Technology is changing the automotive industry at an astonishing pace.
But it’s not just making its mark with whiz-bang features for consumer pleasure: technology is having a massive impact on how automotive businesses function, too.
Even the humdrum aspects of making and selling motor vehicles – parts and all – have become glamorous (and more profitable) thanks to savvy technology.
How? With business intelligence that allows you to efficiently capture and analyze data that matters. Here are four ways data let’s you – and your automotive business –stand out from the crowd and succeed.
1. Take advantage of customer behavior
Without accessible data, would you be able to tell which customers have stopped buying, given the hundreds of sales and orders that your business processes daily?
Sure, you could rely on sales reps, but they each have about 100 customers to deal with – and reps are only human – so they may oversee a customer or not make timely contact.
With the right business intelligence tool, you can find out which of your customers have stopped buying from you over time. Armed with this information, you can then decide on the most suitable action.
For instance, if a customer’s order decreases or stops altogether, you can send an account manager or sales rep to understand and deliver on the customers needs, and potentially save the account.
You can also take advantage of customer-behavior data to look for opportunities to cross-sell. For example, you can see which of your customers are buying brake pads but not brake discs. You may then cross-sell brake discs to these customers, upping your sales.
While you may be aware of a few cross-selling opportunities yourself, you’re far less likely to miss any with business intelligence software.
2. Optimize your stock levels
Would you agree that same-day delivery wins customers? Yes, we thought you would. Because you know that without enough stock in the shed, you could potentially upset and lose customers – especially if they need the parts quickly to safeguard their own business.
On the other hand, you also realize that if you hold too many parts in the warehouse, you’re at risk of losing capital, with write-offs and missed sales opportunities.
So, how do you make sure you stock the right number of, say, oil filters? While it’s a complex balancing act, it can be made easy with a business intelligence tool like Phocas Software. That’s because Phocas will let you see how many oil filters you have on hand – and, based on past sales volumes, show you when you will run out of them. This means you can use this data to make accurate forecasts and estimates to optimize your stock levels.
3. Make smart decisions with business visibility
Do you know the secret to operating your business efficiently? It’s being able to see what’s going on behind the scenes – so you can make smart decisions.
To gain business visibility, and increase your revenue, you need key, up to date data at your fingertips. And, in this day and age, the only way to do that is by using business intelligence software – one that’ll let you to set up dashboards to view key metrics at a glance.
The metrics you choose to hone in on can give you visibility across several dimensions – customers, locations, stock etc. This means you can easily look for opportunities to grow revenue and make business-savvy moves.
For instance, if you need to fulfil an order of 10,000 shock absorbers, but the site that received the order doesn’t have enough, you can quickly see which of your other sites has enough to satisfy your customer’s demand.
And here's a real-life example: Brigade Electronics - a UK based company specializing in automotive safety products like sensors and alarms for industrial and commercial vehicles - uses Phocas to give them visibility. With Phocas, they are able to track relationship-building activities to ensure customer loyalty.
4. Increase your sales
Imagine you are selling lots of fuel valves in New York, but not in Los Angeles. With business intelligence, you can analyze the sales data to identify gaps and gain certain insights such as: Are the sales in Los Angeles dismal because you’re not promoting fuel valves well, or at all? Does your sales team even know you sell fuel valves? Or has a key distributor been overlooked? Can you bundle fuel valves with fuel filters to increase the sales in this region?
Now, we’ve only given you a few examples of how you can capitalize on data in your automotive business. But business intelligence is crucial in almost any other scenario you can think of.