HDA Truck Pride made big waves in the independent aftermarket before Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2016 when it announced a new corporate partnership with iMatics to bring a retrofittable telematics solution to the aftermarket.
On Thursday at the group’s annual meeting, HDA Truck Pride Director of Sales and Marketing Tina Alread and iMatics’ Greg Murphy spent an hour showcasing to the HDA Truck Pride member base on exactly how this new partnership should revolutionize their businesses.
In the “chess game” that is battling the OEM dealer network for fleet customers, Alread says telematics, specifically remote diagnostics, is a tool the independent aftermarket has been without for too long.
“The OEMs are already out there [using telematics] and they’re trying to box us out,” Alread says. The partnership will iMatics will give HDA Truck Pride members “the power to know what is happening when it’s happening, just like the dealers and OEMs are doing.”
But for HDA Truck Pride’s entire network to bring its capabilities up to nationwide dealer network levels, Alread says the group’s members have to commit to selling the system. Remote diagnostics don’t work without vehicle data, and that data comes from installing iMatics’ preferred Geotab Go7 data recording tool in customer trucks.
Thanks to the agreement reached between iMatics and HDA Truck Pride, Alread says distributors can acquire the Geotab Go7 console and related installation harness for just $31 per vehicle ($1 for the console, $30 for the harness).
Once connected through a J1939, the console immediately starts recording and transmitting data.
Murphy says HDA Truck Pride members will be able to help end users customize their consoles to determine what data they would like to acquire (driver performance, safety, remote diagnostics, fuel economy statistics, etc.), and everything they choose is immediately accessible via an online portal through the iMatics website.
The system will allow all HDA Truck Pride customers to instantaneously have access to the same advanced vehicle data that national fleets have been using with their factory-installed technology for years.
And that end-user benefit is just the half of it.
Murphy says HDA Truck Pride distributors also will have the ability to view vehicle performance and diagnostic data collected by any Geotab console they’ve sold to their customers.
Which means when a customer fault code pings that a truck needs immediate service or is overdue a for maintenance inspection, the distributor will receive the same information.
From there, Murphy says a distributor could proactively contact said customer and provide them with the part or service they need long before they ask for help.
And that level of immediate customer service and problem solving goes a long way in maintaining a business relationship, Alread says.
“The point of the telematics program isn’t the one-time sale [of the equipment],” Alread says. “It’s the total long-term gain. Building a relationship with your customers.”