Initiated by major vehicle spare parts manufacturers, TecAlliance created the international data standard for the independent automotive aftermarket (AM) almost 30 years ago. Their software and data solutions support parts manufacturers, wholesalers and workshops in digitalisation, process optimisation and e-commerce.

Today, around 900 qualified TecAlliance employees from 26 nations are working around the world.

Interview with Fabrizio Giannelli, Vice President Sales Data Manager at TecAlliance.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Fabrizio Giannelli: TecAlliance brings together the experience of the long-established companies and brands TecDoc, TecCom, TecRMI and TecFleet. Based on our world-leading data standards, our data and solutions help all players in the automotive aftermarket simplify their business processes and sell more parts.

In addition to up-to-date vehicle and spare parts data based on the TecDoc standard, we provide comprehensive repair and maintenance information as well as integrated solutions and consulting services for digital order processing, fleet management and market and data analysis in the independent automotive aftermarket. 

E.E: What’s the news about new products? What are the ranges of products?

F.G: TecDoc is the world’s leading electronic replacement parts catalogue, which enables users to quickly and easily identify the right spare parts for vehicles. With access to over 9.8 million articles from more than 1,000 brands, TecDoc is an essential tool for anyone working in the automotive industry. 

With TecDoc ONE we have developed a new global product information management system. The system comes with built-in features for capturing, maintaining and analysing products and enables parts manufacturers to manage all their data in one place turning the complexity of different formats, data standardisation and data quality to their advantage.

TecRMI supports processes in workshops, trade and e-commerce with standardised, OE-compliant repair and maintenance information for all common vehicle manufacturers. With TecRMI, workshops can increase the efficiency of their workflows and save time and costs. 

The new online tool TecRMI Service Book enables garages to create and manage digital service book entries for their customers’ vehicles, making it easier to keep track of maintenance and service schedules.

TecCom is our global e-business platform for the automotive aftermarket, covering all processes related to order processing from availability requests and parts ordering to electronic invoices and returns. More than 280 suppliers and 30,000 wholesale dealers are connected worldwide. TecCom Returns is a solution of the platform that allows suppliers and buyers to manage product returns and warranty claims more efficiently, reducing costs and improving transparency. 

Our TecFleet portal supports fleet operators in all service, maintenance and repair processes (SMR). From automated review and approval of quotes to automated invoice review and approval, intelligent data and services enable significant cost savings and more efficient processes.

The new TecAlliance Partner Programme (TAPP) is designed to fuel growth for software vendors and consultants by helping them gain skills to grow faster and earn more.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

F.G: We operate internationally to ensure we support our customers worldwide. This means we are active in markets at various stages of maturity, ranging from highly digitalised to just beginning digitalisation. With 22 local subsidiaries and a vast partner network, we are committed to serving our customers and their customers everywhere in the world. Following our “think global, act local” approach we have founded numerous subsidiaries in recent years, from Mexico and South Africa to Malaysia, India or Dubai. Today, more than 900 employees are working in one of our 22 subsidiaries worldwide.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

F.G: Mega trends like sustainability, digitalisation, alternative drive types and the ongoing rise of e-commerce are changing and challenging the automotive aftermarket. New distribution channels and platforms are emerging or stepping into the market. We have to make sure that we give our customers the right tools to conduct business there successfully as well. In all these areas, the aftermarket needs certainty of action, and thus can only be achieved through collaboration and committing to certain standards in dealing with data. We continuously innovate and adapt our data and solutions.

While on the one hand we expect that the repair volume and number of spare parts will decrease due to new drive types, the age of the car park is increasing worldwide at the same time. This in turn means a greater potential for the aftermarket.

The share of private vehicles is declining, while the importance of fleet vehicles is steadily growing. The significant price advantages of the IAM for fleet operators hold the potential that new vehicles will also be increasingly repaired in independent workshops.

Regarding vehicle technology, the ongoing hot topic is the connected car. Being founded from the market for the market, we need to make sure that all market participants are getting non-discriminative access to OE vehicle data. I see us very well positioned here with our subsidiary CARUSO, which offers an open marketplace for harmonised in-vehicle data. To profit from this data, we are developing the corresponding business cases and value-added services for the market.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

F.G: The automotive aftermarket is a highly competitive market where a short time-to-market and accuracy of data are crucial. Our new functionality TecDoc Instant Data Processing (IDP) enables TecDoc data suppliers to update and transfer their catalogue data almost in real time. With IDP we empower the market globally to always work with the latest and most accurate data.

Another innovation is the integration of telematics data into our TecFleet solution. Fleet managers and operators face numerous challenges in managing their vehicles. These include optimising vehicle utilisation and availability while minimising operating costs and repair times. They need to keep track of the condition and activities of their vehicles in order to identify and rectify potential problems at an early stage. In this context, telematics data is invaluable as it provides comprehensive insight into the condition of the fleet. 

The integration of telematics data from CARUSO, the neutral, open and secure marketplace for automotive data, in our TecFleet portal now creates additional optimisation opportunities, identification of vehicle overuse or underuse, optimal deployment planning, optimisation of fuel costs and predictive maintenance. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

F.G: The huge amount of new vehicles forces parts manufacturers to bring new parts to the market to stay strategically and technologically up to date. The complexity of the vehicles requires high-quality data to manage the product range. It is more and more difficult to pinpoint the differentiating features of replacement parts so that workshops can distinguish among products for the same vehicle and find the correct part.

As consumers shift to digital platforms, e-commerce in the automotive aftermarket is expanding. A growing number of new players is filling the niches between dealers, workshops and end customers, redefining customer experience and distribution channels.

We need to ensure that our customers can rely on our data and solutions to support their business, no matter what challenges they face in the future. We go on acting as an intermediate, bringing the stakeholders together, and developing innovative solutions that benefit all market participants. All in all, we see us very well positioned and are expecting double-digit growth to continue this year.