How to Increase Your Sales Revenue by Focusing on Aftermarket
The aftermarket is a crucial component of your business
Posted on June 29th, 2021
The aftermarket is a crucial component of your business
Capturing your aftermarket will help generate reliable, reoccurring sales. Although a simple source of revenue, many companies neglect to focus on their aftermarket and mistakenly assume customers will call when they are ready for servicing.
In general, ‘aftermarket’ refers to a replaceable part on a product. It is the component that keeps your customer coming back to make another purchase as time goes on. In the compressed air industry, this would apply to any of the serviceable parts on the air system.
Taking the time to develop a strategy to capture your aftermarket generates easy revenue in the future.
We have collected data from our own original equipment sales and partnered with our machine builder customers to help uncover the best practices for increasing aftermarket revenue.
Sales Build Year on Year
Aftermarket sales, when captured effectively, build year after year.
For example, if you sold one hundred compressed air filters last year, you should sell one hundred replacement elements* this year. If you sold a further one hundred compressed air filters this year, the following year, you have the potential to sell 200 replacement elements. Even if you sell the same number of filters each year and have zero growth, your revenue from aftermarket sales will continue to increase.
*assuming a one year change out period
Lost Income – A Case Study
Our US office recently met with a large machine builder who supplies a filter with their system. We found they offered a service contract and warranty program to their customers for the system. But, because the filter was a much smaller component, they did not consider including it in the service contract.
A review of their aftermarket sales found that they had only captured 7.5% of the available aftermarket on their product over the past seven years. This resulted in a missing revenue of $1.5 million!
Despite being a small component, a filter can generate a significant amount of revenue. Revenue that could have been easily captured by adding it to the service and warranty program.
Strategies to Capture the Aftermarket
Aftermarket capture can vary depending on your business model.
Below are several suggestions that could help you capture your current aftermarket:
Check Filtration and Drying Products while Servicing Systems
If your company has service contracts for compressed air, gas generation, or medical air, it is important that service personnel always check the compressed air filters and dryers to see if they need servicing. Although a simple step, these parts are often overlooked for larger serviceable items.
Your service technician should always have service kits on hand when they go out for regular maintenance. This will prevent having to schedule a second trip and reduce the occurrence of services being missed or skipped.
Include the Elements in the System Warranty
A sample of our original equipment customers revealed that those who do not include filtration products in a structured service or warranty program capture only an average of 26% of the available aftermarket. Meanwhile, those who do include the filters in their warranty programs capture on average 66% of the available aftermarket. Data shows that including elements in your system’s warranty is the single best way to increase your aftermarket capture and associated revenue.
Keep in mind that including filtration products does more than increase your bottom line. By replacing elements by the manufacturer’s recommended service dates, your customers are also keeping contaminants out of the airstream and protecting the entire system.
Set up Email Reminders for Customers
It is important to remind your customers when service is due. Through an external source, like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can set up an automated email to remind your customers when it is time to place an order for a replacement filter element. This is a relatively low-cost option that can help keep service on the top of customers’ minds.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing to set up email reminders for customers. Some emails from MailChimp and Constant Contact in the spam folder, or email contacts could be out of date, meaning a small portion of them might not be delivered. But investment in setting up and maintaining email reminders is low compared to other aftermarket capture methods.
Educate Customers on Why Change-Out is Needed
We often speak to customers who have a unique product where there are no alternatives available for the aftermarket. There is an assumption that the aftermarket would be fully captured since there is no alternative place to buy the product. However, in some cases, we still come across low aftermarket capture rates. This is because customers are not changing out products at the recommended servicing intervals.
It can be helpful to remind customers about the importance of a regular service schedule. This will help ensure their system is free from contaminants, avoiding potential energy inefficiencies and costly damage. You can do this with educational email campaigns, social media posts, direct mail, or including flyers in the packaging.
Reminder Labels and Product Inserts
Another option that requires little investment is to include visual reminders with your product. Many companies supply change-out labels to place on the product, allowing a service technician to write the next service date as a visual reminder. These are low cost, and can provide a quick ROI (return on investment).
It is important that the customer can see the reminder label. Bright colours and packaging can ensure the label will not be lost in the box. Additionally, including product flyers in the packaging is a great way to remind customers to reorder and provide educational information on why they should.
Customers generally respond well to monetary incentives. You can encourage aftermarket sales by providing small percentage discounts for customers who sign up for an auto-reorder. Or, you can offer a discount to those who buy an aftermarket part within three months of the change out date.
We Can Help
At Walker Filtration, we have worked with many different types of OEM and machine builder customers to increase their aftermarket share. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your unique needs and assist with aftermarket strategies. Please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.