Headquartered in the heart of Beijing, Tantivy Automotive is one of the world’s leading suppliers of spare parts for Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat. It is unique in delivering a comprehensive product line-up with its brands VIKA and DPA, suppling customers with quality products in over 60 countries. In order to further strengthen its position in the European market, Tantivy decided to collaborate with TecAlliance and become a data supplier for the TecDoc Catalog. The feedback from customers in various countries proves that this decision was the correct one. Since making this decision, Tantivy has posted a 150 percent increase in turnover.
The company’s vision is to always be committed to the customer’s success. “We firmly believe that we can support the customer’s objectives through patience and hard work,” explains Zhongchuan Cao, General Manager of Tantivy Automotive. “Honesty, trust, commitment and diligence have made us into what we are today. These qualities will also be the basis of our success in the future,” Tantivy’s General Manager is convinced. However, the experienced manager also knows that soft skills alone will not secure the company’s future.
Since Tantivy was founded in 2003, its striving for continuous improvement has enabled it to regularly identify not just successes but also potential for improvement in its quality management – for example in the quality of its spare parts. “Many original parts can be defective”, explains Zhongchuan Cao. “We have made it our task to find the defects and use the detailed information from our business partners to optimise our parts. We call this procedure ‘STO’ – Superior to OE – better than the original. This innovation is exactly what our VIKA and DPA brands stand for.”
Disastrous: Insufficient consistency of the product data
At Tantivy, data management is also subject to the continuous improvement process. Until 2017, the supplier obtained external assistance to collect and maintain product data. However, the product data team found the task of keeping the data at a consistently high-quality level to be increasingly time-consuming. The ever-increasing quantity of data could hardly be managed. The result: A lack of consistency in the product data and a partly outdated data pool. The consequence: Insufficient visibility to traders and garages. This deficit was bound to have a disastrous effect on not just the efficiency of the supply chain but also on Tantivy’s entire corporate development. “Imagine FC Bayern Munich playing on a backstreet football ground.” Zhongchuan Cao loves vivid comparisons. “Although we were delivering to locations around the world, our data was not in line with the TecDoc standard defined by TecAlliance. At many traders and garages, we were literally standing in front of closed doors.”
Data standard enables business across borders
Within the framework of its strategy for 2017, Tantivy decided on a paradigm shift in data management and collaboration with TecAlliance. The data specialist isn’t just a door-opener for new sales channels – it’s also a coach. As the global market leader for automotive data management and integrated solutions for manufacturers, traders and garages, the specialist’s TecDoc Catalogue is admittedly one of the world’s leading and most comprehensive catalogues for motor vehicle spare parts. Without this data, players in the free parts market would be dependent on vehicle manufacturers’ support. This standard makes it easy for suppliers, wholesalers and independent garages to work together across borders.
In addition to Asia and North and South America, the TecDoc Catalogue is particularly widely used throughout Europe. It is absolutely essential for suppliers to include their data in the world’s leading parts identification system, which also contains repair and maintenance data. With the TecDoc Catalogue, your products are in the public eye at the point of sale, where they are needed. International standards make collaboration easier and save costs and time.
The collaboration is providing Tantivy with interesting growth opportunities in Europe. This is where around 70 % of all automotive aftermarket sales are generated. Traders have been able to find Tantivy’s leading brands easily since they were integrated into the TecDoc Catalogue
Strict requirements for data suppliers
The success and pervasiveness of the TecDoc Catalogue can be attributed to the standardisation of information and the high quality of the data. To make this possible, data suppliers must adhere to strict requirements. The vehicle and product data must be available in precisely-defined formats so that TecAlliance can process it for the TecDoc Catalogue at the proven level of quality and provide it to the business through various interfaces.
However, the task of maintaining and entering product data at the quality level required for integration into the TecAlliance system is sometimes quite complex. TecAlliance has provided the DMM R2 data management module to make the process of integration easier for suppliers. This data maintenance tool supports the provision of data at multiple levels. For example, suppliers can use the correlation with criteria and generic products to describe their products. This gives rise to high-quality data in the standardised TecDoc format.
Continuous on-site support from TecAlliance
The collaboration with TecAlliance entailed internal changes by Tantivy. Two employees were hired just to prepare the data from DPA and VIKA. For the first six months, the data management team was busy collecting around 421 petabytes of data including images. This was entered in accordance with TecAlliance’s technical specifications and brought into the correct digital format. Since then, the processing of new data has been a part of the daily business.
When setting up an internal ‘TecDoc Catalogue’ department, the spare parts supplier worked closely with the team in the TecAlliance Shanghai office. In addition to the direct contact person Ling Wang (Account Manager Local Data Suppliers), TecAlliance China employs 36 experienced specialists, including those in data management and data standardisation. “One big advantage was that TecAlliance was able to provide us not just with experts, but with native speakers having comprehensive market knowledge. The communications, response times and service are truly remarkable”, explains Zhongchuan Cao with satisfaction. The team also helped Tantivy to set up a new online catalogue. “As in upgrading of our data through the TecDoc standard, the goal was to simplify the process of working together for our customers.”
Feedback from the market proves that the decision to choose TecAlliance was absolutely right. The standardised data led to a new global interpretation of Tantivy’s VIKA and DPA brands. “Our sales departments are reporting positive feedback across the board”, says Zhongchuan Cao. “In South America, Russia and Africa, all of our customers are pleased with the collaboration, because it is easier to find their products in the global market.” From TecAlliance’s point of view, the new partnership primarily brings wider coverage of important data from Asia. “The on-boarding of Tantivy as a data supplier is a great reference project for our colleagues in Shanghai, but it’s also an example of our philosophy of ‘Think global, act local’”, explains Matthias Moritz, Managing Director Asia at TecAlliance. “Working competently with our customers at their sites is very important to us.”
Quality is continuity
The figures speak for themselves: Since the data was integrated into the TecDoc Catalogue, Tantivy’s sales volume has gone up by 150 percent. “All in all, the standardised data portfolios enabled us to significantly simplify and speed up communication between old and new customers.” And this is expected to continue. After all, one of Tantivy’s primary objectives is to expand and maximize the professional, high-quality standard of data management. In this regard, Tantivy is always interested in a win-win situation. “High-quality data makes it possible for Tantivy to access new customers and markets. We should have chosen TecAlliance a long time ago.” Data management is just the first of many projects that Tantivy would like to tackle in collaboration with TecAlliance. The next milestone is the introduction of an online ordering system.
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