The aftermarket community cannot afford to underestimate the speed at which the industry is evolving, according to Gerry Mead, executive director of innovation, Phillips Industries, who addressed the “Impact of Better Products and Changing Industries” at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2019 in Las Vegas.
“If you think about the industry’s issues, ‘uptime’ has been a key word,” Mead said. “In the aftermarket, we have to meet that future need of what that next level of expectation is going to be. If we’re not moving fast and meeting expectations, it doesn’t matter how big we are, we’re not going to be around.”
He added that the industry is evolving quickly and companies need to be open-minded and be ready to adjust accordingly.
Mead identified four major trends: digitization, which he described as taking mass quantities of data and turning it into useful, actionable information; autonomous trucks; electric vehicles; and logistics, which involves the shrinking length of haul, he says.
Mead added that more than 50 percent of the top 500 fleets are actively testing new technologies and the companies that don’t think technology is going to rapidly improve are “the ones that will fall behind,” he said.
He concluded by pointing out that connectivity, uptime, safety, data analytics and fuel efficiency enhancements while ensuring emission reductions will be some of the key technology focal points of truck OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.