You may have noticed that there’s a big buzz about big data these days. You may also be wondering what all the fuss is about because data is data and bigger, in isolation, really isn’t better. What will make a difference to your aftermarket sales performance though, is having the analytics capabilities to turn OEM data into actionable insights.
The following five tips will help you on your data-driven journey to improved margins, revenue, and ultimately, profit:
1. A Culture Shift is in Order
According to a Forbes article called, 10 Ways Analytics Are Accelerating Digital Manufacturing, no other sector in the entire global economy generates as much data as the manufacturing industry. However, to benefit from all the data available to you, your leadership, and everyone else in your after-sales support team needs to trust in its power to provide insight. Moving your people away from decision-making based on gut instinct won’t necessarily be easy. It would help if you treated your foray into big data analytics as you would any other implementation, complete with a change management strategy and plans for open dialogue with all involved stakeholders.
2. Historical Data is Not Enough
Choosing a solution that generates reports from historical or even near-real-time data may not offer you the best opportunities for aftermarket-sales growth. Instead, you should look at data points that reveal major trends and patterns in historical data, then apply them to the prediction of future aftermarket parts sales and service outcomes.
3. Find a Supportive Analytics Vendor
Even with the best tools, working with big data can be daunting. Therefore it helps to have a supportive vendor to help you with implementation. Here at GenAlpha for example, we work with our customers to identify gaps in business intelligence and determine the best way to address them. Our goal is to help OEMs shift to proactive data use, thus unlocking increased sales revenue, reduced overheads, and improved inventory management.
4. Use Analytics to Counter Change Resistance
Driving growth in aftermarket parts sales and/or after-sales support means that you look at your products as a whole, capturing all of the parts sold. This may well meet with some resistance from your salespeople, who will possibly believe you’re overpricing your parts and undermining their ability to sell them.
This is one situation where data can significantly help your case. Use analytics to present data showing that the parts do sell, highlighting factual information about pricing and the rate at which SKUs are moving. Not only will this help your sales team to buy into your aftermarket sales push, and it will also demonstrate just how beneficial analytics can be when used in sales strategy development.
5. Drive Customer Service as Well as Sales
Whether your aftermarket strategy involves only parts sales or includes installation and maintenance services, analytics can help you build up a predictive model, using historical equipment and service data to anticipate when parts on customers’ equipment will require replacement. You can use this knowledge to support customers in preventative maintenance, reducing equipment downtime and increasing the value of your services.
Waste No Time Putting Your Data to Work
The mass of data accumulated by your operation is of little value lying unused in application databases. A good analytics platform will put that data to work, aiding you in making strategic and tactical decisions for growth. Using the data gathered helps make real-time decisions with real-time information and puts an end to speculation. Rest assured that if your competitors haven’t discovered that already, they soon will. That leaves little time to waste in putting these five tips to use and getting up to speed with aftermarket data and analytics.