TecAlliance is a global e-catalogues publisher for automotive aftermarket parts with its TecDoc globally recognised standard. TecAlliance is born out of collective efforts of 31 reputed parts companies (Bosch, Delphi, Hella and 28 others as equity holders) to give the aftermarket e-catalogues quality and functionality of an EPC of a vehicle maker. To cater to the India market, TecAlliance has set up a wholly owned subsidiary. David Winter, executive vice-president, Sales and Marketing, TecAlliance spoke to Kiran Bajad recently at ACMA Automechanika New Delhi.
What is TecAlliance's business strategy?
We are providing services to suppliers to try to bring in professionalism in the automotive aftermarket. The key to this is standardisation of vehicles and parts so everybody can speak the same language as the world is moving towards e-commerce. Sooner rather than later, automotive parts will go online; they already have in Europe and the USA.
How challenging is data collection from suppliers?
To do this successfully in India, everybody in the industry needs to work together. A lot of suppliers believe their data is sacred and sharing that data is giving away their competitive advantage. But our experience in the rest of the world says this is not true. Every supplier in those countries had apprehension in sharing the data. But our experience says opening up the data and standardising it to get the product to markets to find the right parts to the right vehicles at the right time is absolutely critical. This is not possible to do without any standardisation by collaboration with the eco-system.
What is your experience of working with suppliers in India?
We have opened our subsidiary in mid-2018 but we have been working on collecting data for over four years. In 1994, we started with 20 suppliers and today we have reached over 500 suppliers globally in our database. In India, we will have a similar experience.
Nineteen companies have agreed to be with us in India within our database and get catalogued. We are also working with ACMA to launch an initiative to reach out to its members to bring this initiative to market. Also, some of the leading global suppliers from Europe and USA have been present in India and they wanted us to be here.
Do these 19 supplies comprise both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers?
Yes, it is a combination of both Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers but most of them are Tier 1s. Going forward, we have a list of suppliers to bring them on board. We are hoping that with ACMA, we can extend further to another 30 suppliers in the short-term.
What is your message to Indian suppliers? How are you helping them through your extensive catalogue?
The automotive market is more fragmented than it was as there are more models of vehicles in the marketplace. Also, the technologies in vehicles have seen rapid change over the years, which is getting complex. Therefore, to identify the right parts is becoming increasingly difficult. The answer to this is a standard catalogue for everyone to get access to the vast number of parts.
Being on a single platform with a global standard catalogue will help Indian suppliers in more than one way. Also, as Indian suppliers are increasingly tapping overseas markets, our presence in the key global markets will open up these markets to them.
What major difference(s) do you see in India? Are there challenges?
One major difference is that in developed markets, for example the USA, nearly 70-80 percent of the orders which arrive at wholesalers and parts retailers are coming online. For that, you need a catalogue to identify the parts to order them. I believe the market in India will gradually move to online as there is a willingness to do transactions online for auto parts. This is clearly an opportunity for us.