Thursday, July 29, 2010

Parts Availability, Lost Sales, Purchase Loyalty, CSI and the Choices Customers Make … And the Magnificent 7

Our industry really focuses on a few precious metrics to gauge how well we are doing in the area of parts sales. Facing fill tells us if the stuff is available at the shipping warehouse. System fill tells us if the stuff is available in the network for the dealer order. Repair Order Fill is all about how much stuff is available at the dealer for the repair order. Lost sales rates tell us how much we didn’t sell when we coulda. Dealer purchase loyalty measures how much stuff dealers buy from the OEM. CSI tells us if customers are satisfied with their dealer service experience “stuff.” All this gets rolled up into service retention rates that measure parts and service market share.

OK, enough of that.

What really happens? There are two main groups of cars, those still in warranty, and those out of warranty. New car owners and lessees shuttle their vehicles back and forth to dealers for warranty repair work, none of which costs them a dime. Upscale new car owners get everything for free for 3-4 years – even the basic maintenance stuff.

Then, there are at least seven “situations” that are material to understanding the dealer service market for those out of warranty repairs:
  1. Younger car owners use personal recommendations, Yelp, and other social media to get trustworthy reviews for services, restaurants, and vehicle repair. Dealers get hammered (or not even reviewed) on Yelp, so these younger car owners go to independents.
    If these independents don’t have the parts they need, then they (the independents) go to dealers.

    Time out from two Twenty-somethings: “While I might go on Yelp to find a good place to eat before a Red Sox game, I’d rather ask a friend who lives downtown for a recommendation. Same thing for a plumber, electrician, doctor, and auto repairer – I’ll check reviews to avoid the truly awful, but I’d prefer to take the advice of a friend or neighbor. These are the “formative years” for my age group; the experiences we have with dealers and independents will shape our purchase decisions for the next 40+ years. I’m just waiting to be wowed. I had generally positive experiences with the NH dealer who sold and occasionally serviced my 2005 sedan, so recently I decided to try a MA dealer for an A/C repair. This dealer flunked my mystery shop – two transfers and 10 minutes on hold just to schedule an appointment. I hardly have a warm fuzzy feeling, but this dealer is close to my apartment so I drop off the car on Wednesday to be picked up on Thursday. When I call late afternoon on Thursday (I thought they said they would call me?), it takes me another 10 minutes for someone to get on the line and tell me that it won’t be ready for another day. Based on the level of service I received, it seemed like the dealer didn’t need my business. This makes me question whether I got a good price and whether the repair was completed with sufficient care. Another bad experience at a dealership and I am on my way to becoming a ‘Mainstream middle-aged out-of-warranty car owner who has been conditioned that dealers are high cost and untrustworthy.’”

    “Last December I had a repair experience at my dealer (European). One of my heated side view mirrors managed to crack (apparently a common problem), so I called up the dealer and arranged an appointment to come in and have it looked at on a Monday. That weekend however, I had some time on Saturday and decided to bring the car in early, in order to avoid a snowstorm that was coming on Sunday night. Usually this would have been a bad idea. As expected, it was very busy that day and the dealer hadn’t had time to get in the new side view mirror since I wasn’t due until Monday afternoon. Everything went flawlessly though – the service adviser had a tech take a mirror off a new car to replace mine and my sales consultant even came over after seeing me to ensure that everything was going OK. All of the dealer employees were clearly doing their job to guarantee that customers returned when they were in the market for a new vehicle.”
  2. Younger car owners are also likely to just take their car to wherever their parents went.
    This could be the dealership or the independent.
  3. Younger car owners are also looking for convenience and the lowest price.
    If they are looking for the cheapest service, they go to the independents.
  4. Mainstream middle-aged car owners have been conditioned that dealers are high cost and untrustworthy and use independents.
    If these independents don’t have the parts they need, then they (the independents) go to dealers.

