AVA switches up gears to strengthen competition.
The European thermal player is making changes to adapt the setup to a post-COVID-19 aftermarket. We sat down with Michaël Piqueur, Managing Director of AVA Cooling France, and Edwin de Goey, Sales Operations Manager at AVA Benelux to talk about focus on core benefits such as price, program, and logistics, and how they will be the future drivers for the 58-year-old brand.
The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has not reached the five European offices of AVA. Or at least the company has chosen to ignore the advice. Instead, the almost 60-year-old thermal player adapts and will shift focus to the core of the thermal business in the European automotive aftermarket.
“We see everyone trying to be the best at everything. That often just results in mediocre results all over” explains Michaël Piqueur. “You can compare it to fine dining. Of course, you can go to the supermarket and get Italian food. You can get everything there. But in no shape, way, or form is it going to be the best you can find. You would go to a true Italian restaurant for that. In the same way, we want to excel at what we believe will drive the most value to our customers: price, program, and logistics.”
Passing on savings
The aftermarket is currently seeing unprecedented struggles, caused by a mix of COVID-19, increased shipping costs, and extended manufacturing time. These issues pressure manufacturers on their ability to supply and keeping costs low. Issues that AVA is looking to tackle head-on.
“If we want to keep cost low, we cannot just throw money into every aspect of the aftermarket,” Edwin de Goey explains and continues. “We know how to create a great product at a much lower cost than our competitors. For example, we do not need to funnel costs into a world-class training program. Companies like Nissens already have that, and wholesalers do not need to hear the same from two different companies. Instead, we can pass that saving on to our customers at the benefit of everyone.”
Service at the heart of the business
But a strong focus on price, program, and logistics does not mean that AVA will leave their customers all on their own. The company will still look to support its customers through their European setup with local departments.
“We have been working in the aftermarket for so long, and we have one of the strongest aftermarket dedicated setups behind us. We can see how important price and logistics have become and we believe that it is our place to give the best of both. But you cannot run a successful business without excellent customer support. We have always – and will always – put our customer service at the heart of our strategy. Therefore, customers can still expect to be right there to help them whenever they need us”, Michaël Piqueur concludes.