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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN ASSOCIATION WITH

INTER CARS

DIGITAL REPORT 2020


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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY


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INTER CARS

MOMCHIL KOVACHEV, CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER (CDO) AT INTER CARS, ON THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY AND THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

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oining the company in 2011, Momchil Kovachev is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at Inter Cars. “I graduated from

the German Faculty at the Technical University at Sofia, Bulgaria, which means that I have studied in both the Bulgarian and the German education system. For the engineering track, I have a diploma 04

from the Karlsruher Institut fur Technologie [KIT] and an MBA from the TU Braunschweig. Currently I am completing my executive MBA at Sheffield International College,” comments Kovachev. Since joining Inter Cars – an import and distribution organisation of parts, tires, accessories, professional tools and service equipment for vehicles – Kovachev has held several positions in Bulgaria as well as international positions before taking on the role he has now. When asked about the current trends in the industry, Kovachev explains that “as with so many industries, one of the hot topics at the moment in our sector is data. For the automotive aftermarket industry, the data produced by the vehicle itself, and by the person driving it, is providing


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INTER CARS

“USE OF AND ACCESS TO VEHICLE AND DRIVING DATA FOR PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE AND EARLY PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS IS A LEADING TOPIC AT THE MOMENT”

greater insight into how that vehicle is performing. This use of data for preventative maintenance and early diagnosis is a leading topic currently. It allows companies to have the right stock when the vehicle enters the workshop so that it can be repaired as fast as possible, eliminating technical issues for the driver.” However, with the possession of more

Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars

data comes the challenge of developing a legal framework for sharing and processing it. Kovachev reiterates his

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belief that “this focus will shape the next


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07 business models. This is a building block

recipient of the product that we are

for future, digitally enabled Mobility-as-a-

distributing. As a result, we work with

Service concepts.”

our partners and clients to develop

When it comes to driving innovation

business models that provide added

at Inter Cars, Kovachev explains that

value to all actors in the vertical – the

the company differentiates itself from

driver of the vehicle, the wokshop

its competition in the import and distri-

and the distribution partners. We are

bution industry of spare parts through

also experimenting in some markets

its wide portfolio of vehicle products,

with B2C solutions, where our main

fast logistics services, end mile deliv-

goal is to offer a complete service to

ery and good customer service.

the retail client, rather than just pur-

When looking to innovate within the modern era of digitalisation, Kovachev

chase of the parts, therefore we call this approach B2B2C.”

explains that “technology gives us the

“For Inter Cars, the company places

capability to drive more value for the

its focus on helping society maintain w w w.i nte rca rs . eu


INTER CARS

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the operation of its mobility solutions,

aspects of the company to digitise

providing continued stability of those

and automate its operations. “My role

services. With that in mind, we are con-

of joining the head office team was to

tinuously trying to optimise our hosting

design and deliver the third generation

solutions for our B2B ecommerce

of our fundamental B2B ecommerce

solution, leveraging the advantages

solution. When we were starting the

of a cloud hosting platform. However,

program, we identified several areas

to ensure business continuity, we are

where we needed to improve our

also combining this with hosting this

current operations, so that we could

platform ourselves forming a hybrid

deliver a leading solution. One was

hosting solution aimed at business

how we manage our product data. As

continuity for optimal operations cost.�

part of our operations we manage a

Inter Cars’ digital transformation

large portfolio of products and vehi-

strategy has been applied to several

cles, as well as their linkages, which


can prove challenging. We decided

focused and precise access to data

that if we are to bring to the market a

that clients require.

new generation of ecommerce solu-

“Our B2B ecommerce catalog is

tions that act as a catalog for spare

a fundamental building block in our

parts for a given vehicle, we need to

operations, generating 99% of our

improve the way we manage our prod-

revenue,” comments Kovachev. “It is

uct data,” says Kovachev.

being used by our clients daily who

Inter Cars has also been working

are in need of spare parts so that they

on developing a single solution for its

can repair vehicles that are entering

B2B services and products, as well as

the workshops. On the flip side, that

launching a new program that affects

same platform is being used by our

the way it gives permission to access

sales operators when a mechanic

the B2B solution. This ensures that it

needs support to identify a spare part

meets GDPR regulations by providing

needed for a repair, then agreeing with

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E :

Momchil Kovachev Title: Chief Digital Officer Industry: Automotive

Location: Bulgaria

Over the last four years I have been leading the team delivering the largest B2B e-commerce platform in the Independent Automotive Aftermarket in CEE. This project was the flagship in the Digital Transformation program of the company aiming at unifying the business among the 18+ markets and all 10+ product segments. Together with the new integration architecture, new SSO & IAM platform and Product Information Management system upgrade, we laid the foundation for the future enterprise. w w w.i nte rca rs . eu

