Larry Pavey, CEO of the Automotive Parts Services Group, spoke to Aftermarket Business World about recent supplier evaluations that included discussions about Internet strategies and telematics.
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Why is it important to evaluate your supplier partners’ Internet strategies?
The Group’s vision is to support the members and their customers, and also to facilitate or collaborate on some of the long-term strategies that are important.
Obviously today the Internet plays a huge role in our members and customers businesses from an information standpoint, from a research standpoint, from an EDI business transaction standpoint. So having a good understanding of what suppliers’ plans and goals in those areas are is important, and obviously training with all the new technology on the vehicles is important.
Long-term from an efficiency standpoint, connectivity is going to be an important thing, so all of those things have become a bigger consideration as we work to make sure we’re providing value both to suppliers and to members and their customers.
How will telematics and connectivity affect your supply chain?
We see it as an opportunity for improvement and an opportunity for better sharing of information, so I think from a broad view that is where the greatest opportunity lies.
What do you see as the key technology challenges you face moving forward?
I think first and biggest challenge is going to be who owns information at the vehicle level, and having the ability to communicate effectively with the vehicle for diagnostics and maintenance. That’s certainly going to be a challenge and hopefully that will get worked out so the aftermarket can be a participant in that sector of the business.
There will also be challenges in other areas, in providing information and data and diagnostics in a real-time setting; and communicating, creating or adapting to the communication that will be taking place between the vehicle, vehicle owner and shop.
But I think that, as we’ve seen in other industries, it certainly can bring great opportunities in efficiency, so even though there are challenges we’re looking forward to them.
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