Epicor introduced two solutions that enable parts distributors and vehicle service/repair businesses to predict likely future demand based on sophisticated new data models.
The new solutions, Epicor Predictive Inventory Assistant (PIA) and Predictive Maintenance Assistant (PMA), were on display at the company’s booth at AAPEX 2023 in Las Vegas.
Epicor PIA and PMA leverage the power of the Epicor aftermarket product content engine and connected data network, which together provide visibility into more than 1 billion individual part transactions and more than 140 million vehicle repair events per year, according to the company.
Epicor data scientists combined this channel visibility with predictive modelling and leading-edge deployment technologies to deliver real-time parts inventory and service/repair intelligence to two of the industry’s most important decision points.
“These exciting new solutions harness the power of data to help customers not only have the right parts at the right place at the right time, but also to anticipate and address future sales and service opportunities,” said Tim Hardin, Epicor senior vice president of global automotive, data, and extend services. “The resulting ‘Insight Advantage’ empowers Epicor customers to think big and grow faster by being significantly more efficient and providing a great customer experience.”
Epicor Predictive Inventory Assistant
Epicor PIA is the industry’s first intelligent inventory-management solution, according to Epicor, providing stocking recommendations based on aggregated financial information from “stores like you.”
PIA uses machine-learning technologies to intelligently cluster similar stores based on a variety of dimensions, such as growth score, size, local car parc and geographical location/urbanization level. PIA ranks part numbers and makes “add” recommendations of specific parts not currently in the user’s inventory, but which are driving revenue growth at other, similar stores.
“Predictive Inventory Assistant adds an entirely new layer of intelligence to existing inventory modeling solutions by factoring in store and market characteristics that, until now, required detailed study and input from distributor and store personnel,” Hardin said. “PIA enables these businesses to continually and easily optimize their inventories to match emerging demand.”
Epicor Predictive Maintenance Assistant
Epicor PMA is the only solution that enables service and repair providers to predict future repairs for any popular passenger vehicle, according to the company. The solution puts real-time, AI-enriched forecasts at the fingertips of vehicle service professionals as they are writing estimates, interacting with technicians, and advising their customers.
“Imagine taking your vehicle to a tire dealership for new tires and being informed that there’s a good chance you will experience a water pump failure in the near future. This holistic vehicle repair intelligence can help shops dramatically strengthen customer confidence and trust, and ultimately, accelerate profitable growth,” Hardin said.
Epicor PMA uses web “listener” and MicroStrategy HyperCard technologies to generate vehicle-specific service ranking reports that are presented via the user’s mobile device or web browser. The service writer or other user can click on the HyperCard to access a comprehensive PMA service dossier covering replacement rate information for more than 100 part and service types specific to the customer’s vehicle year/make/model/engine.
This instant repair intelligence offers value at the service desk, in guiding vehicle inspections, deploying repair reminders, selling extended warranties, and when consulting customers who are considering the purchase of a used vehicle, among other situations.
“Because they have so many choices, today’s digitally enabled consumers often need additional reasons to return to and trust a vehicle service provider,” Hardin said. “Epicor Predictive Maintenance Assistant enables shops to differentiate themselves through data-driven intelligence that helps take the guesswork out of the car ownership and repair experience.”