Blog: Epicor Demonstrates Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics Solutions For Aftermarket Businesses – AftermarketNews.com (AMN)
Epicor Software Corp. recently demonstrated two solutions designed to help automotive aftermarket businesses increase sales, efficiency and customer satisfaction through the use of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. The new solutions – the Epicor Virtual Agent (EVA) and Epicor Smart Inspection tool – were highlighted before an audience of nearly 4,000 customers, partners and employees during the company’s Insights 2019 conference last month in Las Vegas.
Epicor Senior Vice President Scott Thompson and Chief Product and Technology Officer Himanshu Palsule demonstrated how EVA, powered by Microsoft Azure technology, could help a replacement-parts distributor identify and address a potentially costly hole in its store inventory. In this scenario, EVA identified rising demand for a replacement water pump not carried by the distributor. The virtual agent issued an alert, with product and application details and corresponding Epicor Vista part-replacement-rate data, to the customer’s mobile phone. Also included in the alert was a listing of related parts, such as serpentine belts and thermostats, commonly replaced in conjunction with the water pump. The customer could then simply tap a button on the screen to add the water pump to the store’s inventory.
“Contrast this approach to the way many distributors and jobbers update their inventories – by reviewing lost-sales reports,” Thompson said. “Every lost sale is expensive. You’re not simply missing out on that immediate revenue, but also sending your customer to the dealership or another parts provider. EVA and Epicor Vista part-replacement data can help businesses close that service gap and protect the customer relationships they have worked so hard to build.”
Thompson and Palsule also demonstrated a new version of the Epicor Smart Inspection tool featuring predictive analytics. This tablet-based solution guides service writers and technicians through dozens of common vehicle inspections and repairs. The tool now includes data covering frequency of specific types of repairs on a wide range of popular vehicle applications. This information can help the service writer and technician identify worn parts and other previously undetected service needs.
“Epicor specializes not only in helping the aftermarket address its supply chain challenges, but also provide a superior service experience,” Thompson said. “Consumers value service providers who can help limit the time their vehicles are in the shop. This tool helps the shop catch service needs that might otherwise cause the customer to make an additional, unwanted visit down the road.”