Although the TecDoc automotive and commercial vehicle (CV) replacement parts identification system might be the most prominent brand with the TecAlliance portfolio, it is just one element of an organisation that is daily helping businesses increase their connectivity with their customers at all levels of the automotive aftermarket. When it comes to examples of how businesses can incorporate its multiple resources to increase their aftermarket reach, Parker Hannifin, with its Racor Filter brand, is especially interesting.
While Parker Hannifin is an established original equipment (OE) manufacturer of filtration systems and components, its aftermarket solution is a relatively new venture, so to ensure its success, the company has worked hand in glove with TecAlliance during the introduction.
Derek Martin, market development manager for Racor Filter’s aftermarket division explains: “We have a long heritage of OE expertise, particularly in the development of primary fuel filters, which has enabled us to establish ourselves as the number one when it comes to the design and manufacture of water separators and more recently, closed crankcase ventilation systems, which is why we work with many notable vehicle manufacturers (VMs) such as Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, MAN and Scania, to name but a few.
“Naturally, our aftermarket offering reflects our core OE competences of first fit quality and reliability, and does so across the full spectrum of filtration – air, fuel and oil. However, to ensure the programme is fully accessible to the independent sector and is tailored to its needs, our catalogue had to be both comprehensive and accurate, which is where our collaboration with TecAlliance was vital.”
“Naturally it is easy for us to link our products to the OE part numbers for the VMs we directly supply, but that neither provides us with the information of what other applications these references also fit or helps us find the OE part numbers necessary to catalogue the remainder of the range. With the TecAlliance Headline product however, this process was not only possible, but straightforward. Without it the viability of the project would have been under threat as we couldn’t have built an effective aftermarket programme.”
TecAlliance’s UK general manager, Shaun Greasley takes up the story: “As Derek and his colleagues have experienced, the key strength of our Headline product is its ability to link OE part numbers with the actual VM applications, whether for passenger car or CV, which means it bypasses the literally thousands of man-hours that would be required if an organisation was to even attempt to make these connections themselves.”
“In such a fiercely competitive sector as the aftermarket, coming to market with an accurate product catalogue is a prerequisite, because motor factors simply have to be able to specify and supply the correct part. Headline provides suppliers such as Racor Filter with the solution they need to ensure the correct reference for the application is made by processing the amassed data and cross referencing it with vehicle parc.”
However, there is more to an effective catalogue than linking the reference number/application data, as the data needs to be accessed and presented in a clear and concise manner to make it practical and reliable for those supplying the parts to the end user.
“Once the part numbers have been linked with the applications,” Greasley continues, “the real-world delivery of the data into a catalogue is possible and with TecDoc we have a globally recognised product that fulfils that function for hundreds of suppliers across the entire aftermarket.
“Headline verifies the data and ensures its smooth transition into the TecDoc CATALOG system, but it is when the data is in this system that it becomes a reliable resource for factors who can search the system through multiple options, for the quickest and easiest identification of the required part. Due to the quality of the data, which is based on OE references, the accuracy of the process is second to none, which means that factors are able to find the right part, first time, saving time and money for their businesses and their customers.”