Since the launch of our Order Manager solution in 2000, the Automotive Aftermarket division of Bosch has been using our international B2B platform in Spain and Portugal to constantly optimise their order-related processes, from availability requests to the dispatch of tax-compliant electronic invoices. Jose Juan Mota Sanchez, looking back on more than 20 years as E-Commerce responsible at Bosch, explains the advantages of our industry solution and talks about recent developments in the Iberian market.
Bosch has been present in Spain since 1908 and currently has about 20 sites, employing around 8,650 people. The TecDoc Certified Data Supplier offers around 120,000 different reference numbers in Spain and Portugal. Bosch was one of the very first parts manufacturers who connected to the B2B platform Order Manager (at that time: TecCom) in Spain and Portugal back in 2000. With this solution, wholesale dealers can check prices and availability of replacement parts and directly order them electronically – 24/7 and without having to call someone or write an email.
“Today, almost all our customers are receiving electronic invoices from us. This enabled us to drastically reduce paper consumption, which is good for the environment and also saves costs.”
Jose Juan Mota Sanchez, e-commerce responsible, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Iberia
Joint pioneering work
“I still remember the time before we used the Order Manager, when we received all requests and orders via phone, fax or even letter. The processes were so ineffective, took so much time and of course many errors occurred due to manually typing in numbers etc.”, says Jose Juan Mota Sanchez, E-Commerce responsible at Bosch.
“In 2000, we started with one first pilot customer in Spain. In the next three to four years, I personally visited our customers in Spain and Portugal with Claude Lotrian from TecAlliance. We explained them the advantages of electronic ordering and e-commerce, showed them the software and even helped them to install it. And our efforts paid off: In 2002, 25% of the orders were sent electronically, in 2005 already more than 50 percent and since 2010, 94 percent of all orders have been processed via Order Manager”, he explains.
Claude Lotrian, Vice President Data Manager Trade at TecAlliance, also likes to think back to those pioneering times: “Back in 2000, the idea of a B2B platform for electronic order processing that connects all parts manufacturers with all buyers in the international automotive aftermarket was really new and kind of revolutionary. And as always, when it comes to completely new ideas and disruptive changes, not everyone was convinced of the advantages. Many wholesale dealers were sceptical about e-commerce”, he remembers.
“For us it was a great advantage that our shareholders were strong and influential companies like Bosch. They were convinced of our vision and supported us. In fact, their commitment was a key asset in our success. I really enjoyed working with great professionals like Mr. Mota Sanchez because they gave us access to the wholesale customers and helped us to convince other parts manufacturers of the benefits of our mutualised platform”, Claude Lotrian points out.
From order to invoice
Digitising the order processes was a great success for Bosch. The optimisation released many resources that were used to provide even better service to their customers. Besides order processing, especially the so-called reverse messages, i.e. electronic order confirmations, despatch advices and invoices, were getting more and more important for the wholesale dealers.
“Availability request is an important functionality because our customers more and more ask for real time information about availability. The workshops exert great pressure and sometimes order from several wholesalers simultaneously. Speed of delivery is of utmost importance in our market. To keep up in this environment, wholesalers need to know immediately whether a part is available. They place an express order and have to know when exactly the replacement parts will be delivered. This enables them to accurately plan the further processing of the delivery in order to shorten the delivery time”, explains Jose Juan Mota Sanchez.
For ten years, Bosch has also been sending tax-compliant e-invoices via the Order Manager module e-Invoicing in Spain and Portugal. “Today, almost all our customers are receiving electronic invoices from us. This enabled us to drastically reduce paper consumption, which is good for the environment and also saves costs. Our customers receive the invoice immediately and they can integrate e-Invoicing also in their ERP system, which brings even more advantages for them”, says Jose Juan Mota Sanchez.
Ready for new challenges
According to Jose Juan Mota Sanchez, the most disruptive changes in the automotive aftermarket will result from the electrification of vehicles, connected and autonomous vehicles. “Also the aging of the car park in Spain and Portugal is a big issue: The average age is now more than 12 years! We need to renew the car park to increase safety and reduce emissions to reduce the negative impacts on the environment”, he emphasises.
He is also convinced that there is still a big potential for process optimisation and digitisation in the Iberian automotive aftermarket. “Our sector is still traditional in some aspects and we definitely need to go on with the digital transformation. We at Bosch not only want to sell hardware but also software, offering solutions that increase the competitiveness of the automotive aftermarket. Agility becomes a necessity to survive and grow in the digital world and we are happy that also TecAlliance has transformed into an agile organisation”, he says.
Since the end of 2018, TecAlliance’s Business Unit Order Manager has been completely restructured, based on the principles of agility. Cross-functional teams are working on the further development and improvement of the Order Manager solution. They are closer to the customer and are able to deliver innovative new features much faster to the market.
“TecAlliance has always optimally supported our e-commerce strategy. We had fantastic support at the beginning and now even more. We know that we can always rely on them and that everybody is dedicated to help us if any problem occurs. We are really looking forward to tackling all new challenges together with our long-standing partner”, says Jose Juan Mota Sanchez.