In the super-competitive auto parts industry, delivery competition is measured in hours not days, making clear labelling super important.

There are now close to 20 million registered motor vehicles operating on Australia’s roads, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics[1], and this number is increasing by around 1.5 per cent, or roughly 300,000 vehicles, every year.

That is a lot of vehicles to keep running day after day. Servicing this huge number of vehicles are tens of thousands of mechanics working in a myriad of service centres, large and small, and supporting them with parts and accessories is another extremely competitive industry. 

The Motor Vehicle Parts Retailing industry has steadily grown over the past five years. Industry revenue is expected to increase at an annualised 1.3% over the five years through 2019-20, to $5.4 billion, according to IBIS World[2]. When economic conditions are uncertain as they are today, consumers are more likely to delay purchasing a new motor vehicle and instead buy new or used parts to maintain their existing vehicle, which supports industry demand. The industry is expected to continue growing in the current year, with revenue anticipated to increase by 1.7%.

There are 3,711 businesses competing in this $5bn industry, employing over 18,000 people. It is an attractive and booming market, and with the average age of Australian vehicles now over ten years and the variety of vehicles virtually uncountable, its future is bright.

Time is of the essence

Over 3,700 businesses competing in a small market such as Australia’s does not allow for much price competition, and with the customer’s car waiting for a part up on a hoist in the mechanic’s workshop, the time it takes to deliver spare parts is the greatest deciding factor. The longer the part takes to arrive the fewer vehicles the mechanic can service, which will lead them to order from the most reliable supplier. And the most reliable supplier will be the one with the best warehouse processes to get the right part, to the right place, in the best time.

Auto parts suppliers will dispatch hundreds if not thousands of orders every day. From the receipt of the order this involves locating and picking the right part, packing and labelling it for dispatch, and delivering to the right destination. And every step of this process is dependent on fast and clear labelling of the part’s shelf location and of the package to be dispatched. The speed of printing, speed of application, and clear and easy to read labels are critical factors.

Dedicated, dependable label printers are essential

Recognising the critical “need for speed” and clarity in the auto parts industry, printer specialist Brother has developed the TD-4 range of dedicated label printers that come in a range of specifications to adapt to every operator’s unique needs and requirements.

Available in thermal transfer and direct thermal technology variations, the printers can achieve speeds of up to 203mm/sec and accommodate continuous tear-off, peeler or cutter label media. And with resolutions of 203 or 300dpi, barcodes are clear and reliable and text is easy to read.

Efficient warehousing operation, worker productivity and delivery speed and accuracy are critical to the success of auto parts companies. Brother’s TD-4 range of label printers makes this success that much easier to achieve. Contact Brother’s labelling specialists for a consultation and demonstration.

[1] 19.8 million registered motor vehicles as at 31 January 2020; the national fleet increased by 1.5 per cent from 2019 to 2020. Source: Australian Bureaus of Statistics, 9309.0 – Motor Vehicle Census, Australia, 31 Jan 2020.

[2] IBIS World Motor Vehicle Parts Retailing in Australia – Market Research Report, October 2019.

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