After more than 90 years, October marked the end of Ford’s car manufacturing in Australia. The collapse of car manufacturing in Australia has received extensive coverage – with Holden, Mitsubishi, and Toyota all taking their assembly lines overseas. However, there has been a lack of coverag on the flow on effects that this mass exodus will have down the supply chain.
Who will be most impacted?
The end of car manufacturing in Australia will impact a wide range of industries and sectors. A 2008 Steve Bracks review of car manufacturing in Australia found “Innovation in the automotive industry results in significant spill over across the economy”. Less than a decade later, we now stand at a crossroads, at risk of losing all the benefits of that innovation.
This means that many industries and businesses will be forced to adapt to life without local car manufacturing. The greatest impact, and the focus of this article, will be to importers, distributors, and retailers in the automotive industry.
The demise of car manufacturing in Australia will impact the entire economy – far beyond job losses.
The end of car manufacturing in Australia: What are the opportunities?
The feeling portrayed in the media and amongst most business owners is often negative, but it’s not all doom and gloom. In fact, with major car manufacturers moving operations overseas, this opens up a range of new opportunities for related businesses in Australia.
For a long time, a lot of the information – specific details regarding customers, spare parts, and accessories were previously controlled by the car manufacturer themselves. With the major car manufacturers departing, there will likely be demand for new intermediaries providing access such sources of information. Consider OSCAR by Auto Info as a great example (and one Micronet Systems integrates seamless with) which provides electronic hard parts catalogues and market intelligence to the Australian aftermarket industry.
Likewise, part of the ordering process was traditionally set by the car manufacturer, restricting you to using their system and following their processes, but now, we have the opportunity to leverage new, and innovative processes to ensure everyone in the supply chain has visibility of the information flow. This also provides efficiency opportunities.
Spare parts and accessory scope
The range of spare parts and accessories is no longer controlled / influenced by local car manufacturers. Now, businesses are in control of selecting spare parts and accessories, and control of sharing visibility of the range of spare parts and accessories they offer.
With these manufacturers producing cars overseas, this increases the range of cars available for importers to ship into the country, giving rise to significant opportunity for new specialist and niche car importers.
Manufacturing cars overseas = bad for local manufacturing, but good for local importers.
Challenges as a result of car manufacturing in Australia ceasing
Although it may not be all doom and gloom, there certainly are still challenges that importers, distributors, and retailers will face – and that you need to be aware of. These include:
- Insufficient visibility of components – Now that manufacturers don’t manage the ordering process, retailers need to be able to easily look up part specifications and prices e.g. via a catalogue system;
- Access to eCommerce – Importers and distributors should have an ordering and look up function on their website for customers without a catalogue;
- Affiliations – Importers and distributors should have affiliations with catalogue providers to appear on their system;
- Supply chain communication – Importers should be effectively communicating technical and specification updates down the supply chain; and
- Growing and maintaining market share – Lower-end retailers are facing increasing pressure from franchises to keep their systems and processes efficient and up to date.
“Happiness is not the absence of problems; it’s the ability to deal with them.” – Steve Maraboli
How Micronet can help you grasp the opportunities and overcome the challenges
Micronet Systems understands the unique needs of a distributor, wholesaler, importer, and retailer – providing tailored business management solutions to your industry.
That’s why we offer the following functionality, designed specifically to drive better value for those associated with the automotive industry.
- Integration with Auto Info – Integration with a catalogue, which populates your client’s own pricing and stock availability by simply entering the vehicle and part information;
- Micronet’s search facilities – Used as a standalone system without Auto Info, you can find products by item number, description, supplier, barcode, catalogue SKU, Australian Aftermarket Part Number or a combination of these;
- Buyer Assist – Enables you to view stock availability from your suppliers and fill your own cart for ordering;
- Sales and inventory management system – Handles buying products from local or overseas suppliers in multiple currencies, multi-location stock control, full sales and backorder management, salesperson module, order scheduling, manifest builds and deliveries; and
- Paperless warehouse management system –Eliminates picking mistakes and makes the whole process of delivery as efficient as is possible.
Micronet Business software has been implemented in over 2,000 companies. Our comprehensive business software solutions are tailored to our customers. We have also developed specific supply chain management tools for e-commerce, franchises and buying groups.
Your tailored business software solution is a short phone call away. Call me to find out how you can grasp the opportunities or overcome the challenges of your ever-changing business environment. You can reach me on 02 9542 2000. I’m always happy to help.
Stuart Duncan is a Senior Sales Consultant at Micronet Systems and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient processes regarding sales, inventory and accounting systems by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to gain better control of your key processes, then leverage Stuart’s 35 years of experience to help you drive real change in your business.