​DENSO’s David Williams: Why Suppliers Should Care about the OES Channel

Date: June 6, 2019
David Williams, director of automotive OES Group, DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc. (DPAM), is a member of the AASA OES Executive Steering Committee and a panel discussion moderator at the 2019 AASA OES Special Summit. In this “Supplier Essentials” feature, he discusses the challenges suppliers face in the OES Channel, the channel’s potential growth opportunities, and why suppliers should care.
 
What is the top challenge that suppliers face within the OES Channel?
 
“To be successful, suppliers must be able to provide a balanced product / service. The end customer in the OES channel expects to find a high-quality, but competitively priced product while also providing unique features or value from the general aftermarket. Suppliers cannot win with a single attribute or ‘me too’ products. Products have to be unique and aligned to the overall carmaker strategy.”
 
What are big growth opportunities for suppliers in the OES Channel?
 
“Carmakers are developing plans and strategies for new products and business models for service and parts to keep pace with changing vehicle technologies. At this point, it is impossible to say definitively which segment will be the most lucrative. However, suppliers who are open to embracing new ways of doing business will have a competitive advantage. As suppliers, we should not look at small changes to products or services, but rather fundamental changes to how we do business. We must keep pace with our customers and not be left behind.”
 
Why should suppliers care about the OES Channel?
 
“The franchise dealer channel is the first stop and customer benchmark for any new vehicle parts and service. As a result, the franchise dealer already has significant mindshare with the vehicle owner. Franchise dealerships are becoming increasingly aware of missed opportunities in the aftermarket and they are working to retain and win back these customers. As a supplier, I want to make sure my products are positioned where the customers are.”
 
The 2019 AASA OES Summit is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 14 at The Ford Conference and Events Center, Dearborn, Mich. Williams will facilitate a panel discussion of the nuances and uniqueness of supplying the OE dealer channel. Scheduled panelists will include Jennifer Boyer of Ford Motor Co. and Christa Bryant of Valvoline.
 
AASA OES Special Summit attendees will include AASA members, non-member suppliers, OE dealers, OEMs and solution/data providers to this channel. Other confirmed speakers and presentations to date include:
 
  • Mario Clementoni of NADA, discussing the current OE dealer business model trends
  • Dave Mestdagh, general director of global product development, General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales, addressing “OEM: Aftersales Product and Brand Strategies”
  • “I’ve Seen Life from Both Sides Now,” an OEM executive comparing the independent aftermarket to the OES channel.
 
The AASA OES Special Summit will conclude with a roundtable discussion among attendees of the trends, challenges and objectives that will provide the basis for the launch of the new AASA group: OES Council.
 
More information, including registration and hotel accommodation links, is available here.
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