With an e-commerce solution that gives your customers autonomy and your account managers even better customer relationships.
With margins averaging 25%, the spare parts business is an essential part of the service business in mechanical and plant engineering, but many OEMs do not sell spare parts and consumables to their customers themselves. Third-party suppliers attract customers with competitive prices and profit from long-term sales. Manufacturers who do not want to hand over after-sales to others can set themselves apart from the competition with excellent services - and retain their customers for a long time through a digital customer portal.
Based on the actual products, including all adaptations and further developments, you can sell spare parts and services, file documentation and training material, and display the order history in such a customer portal. This ensures efficient processes at the customer's site and allows your customer service representatives to concentrate fully on developing the personal customer relationship.
“Intershop helps Trumpf to master the digital challenge of customized customer portals.”
Your customers are already digital. They buy products online, book appointments via apps and access information via automatic image recognition. OEMs that miss this step will sooner or later be left behind by companies that serve these needs.
Keep the after-sales business in your own hands! Manufacturers are in the best position to do this: They know their customers and they know their products. Combine both in a customer portal and complement the after-sales business with instantly bookable service appointments, subscriptions to consumables, service bulletins or a tutorial of new product versions that make your customers curious about what they can expect from you.
A tip from us: increase customer retention via a loyalty program and digital self-services in your online customer portal! Personalize prices, offer special deals, and provide complete purchase history transparency. Set up in this way, the dumping prices of third-party suppliers are no longer a competitor.
The real customer benefit in digital after-sales lies in minimizing machine downtime. Downtimes must be avoided or moved to a time when the machines are in use less or not at all. This is where the aftermarket business can come in, for example with predictive maintenance. Many components in mechanical engineering have fixed operating hours. If these components are registered in the after-sales portal, OEMs can send spare parts or new assemblies (even automatically) so that they arrive before the operating time is reached. Immediate response and availability in the event of a malfunction are the factors that are most likely to keep customer satisfaction high in after-sales.
Manufacturers can increase brand loyalty by offering their customers added value through up-sell and cross-sell offers. Bundles are one example of up-selling in after-sales. Combine spare parts into assemblies, spare parts with wear parts, or add the right maintenance appointment at the authorized workshop to your offer. In cross-selling, product variations have become popular in the aftermarket. Items in additional colors or for different purposes are quite typical. You can also offer gloves, caps or safety goggles with your logo, or show discontinued items before the shopping cart is completed.
By not outsourcing your spare parts and service business to third-party providers, you have the opportunity to collect data on how customers use your products. From this, you can derive targeted new services or business models such as predictive maintenance.
The right spare parts strategy, if implemented correctly, can offer manufacturers and OEMs high profit margins. A spare parts store is an important cornerstone in this strategy. Based on the installed base, technicians are only shown spare parts, tools or kits here that fit their exact components. However, the aftermarket is very dynamic. To keep your profit margins consistently high, you need to ensure that master data is always up-to-date and that adaptations, further developments or security updates are also applied in the spare parts store. The integration of an Aftermarket PIM system can help and reduce returns, complaints and lack of customer satisfaction.