    Time out: We’ve said time and time again that dealers and OEMs need to exhibit trust, value, cost, and convenience. If customers perceive your dealers as high cost and untrustworthy, how does that reflect on the OEM? The dealers have several advantages over the independents that they should be taking advantage of. The dealer should have the resources to fix the problem correctly the first time (and if they don’t, they will (hopefully) at least correct it for free). Plus, if the customer thinks the dealer is ripping them off, they have a higher entity (the OEM customer care center) to appeal to. If an independent rips them off, who are they going to complain to – their friends on Yelp
  5. Dealer-loyal middle-aged car owners also know that dealers are high cost, so they split-service. Stuff that smells like they need a dealer goes to a dealer. Stuff that they have heard about (brakes, shocks, stuff like that) goes to independents.
    If these independents don’t have the parts they need, then they (the independents) go to dealers.
  6. Dealer-loyal middle-aged high-mileage car owners are getting smarter about the choices they have. So, if it smells like a dealer kind-of-thing, they will request aftermarket parts to be used. They don’t place a lot of value on lifetime warranties for parts; they are looking at just another year or so – 10K -20K miles.
  7. A lot of old farts go to dealers, don’t use the internet, and don’t drive much.
That’s pretty much the market.

Now, let’s get back to those metrics. Facing fill has evolved to be more of an economic efficiency metric and has little to do with true customer satisfaction or buying inclination. System fill is important because it is a surrogate for measuring the level of backorders … but, system fill is only as good as the supporting terms and conditions. Repair order (RO) fill is interesting, but few measure it in a consistent manner. Poor RO fill translates into dismal fix-it-right-first-time (FIRFT) ratios that tick off customers … hey, even my ultra-perfect John Deere dealer blames his service delay screw-ups on incomplete emergency order fulfillment. Lost sales metrics? How do you explain “good” lost sales that really are engineered as a consequence of known pricing elasticities vs. “bad” lost sales as a consequence of the enterprise failing in some way? Dealer purchase loyalty is one of my favorite metrics not to manage. How loyal is a dealer in Situation 6 above? They prepare the original quote with genuine parts, then change the parts BOM to aftermarket based on a customer request. Research tells us this is significant. This does not mean that the parts prices are too high – remember, pricing elasticity can be engineered. It simply means that the customer wants choices. All this gets tracked by CSI, which is useless because of the gaming that goes on in the industry.
Time out: I have 6 vehicles, 3 tractors, and an excavator. I’m not a collector; I just seem to need all 6 due to family and farm needs. My two best car dealers are my Ford dealer and my Chevy dealer. The Ford dealer is perfect. Really. And, I love my Chevy dealer … sometimes I want to hug him … to death. Last week I brought the 2002 ‘Burb in for a state emissions & safety inspection; I expected the worst. First off he sold me a $100 plus comprehensive checklist that included LOF. I said “sure” … we were going to NYC this weekend to help my daughter move and the only vehicle that fit the bill was the Burb. It had 46K miles and was “due.” Got a call saying I would fail the state “safety inspection.” $1900 later I emerged with new brakes, rotors, and other stuff that was on the $100-plus checklist. That was last Thursday. It was parked until Monday when we drove it to the Manchester airport and the “check engine” light went on. Emissions. Hmm. Thought that was covered in the state ”EMISSIONS” inspection last Thursday. Maybe it’s just me. So, on Tuesday I took it back to the dealer. He said he could check it out while I waited – “easy to do”, he said. “By the way”, he said it would cost $92 to get the code out of the system. “That seems like a lot”, I said. He replied that it was fairly time consuming to get the code out of the control system. “See you later” I said and left the Burb with him. I wanted to squeeze him … to death. Later that day he called and said the problem was due to mice (the second time he used this excuse) in the fuse box. Why couldn’t he fix it right the first time? Oh well, another $300 of $92 an hour labor. Oh, on Monday I got an email from the dealer asking me if my last service was OK and asking me to take a dealer survey before the GM survey was mailed to me. They just wanted to check if things were OK. Coulda asked me before I paid the RO … nah, that would be too dangerous. The problem isn’t just that folks don’t trust lousy dealers; the problem is that even good dealers exhibit bad behaviors that undermine trust, value, cost, and convenience.
Bottom Line: The biggest, and most critical metric is service retention. This is the interesting one. You’d want this metric to be a consequence of the above metrics, but it isn’t. Hmm. True lost sales and lost market share – service retention – seem to be most highly correlated with ineffective dealer wholesaling and crummy dealer reputations for cost and trust. We need new building block metrics for service retention, and we need to understand the limitations of the common set of business metrics that we most often reach for. Here’s my short list of what needs to happen:
  1. We need to fully understand the aftersales customer experience … we need a new “gestalt” – our current set of metrics indicates we don’t.
  2. We need to not invite into this gestalt process those who think this is a stupid idea. They are part of the problem.
  3. We need to invite dealers to this gestalt process.
  4. We need to redefine how we view our dealers’ participation in the entire service parts market: their roles in warranty repair, roles in customer pay, roles in DIY, roles in wholesaling …
  5. We need to develop new service retention building block metrics as a part of this process.
  6. We need to develop new dealer and OEM standards of customer service – and standards of behavior – as a part of this process.
  7. We need to re-tune our technology to support these new processes and new metrics.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Digital Aftersales Summit – It’s Time

