Efficient returns management helps reduce process costs by over 50%

Returns management is a big challenge for the automotive aftermarket: Based on the experiences of TecAlliance customers, on average 10 percent of all replacement parts are returned for various reasons. Processing warranty claims and returns is time-consuming and labor-intensive. With TecCom Returns we provide a digital solution to streamline the process and increase efficiency. Product owner Masato Dünßer explains how optimizing your Reverse Logistics can contribute to business success while also helping to reduce negative impacts on the environment.

What are the major problems in the automotive aftermarket regarding the handling of returns and warranty claims?

Masato Dünßer: In the automotive aftermarket, return processes are often complex, non-standardized and non-digital. These processes can vary greatly from region to region, not only in terms of the systems used but also in the quality of the processes. This leads to numerous communication channels and a concerning lack of transparency.
For a manufacturer or wholesale dealer it is difficult to know why a part was returned: Is it defective? Was it installed correctly?

Masato Dünßer, Product Owner at TecAlliance

Should they accept the part even if it is not in its original condition? Claims come in different formats, and many do not contain the necessary information for a manufacturer to decide. And once parts are received, they must be checked, sorted, and recycled.

All these steps consume time and resources without adding value to the business. Additionally, returns logistics negatively impact the environment, with many parts ending up in landfill and CO2 emissions from transportation. If the processes are paper-based further harm is done to the environment.

How can digitizing and standardizing warranty and returns processes create value in the supply chain?

Masato Dünßer: Streamlined warranty and return processes improve customer satisfaction by fostering close communication, fast response times and transparent, digital interaction. This is particularly crucial for wholesale dealers, who are the link between the manufacturer and the workshop, relying on efficient communication in both directions.

Digital returns management also helps saving time and with it cost. Our experience shows that, suppliers and wholesalers can reduce process costs by more than 50%! For example, it is often unnecessary to return a defective part if the issue is clearly visible on a photo or video. Avoiding physical returns saves time, reduces effort, and benefits the environment by cutting down on transportation.

Given the complexity of the process, the pressure to keep costs down and the advance of globalization in the automotive aftermarket, many suppliers seek a simpler, globally applicable, standardized solution providing them at the same time with a central view of the data. This aspect is crucial as it is essential for identifying global trends, driving efficiency, and optimizing production. Returns management is the ideal enabler for this.

With standardization as the basis for automation, the monetary benefits of a digital returns management solution are considerable!

What are the main advantages of an industry solution compared to a self-hosted individual solution?

Masato Dünßer: The goal of TecAlliance has always been to establish solutions for the entire automotive aftermarket. Tens of thousands of wholesalers and hundreds of parts suppliers are connected to our TecCom B2B trading platform, with a rapidly growing number already using our Returns solution.
If each manufacturer developed its own returns solution, wholesalers would have to use hundreds of different portals, each with unique requirements and login details. TecCom Returns simplifies this by offering a single, easy-to-use system for workshops, traders, and suppliers accessible worldwide 24/7 via our TecCom Portal.

Users connect once and benefit from a harmonized approach and one common language every time they receive or submit a claim. With multiple connectivity options, including a full ERP-system integration the solution can be tailored to all IT needs and works for suppliers, wholesalers, and garages alike.

How can aftermarket suppliers, wholesalers and workshop use and benefit from TecCom Returns?

Masato Dünßer: The great thing about our solution is that it’s been tailored to the specific needs of the aftermarket industry. All players can use it, regardless of whether they are part of our “TecCom world” or not.

Suppliers using our TecCom Order solution solution have instant access to Returns and can offer the service to their clients, even if they are not TecCom users yet. All submitted claims appear immediately on their claims list, providing them with one place to manage returns. If a supplier is not connected via TecCom Order, traders can manually add the supplier’s address and send the claim via e-mail.

Wholesalers benefit from being able to use one Returns system for all their suppliers – free of charge, without any software installation, whether they are connected to TecCom or not. By bringing their own workshop customers into the system, claims are conveniently fed into the digital process and can be passed on to the supplier seamlessly. This provides transparency across all steps of the process.

Garages can use a link generated and placed by a wholesale dealer on a website, parts catalogue, web shop, eBay shop, in an email or even as a QR code printed on delivery notes. With a click on the link, for example on their smartphone, they can directly create and submit claims.

Digital claim management brings many for all automotive aftermarket players. Submitting a claim takes less than three minutes, compared to more than 10 minutes for a paper- based process. TecDoc data integration ensures fast and easy part identification, and users can upload photos, videos, and related documents to add clarity. All claims are organized in one transparent, well structured, place.

TecCom Returns significantly optimizes returns handling, digitizing and simplifying it to save costs and increase customers’ satisfaction, making the best of a typically non-value-adding process.

You are already using the TecCom Order, have a TecCom ID, and want to give TecCom Returns a try? Go to the TecCom Portal and create your first claim! Log in now.

Or contact us for a demo.