SA's Latest Motoring Changes and What it Means for Independent Auto Businesses

New South African motoring industry changes took effect on 1 July 2021, boosting the competition in the automotive aftermarket sector - service, repairs and maintenance.

Finally, independent service providers (ISPs), repair shops and automobile parts vendors will compete for business with approved car dealerships and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).

Previously, motor and service plans favoured only approved dealers and OEMs. These service plans will not be embedded anymore in the auto purchase deal at the point of sale, giving the client the option to choose between OEMs and independent shops freely.

For customers, the new guidelines grant more accessible options and better value. The customer can buy and fit non-original spare parts (sold at lower prices) in his warranty-covered vehicle or service his car regularly at an independent repair shop instead of an approved dealership.

What does this mean for independent auto businesses?

The removal of restrictive embedded motor and service plans means that more independent automotive businesses will be able to service, maintain or do mechanical repair work for new motor vehicles under warranty.

Specifically, smaller auto shops, parts vendors and repair garages should expect more customers and revenue as competition intensifies in the aftermarket sector. In addition, SMEs owners in this sector gain a foothold in a previously untapped market: new vehicles.

Is your SME ready to compete in the auto aftermarket?

As a retailer in the automotive aftermarket industry, car part vendor or vehicle repair service provider, managing business entails proficient stock management, advanced customer service and speedy point-of-sale (POS) software.

Having an integrated ERP platform as the backbone of your retail operations becomes essential. You do not have to manage accounting and stock separately from CRM and POS or purchase various software applications; you can do it all in one industry-tailored software.

Market-specific solutions can optimise functionality further beyond efficiency and automation. For example, for an automotive parts vendor, advanced stock functionality where sales operators at the cashpoint can search, identify and quote replacement parts in minutes is a boon.

Furthermore, cloud-backed ERP infrastructure ensures vital data such as stock availability is synced and updated in real-time. This is a significant competitive advantage and a must-have if you manage several branches or plan to scale the business soon.

IQ Retail's solution for independent auto businesses

In developing its enterprise-grade retail ERP platform, IQ Retail has fully integrated the latest real-time functionality in stock control, supply chain management, point-of-sale and distribution and made it accessible to the SME market.

The software can be easily tailored to unique industry requirements and enhanced with modular systems and other app integrations. For example, our latest Single View module enables operators to access all customer information from one screen and process quotes, invoices, sales orders, and job cards immediately.

Single View functionality aims to streamline sales in sectors where advanced search functionality and identification is needed, such as the automotive sector. Here, client identification based on the car license plate or a specific car part number or tyre brand search is vital to efficient customer service.

Making this information accessible on one screen reduces clients' waiting times, confusion and frustration considerably and improves customer service at the point of sale.

In conclusion, your independent auto business needs to step up its standard ERP game to compete in the aftermarket sector with the big dealerships and OEMs. The solution is within reach: an integrated, user-friendly, customisable and data-driven software that understands your market. And best of all, its enterprise-grade functionality is highly flexible and accessible to the most discerning SMEs.

Contact IQ Retail to discuss a tailor-made retail solution for the automotive industry.