Syncron released results from its new State of Aftermarket Inventory Management and State of Service Parts Pricing Management surveys. Findings reveal top challenges supply chain executives face in aftermarket inventory and pricing management, and where they stand in their adoption of technologies that optimize processes to improve business outcomes. While adoption is at an all-time high, respondents cited a lack of analytics and other factors keeping them from achieving the ROI they expected from their investment.
“As supply chain and economic volatility continues, we’re seeing manufacturers who were once unsure of intelligent technologies, like AI and ML, realizing how critical these solutions are to their ability to compete through unpredictable conditions,” says Anneliese Schulz, chief revenue officer, Syncron. “As promising as this seems, only manufacturers that understand the importance of vetting a provider’s AI and ML claims, selecting a partner with deep domain and industry knowledge, and training their workforce to fully utilize the technology will see the measurable results.”
92% surveyed have implemented an automated system and 82% believe AI is important, but few are seeing anticipated benefits.
Technology Adoption is Only the First Step
According to the reports, 92% of respondents have begun implementing an automated pricing system, and 82% believe AI and ML are important for optimizing parts pricing, but few are reaping time-saving and decision-making benefits they anticipated. On the inventory side, 86% of respondents stated their inventory management provides no measurable ROI.
Automation Driving Customer Satisfaction
Respondents cited key factors with the greatest influence on their customers’ satisfaction, all of which are enhanced by automation: 36% noted delivery speed and/or parts availability, 32% noted value pricing, 22% noted negative impressions based on captive parts pricing. Other factors include price transparency (18%), and the frequency and size of price changes (16%). Most respondents (94%) stated their backend inventory functionality directly impacts customer satisfaction.
Managing Aftermarket in a Difficult Environment
While lead times and staffing shortages have improved, manufacturers face new challenges: 100% of respondents cited increased aftermarket inventory volumes, 84% said up to 15% of their inventory is slow-moving, and 56% noted increased warehouse costs. The top logistics cost drivers were cost of labor and labor shortages, penalties due to delays, and transportation costs.
“These survey results affirm what we often hear from manufacturers when they come to us looking for a more flexible, sophisticated solution,” Schulz continues. “It’s our utmost mission at Syncron to not only innovate industry-leading solutions that enable them to overcome the most complex aftermarket challenges but to also serve as a trusted partner ensuring they reap the greatest possible return on their technology investment.”