Globalization and big data the future of garage equipment
43rd AICA assembly
The challenges of the global market and Europe’s unity as vital element to face them successfully were the main topics discussed during the 43rd meeting of the Italian Garage Equipment Manufacturer’s Association held last November.
The challenges of the global market and Europe’s unity as vital element to face them successfully were the main topics discussed during the 43rd meeting of the Italian Garage Equipment Manufacturer’s Association held last November. Foreign markets were the true protagonists of the annual meeting: for companies with a strong export vocation, and the aftermarket sector is rife with enterprises of this sort, looking at the prevailing uncertainties on the European political and economic scenario and growing pressures from the USA and Asian countries, the ability to anticipate the consequences of these changes not only from an economic point of view, but also political and cultural, is of the utmost importance. The president of the association, Mauro Severi, stressed the need for a more efficient Europe, "with a truly single internal market, and the possibility of having those economies of scale that would allow us to operate on global markets with the same rules and figures”. Italy is the second largest industrial producer in Europe and the third largest EU country in terms of trade surplus, and for this reason it is one of the countries that should fight for a European programme strong enough to guarantee stability to the internal market. Not only that. Looking at our country, Severi also pointed out that we need stronger policies as far as infrastructures, encouraging expertise in the workplace and tax fairness are concerned. In retracing the association’s activities throughout 2017, Massimo Brunamonti, AICA consultant, pointed out the lobbying activities carried out at European level with other associations such as EGEA and ASA on issues that affect the competitiveness of all member companies: in just over a year, a new standard on tire changers have been implemented at CEN level. Closer at home, Severi recalled how AICA, with the help of the Ministry of Economic Development, received thumbs up on the idea that even workshop equipment should be susceptible to hyper-amortization. The Assembly was not only an opportunity to discuss results. In fact, during the day also future plans were discussed. First and foremost a study on the kind of impact connectivity will likely have on most workshops: in particular big data and how to use them. "The battle on data access is a battle for the survival of the independent market," said Severi. The digital gap between large groups and small businesses could devastate the target market of most car equipment suppliers. That's why among the tasks AICA has given itself, one is to examine whether it will be possible for independent workshops to continue to stay on the market. A feasibility study is currently exploring whether open IoT-type operating environments can be made available to all the actors involved. Globalization and digital communication will also be the driving force behind Autopromotec’s 2019 edition which will open on the 22nd of May, as several promotional initiatives demonstrate. In his report, Emanuele Vicentini illustrated an intense programme of activities highlighting the need to move away from a logic of pure representation and embrace the concept of supply chain for a more efficient market penetration: the challenge for both Autopromotec and AICA is to promote a working environment capable of effectively addressing the markets.