To improve the efficiency of its spare parts service for resellers, AST has introduced a mobile parts service in the form of a van, outfitted with 80 per cent of its high usage parts.
Col Rennie, AST's director of operations, said the mobile service is in response to resellers demands for a faster, low-cost service. "We have just gone back into the reseller channel and the resellers have made it very clear that they wouldn't purchase spare parts. The life cycle of products in our industry is three or four months - if resellers actually purchase spare parts they end up with high obsolescence.
"Feedback from our resellers also told us that having to wait several hours for a courier to deliver a part was not satisfactory," he said.
He said the van is making about 20 deliveries a day, 80 per cent of which fall between Marrickville and North Sydney. The service, which is currently in a pilot stage, is hoped to reduce the average delivery time to 45 minutes from the previous two to three hour wait under the cross-shipping system which used couriers.
The van will also pick up broken parts to be returned to the spare parts cycle which, Rennie said, saves the dealer having to send the parts back by courier and effectively shortens the turnaround of broken parts.
"The next phase in the pilot is to increase the hit rate of the van, that is, getting the right mix of spare parts by watching the usage patterns," Rennie added.
The spare parts that are not carried by the van will be cross-shipped from AST's Silverwater warehouse.
He said the next stage of the program is to establish an AST mobile parts service in Melbourne and then a second van in Sydney.