Brian Crounse


The digital marketplace is the new next frontier that vehicle aftersales organizations will have to navigate through. Lacking a roadmap, the landscape will be characterized by significant economic waste, missed opportunities, wrong turns, bad guesses, and a separation of winners and losers. The best way to steer through this is collaboration. The ROI is enormous; the cost of failure from isolated decision-making is equally enormous.

To address this, Carlisle & Company is hosting a Digital Aftersales Summit this fall. This invitation-only event is free to automotive companies that are active participants in either our North American Service Parts Conference (NASPC), or our North American Service Operations Forum (NASOF), which is everybody that sold over 50,000 cars last year in the U.S. If you work for one of these companies, we’ve likely already invited someone from your team. If you want to know who exactly we invited, please contact me (email or call me at 978 318 0500 x182). This event is a follow-on to three sessions that we held at this year’s NASPC: David’s Crystal Ball, a roundtable discussion that surveyed current online capabilities, and an “experts only” panel discussion. The summit will build on the findings from these sessions.


I acquired my first email address about 25 years ago. In the intervening quarter-century, we’ve seen intrapersonal communication via computer, for business and pleasure, move from a curiosity to a pervasive part of our daily life. And most of that transition really just took place in the past decade. In 2000, for example, about 400 million people used the internet in some manner; in 2009, that number topped 1.8 billion. Here’s an example from a commercial context: in 1999, Amazon broke a billion dollars in sales for the first time, but managed to lose $800 million in the process. In 2009, Amazon had sales of $24.5 billion, and had nearly $1 billion in earnings. That’s some serious growth (and, after years of red ink, some serious profit).

Our industry has certainly been paying attention to the internet and the web, but mostly on the vehicle sales side. Manufacturers offer 3-D vehicle configurators, efficiently forward online leads to dealers, collaborate with 3rd party sites like Edmunds and KBB, and have social media strategies. But, quite frankly, vehicle manufacturers’ aftersales divisions are behind the times in terms of using digital communications to defend and grow their parts and service businesses. We’re not doing as well as we should be when it comes to capturing, connecting, and closing with our customers.

Proof of our digital aftersales difficulties is not hard to find. Let’s start with capture. Fire up Google and type in something like “Where can I get my oil changed,” “brake service”, or “auto body parts.” Next, count the number of manufacturer results you get, both in the main results, and in the paid ads. Your results will vary based on your location, what Google knows about you, and the phases of the moon, but I’ll bet you’ll see one manufacturer (OEM)-related link (GM Goodwrench), maybe a couple links for local dealers, and a slew of links for Jiffy Lube, Midas, Firestone, and other savvy aftermarket parts and service competitors.

Things look a little brighter if you search for something like “Ford oil change,” but here’s the problem: most searchers don’t mention their vehicle brand or model when they search for something. That’s a problem for us, and a boon for our aftermarket competitors.

Source: http://www.google.com/insights/search

Looking down the capture-connect-close funnel, let’s think about the next step, connecting with them (assuming that we captured a few, somehow). The main strategies are either to direct customers to an Owner Center, which provides a portal for a variety of aftersales product and services, or to send them directly to the right product or service provider, typically a local dealer.

Many OEMs have launched or re-launched Owner Centers in recent months. In our opinion, Ford’s site, which we’ve discussed previously, still ranks as Best-In-Class; it was clearly designed from a customer-centric viewpoint, and it’s just so easy to use. Users are never more than a couple clicks away from looking up service information, buying a part, or scheduling service. And I want to point out a feature of their service scheduler: you don’t have to enter your info with Ford, and then register with your dealer – Ford can pass this info along. If that sounds like a “duh” capability to you, you’re right. The fact that Ford is one of the few that has successfully implemented this feature says a bit about where we are as an industry.

