"We are on a digital transformation path,” said SAF-Holland’s Carl Mesker (right).  -  Photo: John G. Smith

"We are on a digital transformation path,” said SAF-Holland’s Carl Mesker (right).

Photo: John G. Smith

An old-line company that bends steel. That’s the way SAF-Holland’s Carl Mesker, vice president of sales, described the company during a Jan. 26 press conference held prior to Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue in Dallas. But then he revealed one of the company’s initiatives toward digitization, saying the company is reinventing itself.

Mesker announcd that SAF-Holland is relaunching its Aftermarket Parts on Demand (POD) electronic parts catalog, rebranding it as POD Plus. POD Plus now connects directly with the SAF-Holland business system, allowing users to view inventory in real time. In the past, inventory information was only updated once per day.

The new system also allows customers to place orders and contains customer-specific pricing.

Users can search for components by serial numbers or general product attributes, tapping into an extensive electronic parts catalog. Individual components will also be displayed along with the service kits that use the part.

From the home page, users have six choices:

  1. View parts catalog, which offers access to parts data and exploded views
  2. View literature, which includes maintenance-related information
  3. Spec a new assembly, which allows user to find part number and prices by selecting various options needed
  4. Import saved cart, which allows counter personnel to import lists of multiple parts using Excel spreadsheets
  5. Fast order find, which allows status of an order to be tracked
  6. Check net price

According to Bryan Thorwall, aftermarket brand manager, POD Plus has three ways to assist customers in identifying the parts they require:

  1. Product attributes can be used as filters during the online shopping experience. Thorwall said this allows customers to narrow their search based on known product attributes.
  2. It also provides replacement or obsolete information to users.
  3. It provides a list of service kits in relation to individual components. He explained that if a customer has found the washer required, he can now find the service kit need to complete the repair properly.

Mesker said that electronic parts catalogs have to be intuitive. “You have 10 seconds to have a person figure out how to find a part before they go someplace else.

“We are on a digital transformation path,” he added, “and the new POD Plus is an integral part of this transformation.” POD Plus is compatible with mobile devices and a full rollout is expected by the second quarter of this year.

About the author
Denise Rondini

Denise Rondini

Aftermarket Contributing Editor

A respected freelance writer, Denise Rondini has covered the aftermarket and dealer parts and service issues for decades. She now writes regularly about those issues exclusively for Heavy Duty Trucking, with information and insight to help fleet managers make smart parts and service decisions, through a monthly column and maintenance features.

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