Halfords has moved into the software market by making the technology that it uses to deliver services in its own shops, garages and mobile service vans available to other retailers and suppliers.
The retailer has signed up its first customer, US independent tyre supplier American Tire Distributors (ATD), which will use its Avayler software as it supplies tyres to 80,000 US garages.
Omnichannel field service management solution Avayler brings together systems and services that were developed in-house at Halfords to manage its own garages, mobile vans and retail stores. Avayler Mobile, for example, uses algorithms to calculate what timeslots are available for customer appointments at a mobile van according to where the van is and what parts are available. It can then calculate the quickest and cheapest route to the customer, and gives the staff member detailed checklists for the service.
Halfords itself has been using the platform for three years, and now manages more than 70,000 services a week. Avayler will operate as a standalone UK-based business, with ambitions to expand its workforce to more than 45 people over the next two years.
Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords, said: "We’re proud to be launching Avayler today with ATD as our first client. This is an historic moment for Halfords and another major milestone in our transition to become a market leading motoring services focused business. The Avayler platform has enabled us to optimise our motoring services operations across our stores, garages and mobile vans, reducing operating costs, growing profits and delivering a better customer experience. We’re very excited about the opportunities this platform will create for Halfords in the UK and internationally.”
Stuart Schuette, president and CEO of ATD, said: "At ATD, we’re committed to helping our customers thrive in an evolving industry. We continuously search around the world to bring new technology and capabilities that complement our customers’ businesses." "As the trend toward mobile tire installation continues to grow, ATD is looking forward to accelerating access to best-in-class technology for our customers that are interested in entering the mobile tire installation business. We’re excited to partner with Avayler to bring this offering to our tire retailers.”
Halfords is a Top100 retailer in RXUK Top500 research, trades online through Halfords and Tredz websites and from 404 shops, three performance cycling shops - Tredz and Giant – and 374 garages as well 143 mobile service vans.