The main challenge for Owner Centers is that customers need to be directed to them once, and then trained to return. Getting the initial visit is hard enough (here’s a hint: put the link to the Owner Center everywhere (web searches, dealer RO paperwork, signs, etc.); getting the return visit is even harder (another hint: merge online finance/lease payments into your Owner Center, even if that means collaborating across organizational silos).

The other strategy out there is to route traffic to service providers (i.e. dealers) directly. This strategy shoots for a quick connect rather than a deep connect. This sidesteps the need to build and market a killer Owner Center, but has its own challenges. The main one is managing change at the dealership. Dealers now generally understand what to do with online vehicle sales leads. Online leads for parts sales and service appointments (for those OEMs without robust service schedulers)? A different story. As we’ve discussed previously, it’s not good enough for our dealers to be as good as independent repairers. They have to be better, to overcome customers’ current perceptions of dealer service.

And one way we can help dealers do that, or at least provide the opportunity, is by offering a convenient front-end for close opportunies. These front-ends can be in an Owner Center, or be standalone tools that facilitate the quick connect. The main OEM-controlled close tools are parts e-commerce sites and service schedulers. Manufacturers struggle with e-commerce sites for a few reasons. One is that OEMs are learning how to be retailers of parts. While dealers are key players in most OEMs’ parts e-commerce strategies, it’s the OEM that’s in charge of the front-end. The other reason is that we’re not all sure what the purpose of these sites is. After all, the DIY market is relatively small in the U.S., and not many vehicle owners buy their own parts for DIFM (Do It For Me) repairs. But we think parts commerce sites have value as a shopping and research tool, and we’d sure like to wholesale parts to independent repairers via this sites, as a supplement to our wholesale strategies. But so far, no one’s shown us numbers that indicate that parts e-commerce sites are profit centers, yet. The question is, are these sites like Amazon, or like Webvan?

We face the same issue with service schedulers. On the one hand, many service providers offer online scheduling. Even many state DMVs have well-designed online scheduling tools. And if DMVs can offer customer service that’s superior to our own capabilities, then we’re in trouble. On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear, yet, that offering online scheduling pays its own bills. We’ve heard promising statistics from a couple OEMs that are scaling up this capability, but there’s not yet enough volume to declare victory. Yet.

So, where does this leave us? In talking with various aftersales organizations, we’ve heard about ideas, strategies, and initiatives that vary across the board, and in many cases conflict. There’s not much agreement beyond acknowledging that aftersales organizations’ online efforts are months to years behind those of our vehicle sales organizations.

That’s why we’re hosting our Digital Aftersales Summit. The rationale behind both NASPC and NASOF participant involvement is OEM aftersales organizations benefit from pooling their knowledge and learning from one another. The topic of digital aftersales is no different, except that the learning curve is steeper, change occurs more swiftly, and the gaps between OEM capabilities and those of the independent aftermarket are more apparent.

The Summit will be a day-long event. In the morning, partipants will update one another on their recent initiatives, what they achieved, and what they learned. This will be a roundtable discussion with vigorous Q&A. In the afternoon, Carlisle & Company will present results from four areas of research:

Customer Behaviors & Expectations
What are customers currently doing online, with respect to vehicle maintenance and repair, and what do they want to be able to do? We’ll present our analysis of an online panel survey that we’re conducting right now.

Online Aftersales KPIs
Who’s really moving the needle, in terms of driving traffic to our sites, connecting with them, and closing transactions? We’ve defined a set of capture-connect-close KPIs and we’re collecting data from participants this summer. We’ll share and interpret our results.

3rd Party Lead Aggregators
3rd party vehicle research sites like Edmunds.com and KBB.com are established parts of the vehicle sales ecosystem. There are similar players looking to define themselves in the aftersales area. One potentially killer feature of these sites—and their mobile applications—is that they allow consumers to comparison-shop for repair estimates. We’ll report on our findings about the capabilities of these sites, and what they will mean for our industry.

