Keep it simple
© Schaeffler
September 2021

Keep it simple

By Jan Horst
Convenience – that’s what the strategy is centered on with which Schaeffler’s Automotive Aftermarket business division is striving to shape the future of independent parts retail in spite of growing complexities. The aim is to make life easier for garages and their customers.

The independent spare parts market is in a state of fundamental change. Digitalization and electric mobility are gaining ground. Repairs and service jobs increasingly require specialized know-how or even specialty tools. The pressure on independent garages to operate profitably and efficiently keeps growing. Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket strives to support garages in this context. The objective is to make life easier for them and their customers. This strategy is centered on convenience targeting the following areas:

  • Customer Convenience describes ­Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket’s claim of putting garages, and therefore their customers, at the heart of the division’s activities by delivering real added value with its products and service offering. Joining forces with the data platform Caruso to promote free access to vehicle data is a case in point. Plus, together with other companies, Schaeffer Automotive Aftermarket has launched Repdat, an online appointment scheduling system, that can be integrated easily into the systems used by garages.
  • Repair Convenience means always putting together the best possible offering for a repair job and thinking beyond a particular spare part, because in many cases replacing just the part that’s obviously worn is no longer sufficient. Instead, the entire system has to be looked at, because parts that in the past would not have been the focus of an impending repair may be worn as well. That’s why Schaeffler’s repair sets and kits contain the spare part, plus all the required accessory parts, specialty tools, and information for professional removal and installation as required by the system concerned. This is a major benefit for garages, because they can satisfy their customers’ needs with just one visit to their facilities, the so-called “Fixed First Visit.” After all, garage customers expect their problems to be fixed by making just one appointment – with a lasting effect and without subsequent visits.
  • Commercial Convenience stands for ­Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket’s claim of enhancing the commercial success of garages. The repair sets and kits play a crucial role in this context too: They generate more sales because they contain more parts – which is in the vehicle owners’ best interest of receiving a system repair that precludes premature wear or even consequential damage.

Schaeffler is a globally leading development partner for original equipment and our Automotive Aftermarket division is a long-standing and reliable provider of impetus to independent spare parts retail and independent garages. If we didn’t, who else should manage to provide the right answers to key questions pertaining to vehicle services of tomorrow?

Jens Schüler,
President GKAM, Global Sales & Marketing Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarketermarket

At the same time, Schaeffler helps prevent the electric mobility business from bypassing independent garages, because the company, while developing its e-axles and hybrid modules for vehicle manufacturers around the world, keeps a close eye on independent parts retail. Whenever electric vehicles become relevant to the independent spare parts market, the Automotive Aftermarket division is ready to serve it with a portfolio of repair solutions and services aligned to support garages. Solutions that make it easy for the companies to benefit from the increasing prevalence of electric vehicles and to tap into this new segment themselves – for a secure and profitable future.

  • In 2020
    Schaeffler began working together with Auteon, a startup company operating a same-named comparison portal where garages can identify spare parts, compare their availability and the prices offered by their commercial partners, and place orders.
  • 53 %
    of garages prefer direct contact with their suppliers, 19% prefer online channels and 10% using hotlines, according to the 2021 REPXPERT forward-focused survey of independent garages.
Independent garages under pressure

Do you think that increasing complexity of repairs will reduce your ability to fulfill your customers’ requests?

Keep it simple