During Autosphere’s visit to AAPEX 2021, we had the opportunity to stop by and visit Epicor at booth A2238.
Tim Hardin, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Automotive and Rod Bayless, Senior Director, Industry Data Analytics provided an overview of Epicor’s current objectives and developments taking place in both Canada and the U.S.
Hardin acknowledged that while the automotive aftermarket business has remained relatively flat over the last 18 months, the leadership team at Epicor has identified five key areas where opportunities lie to deliver a better user experience and improve performance for customers.
The first is making improvements to Epicor’s Eagle and Vision ERP platforms to boost the user experience, benefiting everybody within the supply chain from parts manufacturers to distributors. Secondly, Epicor is continuing to invest in its e-commerce activities, particularly in view of the rapid increase in usage of these services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirdly, Epicor’s Automotive Parts eCatalog, which is at the very heart of the company’s automotive aftermarket business, is also undergoing significant changes to make it easier to use and access parts.
A fourth initiative concerns the area of data and data analytics.
“We are really helping to enable the market to get into the right parts, at the right place, at the right time,” explained Hardin, noting that this is something you will hear consistently and repeatedly on any analyst calls regarding publicly traded companies within the aftermarket space.
A fifth area of focus for Epicor is geographic expansion, including Canada and also Mexico.
“We have a good footprint in Canada, and we are looking to expand that,” said Hardin.
Rod Bayless noted that related to its Automotive Parts eCatalog, Epicor has worked with Canadian distributors for many years, including the likes of AC Delco, Canadian Tire, Carquest, NAPA and Uni-Select.
He notes that a key factor in Canada is having access to more localized and detailed data. It’s all designed to help ensure a smoother process and experience for both distributors and also service repair shops.
“Everything we know about predictive maintenance translates upstream with those distributors to help them have the right parts, in the right place at the right time. It is really about making sure the right part is within 30 minutes of each of those repair bays and working all the way up to the manufacturer level to support this strategy.”