Interview with Eric Gonzalez Canova for InfoTaller (Spain)

interview with Eric Gonzalez for InfoTallerTV

We are proud to share the English translation of the interview conducted by InfoTaller with our General Manager for Southern Europe, Eric Gonzalez. The focus is set on the evolution of Infopro Digital Automotive as a whole and especially the important transformation it has undergone in the Spanish market.
If you wish to read the interview in its original language, you can find it here: Eric Glz. Canova (Infopro Digital Automotive): “Solucionamos cualquier necesidad de una empresa de postventa”

1. Who is Infopro Digital Automotive?

  • Infopro Digital Automotive is the leading international specialist in the development of management software, databases, technical information, and online tools for the automotive aftermarket.
  • Infopro Digital Automotive is represented in Spain by:

Etai Ibérica, since 1978, as technical information specialists, spare parts catalogues, management software and technical assistance for workshops.
HaynesPro, since 2020, as specialists in technical information for the global automotive aftermarket.
And finally, Isi Condal, since 2021, as specialists in management software (ERP) for distributors and spare parts manufacturers.

2. What stage has been reached in the process of integrating the different teams and resources of each of the Infopro companies in Spain?

  • As of today, I can say that the integration process between the 3 companies that make up Infopro Digital Automotive in Spain is complete and that the teams are fully aligned. In this regard and as a curiosity, in early March we moved the entire Isi Condal team to the group’s new offices in Cornellá de Llobregat (Barcelona).
  • As regards the development of solutions, virtually from day 1, when the acquisitions of HaynesPro and Isi Condal were formalised, the Product, Technology and Data teams have been working to improve, integrate and develop new innovative ideas for the sector.

3. Etai Ibérica and Isi Condal now constitute a single organisation together with HaynesPro. Three brands are grouped under the umbrella of Infopro Digital Automotive. What specific advantages does this union bring to workshops?

  • We believe that we can now solve all the issues that garages face daily, whether they are multi-brand or franchised, for cars, motorbikes, trucks and commercial vehicles.
  • If they need help finding technical and maintenance information for the vehicle they are repairing, we have market-leading solutions such as Atelio Doc and WorkshopData. And if, for whatever reason, the workshop cannot find what they are looking for, we have a Documentary and Technical Diagnostic Assistance Service that will help them find the information and repair the vehicle in real-time, with guided assistance from our team of highly qualified technicians.
  • If what you need is to digitise the management and invoicing of your company, we have a software called GTA PRO, developed specifically for them, which has a tablet-based check-in, customer portfolio management, agenda, creation and follow-up of repair orders, etc. In addition, this solution is now connected to the module for the purchase and sale of spare parts with the distributor, thanks to its integration with Isi Condal’s i2i e-commerce solution.
  • We also have IAM parts catalogues, with their OEM equivalents, etc. We also have solutions so that the workshop can form part of insurance networks through partners such as Gistek and Orion.

4. And what about distribution?

  • First of all, it should be kept in mind that we are not a generalist software development company. Our people have been working in the after-sales and automotive world all their lives. This is an important added value because when a customer explains the problem he or she needs to solve, our team will understand his or her language from the very first moment. And this, when it comes to developing a technological and content solution, is critical.
  • We know that the distribution sector is a very complex one, not only at a logistical level (e.g., inbound and outbound management, warehousing, calculation of restocking, reverse logistics, etc.) but also at a commercial level (e.g. multiple discount levels, seasonal campaigns, etc.). With all this, we can ensure that all our solutions are 100% adapted to this market, considering the needs and casuistry of the sector.
  • Furthermore, in the specific case of the recent incorporation of Isi Condal into the group, it allows all distributors in the Spanish market to combine the best of both worlds. Not only will they be able to have the best management software for a distributor, but we are going to reinforce it by taking into account their very close relationship with their network of workshops, thanks to the experience of Etai Ibérica (with Atelio Doc, GTA Pro, etc.) and HaynesPro (with WorkshopData, web services, etc.).

