An innovative company perfectly embodies the ideals of consumers who deserve and demand the “right to repair.”
Dorman Products‘constant detective work to see which auto parts are failing in large numbers on which models has allowed them to grow into a large operation, where they know exactly which parts of their car are likely to break first, why and how to improve them , offering consumers not only cheaper prices in the garage, but also the freedom of DIY.
For those old enough to remember being able to open the hood of a car and see the parts that they could reach with their hands, they will know that today it is much more difficult to do repairs on your own.
The auto parts market is a $ 200 billion-plus-a-year industry, and while most manufacturers have to make millions of different parts and be dominated by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Dorman remains nimble. by choosing only the pieces that can be broken. and sell them at a third of the cost.
They’ve gotten so good at this that many dealer parts departments stock Dorman parts instead of OEM parts.
The secret is constant market research. By repeatedly probing the depths of America’s automotive workforce to find out what parts are going wrong and why, they achieve near-term near-monopoly positions in thousands of mini-markets – for example, dust shields for cars. wheels of the 00-14 GMC models. .
From tens of thousands of new product ideas, Dorman will choose several thousand that are in extreme niches and are likely to be ignored by OEMs or large aftermarket producers. Then he redesigns the part to correct any defects, for example adding a protective layer to a part that corrodes quickly or changing the interface to make it easier to install.
In this way, they not only please the customer, but also their outsourced R&D department: Mechanics submitting ideas for new parts inform them of the ones they are replacing frequently and are more likely to consult the Dorman catalog before order an OEM part.
They support this innovative business model with a strong how-to guide marketing presence, a large social media block, and newsletters to ensure they are sowing the seeds for future information / buying opportunities.
For example, they review parts monthly and explain what aftermarket solutions they have perfected on original designs. In some cases, like the master cylinder or liftgate motor parts, Dorman explains that OEMs often require you to replace the entire assembly, rather than specific lower components that they have identified and improved upon. When labor is taken into account, the cost savings are astronomical.
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