The complexity of parts inventory made simple
Autofinity’s PiHUB is set to transform dealers’ parts and accessory business by providing an automated online inventory which feeds dealer group e-commerce websites and marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay thereby generating additional profits since sales can be made nationally or even globally.
Our parts commercial lead and business analyst William Hornsey has been at the heart of PiHUB’s development which, in a similar way to Autofinity’s Vehicle Platform – ViHUB, creates ‘one source of truth’ for each part or accessory in dealer stock.
PiHUB takes all the data from various sources including DMS and EPC on each part including the application that the part fits; height, weight and depth dimensions; and price, to collate a single ‘source’ of information for each part or accessory item which feeds online channels as well as the dealer group’s own website.
William: “Parts inventory is so complex that most dealerships will be undertaking the task manually which severely limits the time to market and the product’s audience reach. By automating the process and system integration, we collate all the data and push it back out to various markets maximising exposure which will thereby increase sales.
“This has never been so vital as it is in today’s economic climate where recession is looming so dealers will need to do everything possible to increase revenue streams and achieve 100% overhead absorption within aftersales of which parts is a contributor. To reach this goal, departments have usually looked at cutting costs together with maximising service hours in the workshop whilst parts and accessory sales are largely ignored. But a successful aftersales strategy needs to address this side of the business and a highly effective and profitable way to do so is online.
“The obstacle has always been creating reliable and accurate inventory data which provides a fast route to market and allows parts departments to keep track of and fulfil sales beyond their own workshop. An ecommerce strategy enables parts and accessories to be sold anywhere in the country or, indeed worldwide, but it has been expensive and difficult to accomplish. PiHUB changes that making such a strategy achievable and profitable.”
Autofinity developed its parts platform PiHUB as a result of data feed work the company was already undertaking and by integrating with the DMS, PiHUB is automatically populated to enable ecommerce solutions to be created without manual intervention.
“Dealers need an ecommerce parts and accessories strategy as we enter some really challenging times and PiHUB makes it simple and cost effective to get stock, including obsolete parts, to market. I am confident PiHUB is a gamechanger and as a solution it will prove to be a disruptor in the marketplace.” With more than 20 years’ automotive experience, William began his career journey as an IT analyst and developer before moving into IT sales. In 2000, he made the transition to automotive retail taking up a post with Pendragon on its graduate training scheme. Since then, he has also worked with retailers and manufacturers mostly in the aftersales arena including spending seven years with Nissan as a regional aftersales manager. William joined Autofinity in June 2021.