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Local online parts portal a global first for Mercedes trucks

By Lance Branquinho

SOUTH African Mercedes-Benz and Fuso truck owners have become the first global Daimler commercial vehicle customers to benefit from a new online parts platform, the Daimler Trucks Parts Portal (DTPP). 

To reduce downtime and empower customers and service staff, Daimler Truck Southern Africa (DTSA), has deployed a new e-commerce system with a catalogue of 400 parts. South Africa is the first global market to benefit from this new customer service and maintenance technology platform, which aims to bring the demanding supply chain and delivery schedule of truck maintenance and servicing into the online era. 

Recognising the last-mile delivery issues that often afflict true point-to-point e-commerce in South Africa, DTSA has followed a hybridised approach with its DTPP deployment. The parts portal works on a click-and-collect principle, with customers able to search, view and select parts online, then collecting within 24 hours from selected dealerships. 

Live parts and inventory tracking and purchases have the potential to greatly enhance servicing efficiency for customers, avoiding the annoyance of journeying to a dealership only to discover that a specific part isn’t in its inventory. When needing an emergency line service item for an unexpected issue, the benefit of navigating the DTPP system for real-time availability, could be a tremendous efficiency and operational gain for many maintenance team leaders. 

Customers can search by VIN or truck model specifications, allowing the system to populate appropriate parts for each query. The DTPP user interface and sub-menus are designed for easy navigation and a logical basket and check-out process. Those customers intent on keeping their trucks for an extended period, know the merit of servicing with official OEM parts and will find this new DTPP system a valuable resource. 

The DTPP has launched with an initial catalogue of 400 parts, including popular maintenance and line servicing items like lubricants, batteries and some replaceable wear parts, like injectors, filters and brake kits. DTSA plansto expand its online parts catalogue, with more maintenance and collision parts, enabling customers and repair technicians to perform more extensive and complex truck servicing and repair with the convenience of online parts ordering and delivery. 

Although the parts portal has launched with click-and-collect order fulfilment, direct customer delivery is a future add-on feature scheduled for deployment by DTSA, with its DTPP project. For customers who know the cost of traffic inefficiency when having to dispatch a service technician to source and collect parts, the DTPP customer delivery option will be a keenly anticipated upgrade. 

E-commerce parts sourcing from an OEM also creates the opportunity for intelligent data management and integration. DTSA trucks pioneered telematics in the local market, with many fleets and service centres that have evolved and integrated digital data management systems in their businesses, could find new ways of leveraging business intelligence from operating an online data sourcing.

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