Like many industries, the trucking industry has become awash with data. Freight data. Tonnage data. Vehicle performance data. Fuel efficiency data.
In the aftermarket, suppliers, distributors and service providers are collecting mountains of customer buying and maintenance data. Businesses throughout the channel have more information about their customers’ equipment and purchasing trends than at any point in aftermarket history. But with this data revolution also comes new challenges.
In a workshop presentation scheduled for Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2019 later this month, Fleet Complete’s Sandeep Kar will address these challenges head on, showcasing to the aftermarket how data, connectivity and digitalization are poised to transform the trucking industry and how the aftermarket can use this data to its advantage.
He says today is “ground zero” for the future of trucking. Changes that occur in the next five years will shape the market for decades. Kar says those changes will start with telematics.
“We’ve reached the point where we’ve stopped talking about how telematics are going to save people money and started talking about how they are going to make people money,” he says. “People don’t get into business to cut costs; they get into business to make money.”
Kar says the potential of telematics for proactive aftermarket businesses is enormous, adding now is the time for the aftermarket to insert itself into trucking’s data exchange.
“We’re talking about a future where a transmission will tell you that in 500 miles it is going to break down” and will be able to transmit that information to any OES or aftermarket service provider the vehicle owner, OEM or transmission manufacturer prefers, he says. OEMs rightfully will lean toward their dealer channels for these repairs, Kar says, but adds Tier 1 suppliers are likely to support independent aftermarket distributors and service providers for these repairs as a way to help sustain their relevance.
“That is where the aftermarket should go,” he says.
Kar’s upcoming presentation also will touch on other trucking megatrends that, while still in development (autonomous vehicles, electrification, etc.), are likely to transform the trucking industry even more in coming decades. He says that’s another reason why the aftermarket jumping into vehicle connectivity right now is so advantageous: suppliers, distributors and service providers that make correct decisions now will be able to develop partnerships and relationships that could be leveraged for more business when those other megatrends hit trucking in the future.
“By 2025, 80 percent of commercial vehicles will be connected,” Kar says. “Information will be flowing freely from those vehicles to the world outside and from the world outside to those vehicles.”
He says aftermarket businesses failing to enter into those exchanges now may not have the chance to get involved tomorrow, which means it’s time for the aftermarket to start asking questions and to start searching for partnerships with end users and suppliers.
It’s time to turn “the challenge into opportunity,” Kar says.
This is the fifth of seven presenter previews for HDAW 2019. Please check next week for more information about each HDAW workshop presenter. Previous HDAW 2019 preview articles are available HERE.