Earlier this year, Aftermarket Analytics in Pueblo, Colo., launched its Inventory Analyst tool – a web-based software to help aftermarket companies improve inventory planning. Company CEO Justin Holman recently discussed the new product with us and talked about the challenges of inventory planning.
What can this product do for aftermarket companies?
We’re hoping we can level the playing field in the aftermarket with this offering and try to make it cost competitive. We see inventory problems as highly significant. Most people in the aftermarket recognize that there is too much inventory out there, and that cuts into profitability for suppliers and wasted resources that go into production and transportation.
How is the new solution an improvement over existing approaches?
We have some very specific hooks for the aftermarket because we facilitate the uploading of the part catalog, parts vehicle file, and we have VIO included in the offering. It’s targeted at the aftermarket. There are other providers to there with a more generic viewpoint, in terms of inventory.
We’ve made the upload process very easy to work with. There’s a diagnostic tool that looks through the data once the catalog and part vehicle fil have been uploaded, and that can spot inconsistencies.
We have implemented an approach in the software so users can generate their own replacement rate models for different parts categories. That’s a piece that is collaborative between us and the customer. The data available for replacement rates is not great and it’s not ubiquitous, so we have to be flexible.
How is the data management challenge evolving for this market?
We facilitate working with ACES, and we’re finding a ton of complexity in terms of matching a part to a vehicle. ACES code matching and the VIO – that’s a challenge for the entire industry, so we’re working through it and we have a long-term commitment to improve month after month to make the most robust service offering we can for the industry.