SAN ANTONIO, Texas The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance held its sixth Information Technology Summit (IT Summit) in San Antonio late February. This event keeps supplier channel partners up-to-date on Alliance IT strategies and solutions, and is tailored for hands-on information technology professionals from CIOs to catalog managers.
According to Alliance CIO Dale Hopkins, the IT Summit meetings are effective at reducing costs, increasing sales, and strengthening relationships. “The Alliance has the most mature and robust technology suite in the aftermarket distribution community,” Hopkins said. “It provides the information foundation for advancing operational and marketing technology. Sharing that information with channel partners multiplies its power."
“Last year, the Alliance earned the R. L. Polk Inventory Efficiency Award for its ground-breaking and industry-leading Inventory Optimization Tool (IOT)," said Hopkins. "IOT gives Alliance members the power to create their own super-accurate stocking models by integrating third party registration data with point-of-sale and other information. Bringing our channel partners into this loop allows them to help us with our mission of right part, right place, right time.”
The Alliance MyPlaceForParts e-commerce solution also takes center stage at the IT Summit. “While IOT is award-winning technology for what to stock, MyPlaceForParts is technology that helps sell more parts,” said Hopkins. “It is an information, query and transaction software suite that includes parts, supplies, accessories, tools - everything our members sell - and it’s open for business 24/7/365.”
John Washbish, Alliance president and CEO, says the Alliance stands out among its distribution group peers when it comes to technology. “While some groups are just now getting serious about the technology issue, we have more than 12 years of experience with our own data warehouse and related business intelligence tools. Before we began holding our IT Summit meetings three years ago we weren’t absolutely sure how popular the concept was, but we knew that vertical collaboration would be a game changer someday. As we quickly found out, that day is now! Channel partners have technology and information to share and so do we. We’re proud of the progressive leadership the Alliance shows in this area.”