Collaborative Opportunities
As described, OEMs are getting clobbered on many high-volume search terms. If a searcher doesn’t mention a vehicle brand or model, most OEMs aren’t cracking the first page of results. One of the challenges is market share – the economics of AdWords mean that it’s not very smart for Chrysler to bid against Honda to pursue oil change customers. We at Carlisle & Company believe there’s a smarter way to approach this problem. We’ll update participants on our strategy at the Summit.
Bottom Line: If you want to get up to speed on this topic – and if you’re involved with parts or service marketing at an automotive OEM, you really need to be up to speed – then you (or at least your colleagues) need to attend our summit. Again, it’s free for NASPC / NASOF participants. To find out more, (email or call me at 978 318 0500 x182).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let’s All Take a Front Row Seat to History Making – Watching GM’s Vancouver Break the Impossible 100,000 LHY Barrier

David Carlisle


On May 6th, 1954 Roger Bannister broke what was thought to be an impossible barrier - the four-minute mile. He did it in 3:59:4.

The equivalent of the four-minute mile in parts warehousing is the 100,000 LHY barrier (Method 1). The NASPC has been measuring this metric for 19 years and now have over 400 parts warehouses in the NASPC databank (North America and Europe). GM’s Vancouver Warehouse is on a quest to break this barrier that has eluded the industry for nearly 2 decades.

We have been following Vancouver for over a year now with anticipation. In 2009, their year-end performance came very close … close enough to give us confidence that Vancouver could do it in 2010. To put this into context, at the 1993 NASPC, GM’s most productive parts warehouse tracked at less than 25,000 LHY.

If you look at the bar chart, you can see that Vancouver is on pace to grab the record. We have 6 months to go and they are running at world record performance.

Vancouver will shatter a major industry milestone, and will best GM’s ’93 best by over 400%. Kudos to Des McDonell, Kevin Williams, the Vancouver PDC team, and, of course, Charlie Hyndman.

Bottom Line: On July 7th, 1999 Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco ran the mile at 3:43:13. The world will always remember Roger Bannister, and will celebrate the current record holder. Let’s pull for Vancouver to be the first, but not the last to hold this record. Way to go Vancouver!!!

By The Way: Roger’s achievement was celebrated by a pretty cool plaque. Most of the industry’s leading marketing agencies subscribe to this blog. I’d like to challenge them to design and donate a remembrance of this pending achievement. If we get multiple submissions, I will pick the best one and the agency responsible can present the award at the 2011 NASPC. This is a unique opportunity. Contact me to discuss.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So, What Do You Think About Metrics?

It’s fair to assume that metrics probably came up in some way, shape or form in all of the panel and roundtable discussions at this year’s NASPC. The attendance at the metrics panel was a testament to the importance of metrics in all departments and functional areas. After all, if you can’t measure it, you can’t set objectives, track progress, and ultimately hold people accountable.

Four OEMs were showcased at this panel and all had something in common: they overcame internal resistance by fostering a culture of measurement. Promoting an awareness of metrics at all levels is important in making this cultural shift, even when the calculation is complex. One OEM discussed their Shareholder Value Added (SVA) approach. It was previously employed only by senior management, as the calculation of SVA requires a fairly robust financial system. Now awareness has percolated down to all employees. This OEM has also aligned compensation with SVA to get everyone on the same page. Compensation tied to metrics is a useful tactic to effect cultural change; at one of the European OEMs, compensation for warehouse operators and management is based on performance metrics, which are shared within and across PDCs.

A bottom-up approach to metrics can also be successful. This requires empowering individuals at all levels to solve problems. One of the European OEMs assembles cross functional teams to implement continuous improvement events, while another OEM has installed lean suggestion boxes. Yet another OEM has employed an analytics group to comb through data and identify trends. The intent here is to reduce management workload; they want managers spending their time making improvements, not identifying problem areas.

What about over-measurement? How do you know when enough is enough? For one OEM, it’s important to build composite metrics instead of tracking every detail. They pointed out that they have actually removed metrics on a case-by-case basis. For another OEM, the frequency of measurement should drive the level of detail. For example, daily metrics reports should not exceed one page, or else there is just too much data for people to wade through. While every additional metric could possibly reveal a new insight, it is important to avoid paralysis by analysis.

Using metrics to set targets and evaluate decisions is only half the battle. OEMs who are true ‘Best Practice’ leaders also look at metrics after-the-fact. If a target was not achieved, what were the reasons why? If a decision had unanticipated consequences, what factors were overlooked? One of the European OEMs is a leader in this type of retroactive analysis, recognizing that key knowledge can be acquired by comparing expected to actual.

