How is the Internet changing the aftermarket parts industry?

Like so many things, the Internet is impacting the aftermarket parts industry, and ramifications go beyond merely ordering parts.

That is according to research done by MacKay & Company, a specialized management consulting and market research, presented at this year’s Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue (HDAD).

HDAD, held in late January in Las Vegas and put on by the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association, is an outlook conference specifically directed toward the heavy duty aftermarket supplier industry and intended to provide an in-depth view of the prospects for the global heavy duty industry’s aftermarket component for the next five years.



Beyond ordering parts, the research found that 87 percent of the fleets surveyed used the Internet for parts and service and technical information, reported John Blodgett, vice president, sales and marketing, MacKay & Company. Eighty-five percent researched parts pricing, 76 percent cross referenced parts and 76 percent looked for parts availability.

Today, when ordering parts inline, 65 percent of the fleets said they buy from OE supplier managed sites, 27 percent buy from distribution managed sites and 8 percent buy parts that are the best price, regardless of the site.


Parts purchases

In MacKay & Company’s survey from five years ago, 31 percent of the fleets surveyed said they purchased parts through phone orders, 26 percent used online ordering, 16 percent bought parts in person, 10 percent ordered by fax, 8 percent did it through emails orders, 5 percent had supplier managed parts and 4 percent bought parts from a salesman during a visit.

Today, the breakdown is 32 percent online; 19 percent supplier managed, 18 percent phone orders, 11  percent supplier managed, 9 percent emails, 8 percent faxes, 3 percent through a salesperson.

Looking out five years, Blodgett said MacKay & Company expects parts purchases to be 43 percent online, 22 percent supplier managed, 13 percent phone orders, 13 percent emails, 4 percent in person and 2 percent through a salesperson.