Taking parts supply to the next level

AfriPart has become South Africa’s first automotive aftermarket distributor that is 100-percent owned and operated via an empowered employee trust, born out of an enterprise-development initiative. As a level-2 B-BBEE contributor, the company aims to reach level one.

The company currently distributes automotive parts and components into the automotive, commercial, mining, construction and agricultural sectors through wholesalers, retailers, workshops and fitment centres.

Andrew Sommerville, AfriPart MD, says: “AfriPart is effectively an employee trust. Its vision is to secure a significant national footprint within the automotive aftermarket distribution sector.

“Over the past three years, AfriPart has provided an effective and alternative distribution vehicle for many automotive aftermarket brands. It distributes a range of automotive brands such as Echlin, Unipoint, Mobiletron, Textar, Acsa Mag, SKF, VDO and Permatex.”

The company is embracing the use of technology that will allow it to expand rapidly via elevated service and delivery mechanisms, which, Sommerville says, will ultimately revolutionise the market.

“In terms of these well-known brands, there is an opportunity that the current wholesale distribution channels are not utilising effectively. This lies with the strength of the brands, coupled with propriety online technology that will allow efficient, cost-effective distribution and delivery. AfriPart has a national footprint and is rapidly expanding into all major centres and selected regional outlying areas,” he notes.

Richard Berner, head of sales and marketing at AfriPart, adds: “Our free technical portal adds value to aftermarket distributors by offering a fast and secure online catalogue and ordering platform to source, procure and supply parts. There are numerous features that assist with product search, order generation, track and trace, as well as saving regularly ordered parts.

“It also provides an account status and overview, downloadable invoices, proof of delivery and a full order track-and-trace facility. AfriPart Online also allows trade users to enter their entire order and the system will automatically place, process and release their order with free delivery, making it a true one-stop online parts trade partner.”

Another benefit noted by Berner is the ease of AfriPart Online’s dynamic search functionality in locating and identifying the required parts. Easily identifiable product categories guide users to refine their search to the parts required, or to simply locate them by part number, vehicle application or cross reference. An intelligent keyword search will streamline the way users order parts.

“AfriPart Online also gives real-time pricing and stock availability. We are continually updating our parts catalogue and user interface to meet changing expectations of our 12 000-strong parts categories,” Berner concludes.

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FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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