Bottom Line: The NASPC is all about metrics and methods. Showing numerical differences and explaining what caused those differences. There are stunning examples of companies that have used metrics to dramatically improve performance. Perhaps the best and most recent examples are Volkswagen and General Motors. We have written several blogs telling their stories. That said, talking about “metrics” can be uncomfortable.
  • For the enlightened, it is like talking for a long time about if you have six apples and pick four more, you end up with ten apples. Boring.
  • For the perpetually hopeful in search of the magic bullet, listening to cultural enlightenment, the path to lean, turning off the lights at night, numbers-numbers-numbers, and the come-to-Yahweh awakening … well, this sort of story is a little too come-to-yawn-way.
  • For those “diplomats” among us who know they are right and their numbers support their rightness, other people’s metrics are always wrong and inappropriate. Talking about metrics with them is pure UN-style diplomatic debate.
  • For the metric zealots, talking about metrics is a spiritual experience, where the most pleasure in discussion is only among other zealots.
We don’t talk much about the Ten Commandments simply because this is the longest list of fundamental truths that most people can agree with. Running your business with metrics is, similarly, a fundamental truth. Using best-methods and best practices for improvement is, also, fundamental. If you ain’t got either, hire a zealot (for awhile), and fire a diplomat (forever).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spotlight on Reducing Dealer Obsolescence – 2010 NASPC Session Findings

There really are two issues:

  1. How do we prevent dealer E&O accumulation?

  2. If and when E&O accumulates, what can we do to reduce it?

The first step toward preventing E&O inventory build-up is to identify the underlying causes. Dealership behavior plays a big role here (though parts managers would tend to disagree). At this year’s NASPC one OEM shared a surprising statistic: of the 5-6% return allowance available to dealers, ½ -1 percentage point gets left on the table. As you can see in the chart below, returns are a big thing with dealers (chart is from 2010 NASPC Recessionary Dealer Survey.) Why are dealers forgoing part of their allowance, yet complaining about cash flow related issues in the surveys?


Staff shortages and turnover at the dealership have played a big role here. When parts departments are understaffed, less attention is paid to inventory and critical deadlines for returns may be overlooked. One of the HE OEMs pointed out that in some cases dealers are afraid to return parts for fear that they might need them down the road. How common this hoarding behavior might be is unknown, but there may be some interesting correlations here. For example, do OEMs with availability problems see a greater incidence of hoarding behavior among dealers?

To combat dealership neglect of inventory-related issues, some OEMs have implemented creative approaches to training. One of the Asian OEMs uses grassroots-type training, where dealers can attend a free off-site class specific to inventory management and reporting. Recognizing that the field may not be sufficiently educated in inventory management, other OEMs are sending expert inventory consultants, often third-party, to visit dealerships in conjunction with the field. These consultants have more credibility in dealerships and are better equipped to field questions and concerns from dealers.

Accountability was the most predominant theme at this year’s roundtable discussion. Metrics play a key role here; dealers cannot be held accountable if they are not being measured. While most OEMs have inventory-related metrics and reports for parts managers, several OEMs saw a need to escalate these reports to dealer principals. One OEM sends a simple report to the dealer principal every week that illustrates inventory health with red, yellow, and green indicators. This brief, visual report captures the dealer principal’s attention and allows him to start an informed conversation with his parts manager.

Acknowledging that prevention of dealer E&O is not the responsibility of the dealer alone, a couple of OEMs shared stories about mistakes they had made in the past. One OEM at the session used to suggest extensive new model kits to dealers, but found that this practice created excess inventory. Another OEM that currently offers incentives on parts purchases rather than parts sales plans to change its terms to align with inventory objectives.

While working to prevent the accumulation of E&O at dealerships is important, OEMs are also seeking channels to reduce this inventory. D2D is the first line of defense here. OEMs exhibit different levels of involvement in D2D transactions; one OEM facilitates every aspect of the transactions and makes a margin on the sales, while others do not get involved at all.

Bottom Line: Going forward, OEMs are looking at outside channels for E&O. One of the German OEMs has had success selling parts through enthusiast websites – so much success that some dealers have been calling corporate to order more E&O parts. Another OEM believes that there are markets for many low volume parts, and has been piloting different approaches to get there. As many OEMs focus on new initiatives, there should be insights abounding at next year’s conference.