The Heavy-Duty Aftermarket is not an Afterthought

Date: February 15, 2018

Fleet Equipment Magazine

Sky-high shipping expectations, on-time product delivery, ever-changing logistics demands and evolving technology-infused solutions are all challenges that face the heavy-duty aftermarket. Let’s face it: People bring their personal online shopping experiences into the office, demanding free two-day shipping and superior customer service. It’s no wonder that aftermarket providers have been inspired by Amazon’s focus on its customer. With the recent announcement that Amazon will launch its “Shipping with Amazon” service, taking aim at UPS and FedEx, you can be sure the aftermarket is taking notice.

“We’d better be ready,” said Krishna Natarajan, senior director of steering, suspension and drivetrain for Meritor, as he sat down to discuss Meritor’s aftermarket strategy during a busy Heavy-Duty Aftermarket Week.

Meritor has beefed up its distribution footprint, announcing the opening of its West Coast Aftermarket Distribution Center in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., to fulfill aftermarket orders from warehouse distributors and dealers in 13 states. It has also improved its operational efficiency by investing in a new warehouse management system and started development of a supplier scorecard that will rank its suppliers on parts deliverability, purchasing decisions that reduce costs and ease of doing business with them. It’s a three-pronged approach to move Meritor to an Amazon Prime-like model.

Though technology and automation saturates these initiatives, Meritor aims to keep the customer in focus. For example, Meritor has updated its website to include features like visual search.

“Say you’re looking for an axle part,” Natarajan began, “you can enter a part number and the visual search will show a picture of the entire axle, which has 100-plus components in it, and you can drill all the way down to the part you need. If you want to look at the brake on the axle, you can remove the components in the picture and get down to the shoe, check the part number, add it to your cart and it will get shipped to them within 24 hours.”... To Continue Reading, CLICK HERE

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