The Parts Alliance has launched new autoparts vending machines in partnership with the AA. The machines are designed to provide the UK’s biggest breakdown provider with access to parts on the road, 24 hours a day. The PartVend concept is being piloted in a number of strategic locations, with the machines electronically linked so Parts Alliance members can tell instantly which products are being used and when to replenish the stock.
Mike Curry, sales director national accounts for the Parts Alliance said: “Early results are very positive and we hope to ramp up the number of locations significantly and pretty quickly. The vending machines not only allow access to stock out of normal hours but also mean we can get product closer to AA patrols in areas where we currently don’t have branches.” A typical stock item is a battery, the AA patrol gaining access using a secure key code.
Curry added: “It’s another way of extending our reach and increases the number of locations where the AA can quickly pick up parts if they haven’t got them on the van.
“They get what they need, the beleaguered motorist is back on the road more quickly and we have a sale. It’s a win for everyone.”
Peter Sephton, chief executive of The Parts Alliance, said:
“The PartVend vending concept is a world industry first and contributes to our position as a technology leader in the distribution of auto parts in Europe.”
“It integrates with our class leading electronic catalogue and our Parts Alliance Reporting and Compliance tool, , that allows our customers to gain full traceability of their parts in the supply chain.”
The Parts Alliance is the UK and Ireland’s largest group of wholly owned and franchised businesses supplying OE and matching quality autoparts to national and independent garages and workshops. The AA’s patrols attend an average 10,000 breakdowns every day across the UK.
Curry added: “It’s thanks to building up very strong relationships with major companies, and working closely with them, that when we propose innovative concepts they are amenable to them. Having completed the feasibility study we will work with the AA to identify exactly where and how many of these vending machines are needed.”