The Market Science group of Affinia has introduced an inventory management tool that can help store owners laser in on a leaner, more insightful stocking strategy.
The S2D (Stock to Demand) web portal combines statistical modeling, historical data and predictive analytics to help WDs and stores develop a better focus on their future inventory needs. By being able to predict their future inventory needs, customers can spend less time ordering and more time selling.
“Traditional category management tends to focus solely on historical data,” said Nicholas Jacquez, the vice-president of marketing and product development for Affinia Global Chassis. “The S2D web portal analyzes replacement rates and market opportunities. This gives our customers the information they need to optimize their inventory for their specific trade area(s) at specific times of the year.”
While the proprietary science behind the S2D is intricate and complex; the user interface is quite simple. The user selects a geography and product line. S2D then retrieves the VIO in the selected geography, combines it with Affinia’s proprietary replacement rates (which vary by part type according to vehicle year, make, model, and resident state) and returns a table of parts ranked by demand in that geography. This table also shows part level VIO, sales rank, location and position on vehicle, per car quantity, part introduction date and an interactive buyer’s guide, everything needed to optimize inventory, for both established parts and new numbers. The user can quickly download this table to Excel for further analysis.
Jacquez said large amounts of working capital are tied up in excessive and unnecessary inventory. But in just a couple of minutes, customers can calculate the true demand surface for each chassis part in their area. They can then tailor an inventory that satisfies existing needs and future demand.
“As far as I know, Affinia is the only Aftermarket manufacturer with a statistically derived method for predicting total market demand,” said Jacquez. He added that the competitive advantage offered by S2D helps customers of Raybestos chassis parts maintain their leanest inventory possible and ensures they have the necessary inventory to cover spontaneous repairs other shops didn’t expect.