show at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Bayless' presentation was titled, “Analytics Taking Center Stage.”

Epicor provides a software solution that enables business owners and managers to make fact-based stocking, service and marketing decisions through the analysis of transactional data combined with the latest vehicles in operation (VIO) records and other industry analytics.

Aftermarket shops can identify and target the fastest growing service opportunities by vehicle application within their market areas, Bayless said. This insight can help a repair business proactively market specific diagnostic and repair capabilities to the consumers most likely to need them.

Bayless noted that solutions that make use of aggregate data are becoming more useful, particularly as automakers are introducing more models. He said automakers are introducing more brands despite the consolidation that has occurred among automakers.

He said the term “analytics” used to be known as “business intelligence.”

In the aftermarket, Bayless said opportunities to use analytics are growing because jobbers and warehouse distributors are beginning to share more of their data.

He said the aftermarket will benefit by understanding things like vehicle specific demand. He said data can allow aftermarket companies to know the mix of vehicles in a given geographic market. The software can estimate vehicle replacement demand by zip code.

“How many Suburban Outbacks are registered around me?” he asked.

Aftermarket repair shops will benefit from knowing not only the mix of vehicles, Bayless said. They will also benefit from knowing the most commonly stocked parts. This will allow them to not only know which parts to stock, but which tools they will need based on parts.

Epicor’s aftermarket solution includes a listing of the top 20 tie rod ends by vehicle, Bayless said.

During the question and answer period, one attendee asked if warehouse distributors and retailers will share transaction information. Bayless answered that they will share information if it benefits them.