Management consultantancy Accenture has opened a 30-person innovation center in Eschborn, Germany, to advise clients about after-sales service and spare parts issues such as warranties, telematics, customer relations and sales.
"The automobile industry gives away millions of euros in the after-sales market," said Accenture's Friedrich Preiss. "Together with our customers we will optimize the whole of the value-added chain--from the selling to the scrapping of a vehicle."
The consultants provide five reasons why carmakers should pay more attention to the after-sales market: The service and spare parts businesses drive shareholder value. Although they only make up 10 percent to 25 percent of revenue they represent 40 percent to 75 percent of profit. The automotive after-sales market is growing by 3 percent to 4 percent a year because customers keep their cars longer and drive them more. More people are buying light commercial vehicles and off-roaders, which offer higher margins for spare parts than traditional passenger cars. Customer satisfaction will increase if customers have positive experiences regarding service. A poor service system increases the costs for logistics by an average of 4 percent.
"There are hardly any German automobile manufacturers or suppliers who consistently predict and manage fluctuations in the demand for spare parts," Preiss said.