The automotive industry is huge and the general consensus across multiple research projects into its size concludes that there are now approaching 1.5 billion cars in the world. The car is at the heart of personal mobility for so many of us today and for so many others it is something aspirational, something to work hard towards owning.

Those of you who are regular readers here will have seen in a previous article of ours detailing just how under pressure the new vehicle market is, primarily down to the chip shortage. The result is we are keeping our existing vehicles longer and the automotive aftermarket is a hive of activity. But do you have any idea how big it is? We didn’t until be took a look under the hood at some stats. But first, what is it?

The automotive aftermarket is the secondary market of the automotive industry, concerned with the manufacturing, remanufacturing, distribution and retailing of all vehicle parts, equipment and accessories after the sale of the automobile by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to consumers. The size of this market in the USA alone is approaching $400 billion annually. Compare that with the whole of the business messaging market (our area of focus) which is worth c. $30 billion globally and you easily get the idea of how important it is to the economy of so many countries. It quite literally is a GDP engine with millions employed in it!

Manufacturing over recent years has moved even further towards the lean manufacturing model where inventory of parts is kept so low that even the smallest hiccup in the supply chain can lead to long delays. And with everything #covid resulted in, let’s just say things have been in a huge tailspin for so many industries globally. But automotive has been hit broadside, hugely by this issue.

As a result communication has never been as more important in the sector than it is now. Delays in one small area can impact so many downstream so using mobile digital channels which billions around the world are already familiar with is a smart move for anybody involved in the automotive aftermarket.

No matter the size of your organization, it would be a mistake to ignore the channels that all of you reading this more or less take for granted today in your daily personal communication lives. Think the humble SMS which arrives on your device, which you cannot but help picking up to take a look at when you here that beep or see that flash. The same goes for chat apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Viber. All of these can be used to amazing effect by businesses when they communicate with all types of stakeholder – whether externally or internally.

“What about email” we hear you say. Well, email has been around a lot longer than SMS (30 years old this December) but although there are technically more email users globally than for SMS, there are more active SMS users and this trend is increasing.

SMS is something intuitive and no matter how good you are at framing an email, you’ll never get the eyes on your content the way text messaging does. On a very good day, email gets a read rate of 25%, whereas with SMS is more in the high 90s. And a huge percentage of those actually reading their text messages do so within a matter of several minutes of having received them.

The supply chain is a stressful environment so you need to have solutions in your communications arsenal which are both easy to use and highly effective and this is where SMS and chat apps truly come into their own. Sure, there’s a cost but you absolutely have to view it as an investment and in today’s fast-paced world with the word ‘urgent’ coming up in conversations in the frequency of which like never before, don’t ignore the obvious. Given the familiarity with the world of SMS text messaging and chat apps billions already have in their daily lives, you’d really be missing a trick by not using them.

Here at Intis Telecom, we’ve now been in the Messaging business for getting on for 13 years and we know just how important consumer trust is. Our SMS and chat app solutions make it really easy for you to send your customers content rapidly and accurately. Business messaging is our focus and our cost effective, intuitive solution allows you to get on with doing what you do best – treating your customers with exceptional care, as individuals.