Posted August 26, 2020

Case Studies: How Interpart grew JCB aftermarket parts revenue by 15x

Online ordering has increasingly become the preference for parts buyers.

The construction equipment consumer is changing.

In parts, this is even more evident.

When a piece of equipment is down, the speed at which you acquire the parts you need to mitigate equipment downtime is absolutely paramount. This makes the process of making phone calls to suppliers that much more painful.

The emergence of ecommerce tools has given buyers an avenue to buy the parts they need without having to waste time on the phone. Online ordering has increasingly become the preference for parts buyers as consumer behavior continues to shift.

“When I first joined the company [in 2013] we were doing about £20,000 a month online and now we are doing over £300,000 a month through our online ordering system,” said Richard Watson, Executive Director of Interpart, the only genuine alternative JCB parts provider in the world.

What is so amazing about this growth?

Interpart only stocks around 7,000 SKUs and has a core team of 28 people.

The need for ecommerce and online ordering is almost impossible to ignore. However, it’s not as easy as standing up your own ecommerce site or listing on Ebay.

I wanted to get an understanding from Watson on what goes on behind the scenes in making a highly profitable aftermarket parts business.

Specifically, I wanted to know what kinds of data and digital tools he uses to make Interpart successful in becoming an ecommerce enabled business.

Interpart: Alternative JCB Parts Supplier Since 1975
Based in the UK, Interpart has established itself as the only genuine alternative parts provider for JCB machines in the world. Their distributor network spans 70 countries and 6 continents including a recent expansion into the US based out of Miami, FL.

Richard Watson stepped in as Executive Director in 2013 to take over from his father and founder of Interpart, David Watson.

Watson has been uncovering ways to add efficiency gains to the business in order to do more with less. 

Since stepping into the business, Watson has focused on bringing in digital tools to enable him and his team to make data informed decisions. 

Data now informs everything they do from part purchasing to identifying their most profitable customers.

“Our biggest focus right now is in the data and constantly looking at new ways to analyze that data” said Watson.

I dug into this a bit more with Watson to uncover what exactly he means when he refers to his data.

Online JCB Parts Ordering

“We launched our new ecommerce site 18 months ago and are in the process of upgrading our online ordering system. All orders flow through our ERP so we are no longer needing to print orders out and manually punch them in ” said Watson.

“There is a direct link between an increase in sales and the availability of an online ordering system. In looking at regions that do not have online ordering available like in Spain, it’s a massive difference” said Watson.

Online ordering capabilities are beginning to seem like table stakes for the construction equipment aftermarket parts business. 

However, the benefits of Interpart’s online ordering capabilities extend beyond just adding a sales channel.

“The online ordering channels allow us to collect a ton of data that then informs many of our business decisions” adds Watson.

“We use Qlik to analyze all of the data that our systems are kicking off. I can now look well beyond just sales growth with these dashboards in place” said Watson.

Data Informed Parts Purchasing

Quantity of SKUs is not necessarily always a good thing. Slow moving inventory sitting on your shelf can be detrimental to both parts suppliers and rental companies.

Interpart has around 7,000 part numbers available to fit JCB machines. Meanwhile, JCB has over 250,000 part numbers.

So, why 7,000 SKUs and how do they pick what to add or remove?

“Our most important piece of data is our hitlist” remarks Watson.

“We have data on not just what our customers are buying but more importantly what they are not buying. If someone puts in a part number that we do not offer, that information is captured and gathered into a parts hitlist” said Watson.

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