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“STRATEGIC ALLIANCES AND PARTNERSHIPS WITH PLAYERS IN THE INDUSTRY ARE A SIGNIFICANT ENABLER FOR OUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION” Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars

owner – by improving the spare parts identification process workshops can provide a more transparent quote.” To successfully achieve its B2B program launches, Kovachev explains that, for the first time in its history, the company decided to build a solution on top of a ready made platform in house from scratch. “To develop the solution, we ran a tender where we invited all the industry leading e-commerce service providers in the world to participate. In the end we selected tools, platforms and soft-

the client the delivery method and the

ware houses to modify the platform

payment method before processing

according to our needs. After the proof

the order.

of concept phase, we selected SAP

“When designing our new e-cata-

Hybrid together with the Polish soft-

logue we conducted research in order

ware houses, e-point. Our colleagues

to optimise the user experience by

from Microsoft came on at a later

designing the processes in the appli-

stage where the platform was already

cation to be more streamlined and

in nine markets in central and Eastern

intuitive. With this new platform we

Europe. We selected their cloud host-

have been able to increase our service

ing solution, which we already used

quality by releasing time for our sales

for our previous version of our B2B

operators to serve those who really

commerce catalogue. Using these

need assistance, as well as providing

solutions we are focusing our cus-

a streamlined method and self service

tomisation efforts into the areas

capabilities. We have also been able to

where we have a competitive advan-

increase transparency for the vehicle

tage, therefore strategic alliances w w w.i nte rca rs . eu

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INTER CARS

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“OUR B2B ECOMMERCE CATALOG IS A FUNDAMENTAL BUILDING BLOCK IN OUR OPERATIONS, GENERATING 99% OF OUR REVENUE - EITHER BY THE CLIENTS DIRECTLY OR BY OUR SALES OPERATORS SERVING THE CLIENTS” Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars


and partnerships with players in the industry are a significant enabler for our digital transformation.� Considering the future use of technology in the automotive industry, Kovachev is keen to see an increase in the use of augmented reality. “From one perspective, the complexity of repairs is increasing continuously, and I believe guided repairs with the support of augmented reality would be a very interesting use case of the technology. For example, if a mechanic in a given workshop is receiving a repair for a car that he doesn’t have experience with, in our B2B e-commerce catalog this person could read how to perform the repair. However, I believe the use of augmented reality could bring this information directly to the mechanic while looking at the vehicle, pinpointing exactly what needs to be done. This would be a very interesting use case of this technology in our industry. Additionally, a topic that is really inspiring me personally is the shared economy. I believe this is something that we as society have to address in w w w.i nte rca rs . eu

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INTER CARS

“DUE TO THE FACT THAT WE OPERATE IN 18 MARKETS IT IS HELPING US TO BALANCE BETWEEN THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN DIFFERENT MARKETS AND EXCHANGE GOOD PRACTICES” 14

Momchil Kovachev, Chief Digital Officer at Inter Cars

order to move forward because of all

businesses have remained open and

the environmental and sustainability

while some of our clients have closed

challenges that we’re facing.”

due to government regulations, many

As an engineer, Kovachev strongly

have also remained open in order to

believes in technology, “for me, it is the

sustain this mobility. In recent months

driver of progress in our society over

we have seen an increase in personal

the last decades. However, technology

transportation compared to using

has to be wisely used.”

public transport which has had a posi-

Reflecting on the current impact of

tive effect on the spare parts industry.

COVID-19, Kovachev says “the situa-

However, in the long term, we can see

tion has touched all industries. Luckily

that investments in new vehicles are

for us, the mobility industry is consid-

going to stagnate and therefore from

ered fundamental so that our society

my perspective vehicle manufacturers

can operate. As a result, many of our

are going to face challenges when it


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comes to aging car parts that are not

needed and therefore, personal mobil-

going to be renewed with the same

ity needs to be preserved.”

rhythm that it was a few months ago.”

Towards the end of 2019, Kovachev

When it comes to technology, “I can

explains that Inter Cars’ warehouses

speak of my private experience. Prior to

were quite full, “which helped us to

COVID-19, I flew from Sofia to Warsaw

make it through the disrupted period

at least once a month. However, due to

for supply chains with minimal inter-

the situation over the last three months,

ruptions.” In addition, “due the fact that

this was not the case. We still continue

we operate in 18 markets it is helping

to do business and we still continue to

us to balance between the impact of

collaborate, thanks to video confer-

COVID-19 in different markets.”

ences and collaboration platforms offered by the software companies. Still for me, human interaction will be w w w.i nte rca rs . eu


INTER CARS UL GDAŃSK A 15 CZ ĄSTKÓW MA ZOWIECKI CZOSNÓW POL AND 05-152 T +48 22 7 14 17 10

www.intercars.eu

P0WERED BY

Profile for Business Chief Europe

Intercars - November 2020  

Intercars - November 2020