The two waves of Covid-19 dealt a blow to supply chains across industries. For people who needed to get their vehicles serviced during or right after lockdown, the unavailability of certain service parts was a big issue. The situation also brought out the importance of digitizing aftermarket logistics for the automobile industry to the spotlight.
Aftermarket spare parts play a crucial role in helping consumers and businesses use their vehicles for longer and in good condition. Therefore, aftermarket players need to be proactive about modernizing their supply chains to succeed in the new world order. Traditionally, such companies linearly drew their supply chains. Various pieces of these chains worked discreetly.
However, the current situations have encouraged companies to bring down walls and create a completely integrated ecosystem that is fully transparent to all the stakeholders. This ecosystem depends on many digital technologies. Here is how digitizing the aftermarket supply logistics is benefitting the industry:
Resilience in operation through digital and analytics
Today, for every industry, the supply chain philosophy has changed from being just-in-time to just-in-case. Therefore, businesses are increasingly opting for digital tools that help them with increased telematics and connectivity. For aftermarket service providers, these tools enable dealers to see through operations and align resources accordingly. Hence, the supply chain becomes a robust and resilient supply chain. Such supply chains can factor in various possible scenarios and be ready with a customized plan for each. As a result, the aftermarket service providers are never nervous about sudden market disruptions.
Addressing deficiencies through the data-driven decision making
Even the most advanced and robust supply chains can be rendered inefficient if not audited constantly. With the power of digital solutions, aftermarket companies develop traceability through the entire supply chain for better control. Moreover, the data accumulated tracing several touchpoints help these dealers understand how their supply chains respond to various scenarios regarding inventory management, cost, resource planning, and so on. The insights are also useful for identifying and addressing the operational gaps, such as inefficient reverse logistics, which is often opaque. As a result, they continue to improve their service delivery and strengthen their competitive edge in the market.
Deeper collaboration across the value chain
Powered by cloud-based solutions, which provide overnight scalability and flexibility, digital supply chains can hold extensive information and provide superior collaboration capabilities. These capabilities result in improved visibility, traceability, reliability, agility, and effectiveness. Hence, the delivery bottlenecks and high turnaround time make way for an enhanced overall customer experience.
For aftermarket service providers, the list of benefits from digital logistics is inexhaustive. In essence, logistics is all about getting the right product, to the right place, at the correct cost. However, experience suggests that for most businesses, it is easier said than done. Thankfully, for aftermarket service providers, the existing technology can make this journey easier. Digitization introduces them to cutting-edge technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and even robotics which streamline the logistics system and future proof their business. As a result, consumers have greater satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Author: Abhik Mitra, MD & CEO, Spoton Logistics
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.
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