Meritor upgrades online aftermarket tools

by Truck News

Meritor has upgraded the online platform used to serve the aftermarket.

GRAPEVINE, Texas – Meritor has added a series of upgrades to MeritorPartsXpress.com, introducing a series of tools to support orders for replacement parts.

Optional email confirmation notices regarding stock and emergency orders will now let customers know when an order is in process or has shipped.

“We made some major enhancements to notifications in the past few months,” says Aaron Bickford, vice-president – North American Aftermarket. There’s also more to come. Text-based notifications should come within a month.

The changes are particularly important given the evolving demands of a customer base that is familiar with online ordering tools in their daily lives.

“We all come to work with our life experiences piled on our back,” he said.

Ongoing development is looking to differentiate whether parts are in stock in the U.S. or Canada, too. The ultimate goal is to use information about locations to estimate exactly how quickly orders would be delivered.

“We’re continuing to push that envelope,” he added.

Other features

Cross references have also been added to the site to offer alternatives to competing products regardless of brand, fit, form or function.

End yokes can be searched by image, while other interactive search functions make it easier to locate individual products. And there are 152 new visual search drawings overall.

A “My Orders” section of the site, meanwhile, gives registered users the tools to track order status, download open order boards, view invoices, and request returns.

Unregistered users can still use the site to access information about Meritor products, including product spec’s, reference materials, and alternate and part interchanges.

Calls and faxes

Despite the advances, a “surprising” number of orders are still being processed manually, says Joseph Plomin, senior vice-president and president aftermarket, industrial and quality. The number of online orders is increasing about 5% a year.

Such manual calls and faxes are undeniably inefficient. One customer at a European aftermarket technical call center was responsible for driving 25% of the calls that were received, Plomin said. Yet every question could have been answered through the online tools.

“He turned that technical person into a crutch,” he said. “It’s inefficient for us, but [also] it’s inefficient for them.”

As the volume of online transactions increases, Meritor’s board is also focused on the importance of cybersecurity, Plomin said. Even senior executives are expected to complete related training.

Some hackers have tried to enter the system, he revealed.

“At this point we’ve had no issues.”

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