Many OEM manufacturers have struggled with implementing a comprehensive aftermarket business strategy. The majority of the time, the attention is laser focused on the manufacturing side. Aftermarket is viewed as an afterthought.
Savvy marketers like Victory Energy are realizing that the aftermarket is a way to enhance their operation beyond spare parts sales and the occasional service call. Increasingly, OEM’s are using their aftermarket operations to view and act on trends and market insights to develop new products. At Victory Energy, it is the end-user driven “End-Market” that is being primed for growth with diverse offerings. The development of the Victory Energy Genesis® High Temp Thermal Fluid Generator (HTHW) was predicated directly on market need and user feedback.
Product development is being driven out of ideas generated by end-market requirements that have an extremely tight demand cycle. The nimbleness of an aftermarket group is ideally suited to serving this niche. It’s a game-changing paradigm that Victory Energy is embracing.
Making a commitment to the end-market needs to go far beyond just spare parts and overhauls. As plant operations are forced to get by with fewer people resources, the burden of service is shifting to OEM suppliers. Many are not prepared to deal with this responsibility. It means having qualified people on board who can be sent out at a moment’s notice. Having spare parts that are stocked and actually available to the customer’s stringent requirements, not to the needs of the manufacturing operation, is a mandatory.
Rethinking an end-market strategy calls for viewing your “aftermarket” business as not only being any and all activities after the product leaves the Victory Energy plant floor but also broader opportunities to offer solutions through custom engineered products for client needs as well as services on boilers manufactured by other OEMs. Every interaction needs to be part of the end-market engagement strategy. Victory Energy’s approach is from Concept to Completion, ensuring that customers and their boilers are well cared for. Operator training at start-up is as important as the delivery of the boiler itself. Preventative maintenance programs ensure continual operation of the boiler without interruption. At Victory Energy, this is all part of the product brand experience.
People are the component that ultimately drives the success of an aftermarket program and the company itself. VEO end-market people are the face of the company, who often times deal with the tough issues on the ground at the product installation. They must be great listeners and have a strong sense of conviction. The same holds true of the business leaders. The end market must be embraced as a fundamental core element of the business. The end-market – it makes good business sense.