The March 2018 issue of CarCare Business is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Associate Publisher of CarCare Business, Shirley Brown.
How Do You See “the Chain”?
Understanding the entire aftermarket distribution system.
I’m wondering how many relatively new people to the Automotive Aftermarket really know how the “distribution/supply Chain” works! I had a little refresher course the other day from an expert in the industry. Here’s what I was told, and I would like to share it with you. Is this how you know the distribution/supply chain?
All manufacturers want ASPs to buy their unique product! But in order to do that, the manufacturers have to go through a distribution chain in order to touch all the potential ASPs that exist throughout Canada. They are the people that approach the ASP with a product showing how it will help them in their business and how to use it.
The WD is interested in:
- Inventory and the best and lowest cost for that inventory;
- Discounts, payment terms, marketing funds, turnaround time on orders, fill rates, freight costs;
- Continuous support from the manufacturer’s sales team to help supply those logistics and work with their sales force at the Jobber and Installer level on a continuous basis.
The Jobber is interested in:
- A quality product that turns quickly or is readily available from the WD;
- A competitive acquisition price from the WD;
- A support mechanism to handle warranty, defects, technical service, product information;
- Promotional programs to push their service like freebies, hats, pens, support tools, mini trade shows, educational clinics;
- A sales team to work with their outside salespeople and their counter staff to support products that are essential to their business.
The Automotive Service Provider is interested in:
- Quality products: No warranty or comebacks, if possible;
- A technical hotline they can call with questions about products;
- Education, education, education;
- Factory field support.
Interesting… one product from a manufacturer, but each step in the distribution/ supply chain needs and wants something a little different. Everything funnels to the Ultimate Customer—the Automotive Service Provider—in order to best serve the consumer with a good product and good, safe service.
A good little lesson and one that some may have forgotten or never completely realized!