5. How can your company help aftermarket businesses in their efforts to digitise their operations?

  • We are a global supplier for the aftermarket. Our 360-degree offering includes management software, databases, technical information and online tools for the entire automotive aftermarket, be it workshops, parts manufacturers and distributors or insurers.
  • In terms of solutions, we can offer a vehicle identification system by number plate or VIN, as well as management software for workshops (with which you can manage your customer portfolio, appointments, repair orders, labour costs associated with repair/maintenance, spare parts costs, team productivity, invoicing, etc.), or the complete digitalisation of a distributor (e.g. purchasing, sales, supply, invoicing and accounting, etc.).
  • On the other hand, we have turnkey B2B solutions to digitise and automate the relationship between workshops and distributors to establish a commercial relationship (e.g. a view of the available stock of spare parts, prices, discounts by family and sub-family, returns, etc.). And if what the distributor needs is access to technical databases for their software development, we provide them with this access through web services that we configure to suit each customer’s project.
  • More recently, many distributors have presented us with their challenges in analysing and understanding their “numbers”. Isi Condal’s team quickly developed a Business Intelligence solution that allows us to digitise and automate all the data analysis, commercial margins by family and sub-family, discount analysis, etc.
  • In fact, we have a large amount of data and processes that enable us to provide digital solutions for any need presented to us by an agent in the after-sales sector.

6. Are there any developments planned for your solutions? What are you working on?

  • Infopro Digital Automotive has a technology and data team consisting of around 900 people, mainly in Europe. This allows our technology solutions and databases to be under constant evolution and improvement.
  • In Spain, we are working on important improvements both in the solutions for workshops, distributors, and spare parts manufacturers.
  • Specifically, for workshops, in addition to major improvements in our technical information databases (Atelio Doc and Workshop Data) and our workshop management software (GTA Pro), we are working on a predictive marketing solution, one of a kind in the market. It is called Atelio FID. It is a solution that has been around for many years in Europe and that we are going to launch in Spain in 2022. Among other things, it enables workshops to automatically anticipate regular maintenance operations (including MOTs, obviously) on their customers’ vehicles and remind them when the time is right by text message or email. In addition, it gives the workshop manager the possibility to proactively send marketing campaigns to his customers to offer them special offers, seasonal deals, etc. We are confident that this solution will enable workshops to increase the return rate of their customers to the workshop and therefore their annual turnover.
  • On the other hand, for dealers, we are working on an “all-in-one” solution that covers all the needs of the workshop and the workshop-dealer relationship framework. Among other functionalities, it helps workshops to manage incoming vehicles, carry out comprehensive workshop management (invoicing, agenda, control of unpaid invoices, etc.), access the vehicle’s technical and maintenance data, access the dealer’s IAM parts catalogue and the vehicle’s original OE spare parts catalogue (with direct information from the vehicle manufacturer, something completely new on the market), as well as the dealer’s prices and stock in real-time thanks to the integration of this solution with the dealer’s ERP system.

7. You will be attending Motortec. What can a workshop or distributor expect when visiting your stand?

  • This edition of Motortec is even more special for us, as it is the first time we introduce ourselves to the Spanish market as Infopro Digital Automotive, a great brand formed by Etai Ibérica, Isi Condal and HaynesPro.
  • Our stand is located in the central aisle of Hall 3.
  • This is a great opportunity for us to continue sharing knowledge with customers and potential customers and to find out in a personalised way how we can help them in their aftermarket business.

8. What is your opinion as regards the RMI project and how will it influence vehicle connectivity in the future?

  • The RMI project is a further development in the aftermarket sector. Thanks to the support provided by the European regulations, all the agents in the aftermarket value chain will be able to access the manufacturer’s information. This is a particularly critical development for workshops, especially in view of the changes that cars are undergoing in terms of technology, electronics, energy sources, etc.
  • At Infopro Digital Automotive we are committed to making this information available to our customers, workshops, and distributors. Our goal is to offer this information in the simplest and most homogeneous way possible, when it is needed. After all, each manufacturer collects and prepares the information in a different way. What we do is process it, homogenise it and, more importantly, integrate it with other data sources. In the end, the data or the content as such does not bring extra value. What adds value is providing the data, the content, in an intelligent way, related, for example, to an IAM and OEM catalogue, with updated price lists, with the distributor’s stock availability in real-time, etc.
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