When should suppliers accelerate and when should they apply the brakes? It is a question every automotive vendor struggles to answer. Does Torqata, a data and analytics start-up, hold the keys to data-driven market success?
By Marion Jablon Posen
If you read automotive press, attend automotive conferences and generally keep your ear to the automotive industry ground, you may have run across the name Torqata, but like me, you may not know much about this relatively new spin-off company or its mission.
What is Torqata and how did it come into existence?
Torqata started as an internal advanced analytic arm of American Tire Distributors (ATD), designed to identify and create efficiencies in ATD’s distribution by leveraging data. After realizing the team’s tools could apply to more than just tire distributors, Torqata spun off into its own startup in 2020.
With a newly found mission to serve the broader aftermarket, Torqata now seeks to unite the industry using retailer point-of-sale data, and analytics horsepower, to create data transparency. This allows manufacturers, distributors and retailers to improve key areas of their business performance using patented technologies and data-driven analytics and insights.
The name Torqata is a combination of the words torque and data. If torque gets a car moving from a stop and provides the power needed to climb hills and pass other vehicles, Torqata powers and drives better business decisions through data and analytics.
Tim Eisenmann, Torqata CEO.
From the beginning, Torqata’s CEO Tim Eisenmann’s vision has been to “enable and inform manufacturers, distributors, service and tire shop owners to remove waste by providing the ability to quickly respond to market trends and create efficiencies in their business to drive more revenue.”
How does Torqata help real-world aftermarket customers? What is the practical application for customers who may not be familiar with data and advanced analytics?
Jill Trotta, Torqata VP of Business Development, Partnerships and Marketing.
“We own the most extensive, granular, relevant data set in the auto aftermarket supply chain. Leveraging that data via patented algorithms, we provide transparent and unbiased insights to ensure we represent the overall market. Manufacturers and distributors can capture demand signals to optimize inventory and production while leveraging aggregated and anonymized data that can apply across all partners,” explained industry veteran Jill Trotta, Torqata’s VP of Business Development, Partnerships and Marketing.
“We know that Big Data sounds intimidating. We make it easy for our customers to harness its power and drive business. Retailers benefit from our suite of data-driven software solutions for pricing, inventory strategy and sales.”
The Torqata team can deliver actionable insights designed to streamline operations and reduce or eliminate stale or undersold inventory in three important ways:
- Provide pricing insights for shops to see how they compare against the market without making phone calls. It allows for a better pricing strategy, so shops know when they are underpriced or overpriced down to the SKU level.
- Appropriately take advantage of manufacturer incentive programs and rebates by making inventory recommendations based on market demand and forecasts.
- Optimize inventory by making recommendations that help identify the most profitable inventory based on a customized area and its demand.
Who are Torqata’s current customers and who would benefit from using Torqata’s expertise?
Torqata provides unique insights to tire retailers, manufacturers and distributors based in the United States, allowing them to source, price and optimize their inventory, Jill states. While the potential exists to expand their data services to other products, their current focus remains on their original mission of reducing waste and increasing profits throughout the tire supply chain.
Electric vehicles are advancing many changes in the automotive industry; how will Torqata adapt to and embrace those changes in their business model? Jill says, “Torqata already sees the impacts of electric vehicles (EVs), especially on tires. The torque and weight of EVs wear tires faster than ICE (internal combustion engine vehicles). Our data is already showing signs of this shift in demand, and we are helping our retailer customers assure they are stocking the right products, at the right price, to meet this trending demand.”
What do customers say about adding Torqata analytics to their strategy? “Torqata is an amazing tool that is helping to shape our inventory into the proper mix of SKUs to stock for our market while guiding us on which SKUs to stock to maximize profit.”
“The Torqata team offer outstanding customer service and are very knowledgeable, instilling confidence in myself and my staff with the data that we rely on from Torqata,” remarked Brandon LePage, Owner Jim Lewis Tire.
A sentiment echoed by Jeff Deans of St Lucie Battery & Tire, “For our business (17 retail locations, one wholesale), Torqata has advanced our process ten years. There was an amount of labor and time involved that was getting burdensome to maintain proper stocking levels and inventory in our stores. Torqata not only speeds up this process tremendously but gives you the information in a clear and easy to understand format. I was able to hand off this task to someone who had never been in the role of inventory management before with only Torqata in his tool bag, and progress has been fantastic. We will be utilizing Torqata in its full capacity, moving forward, solely as our management tool.”
Torqata Team Meeting.
Managing a start-up business is always challenging, with one hundred employees working remotely how does Torqata’s company culture function?
Describing the Torqata culture Jill says: “Although our team is 100% remote, there is a strong focus on connection and community. We start each week with an all-hands stand-up meeting to align the teams and finish each week with a check-out, which includes the opportunity to “shout-out” (thank) team members for their efforts. We know the automotive aftermarket and encourage ideas from every corner. This level of interaction and collaboration has led to constantly improving existing offerings and developing new ones based on our customer’s pain points.”
“Torqata places a high priority on promoting and embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) by partnering with aftermarket diversity specialist dott™, and Torqata has increased our dedication to elevating people, process and profits through diversity of thought.”
“Additionally, team members are encouraged (it is even included in goals) to reach out to their local communities and volunteer three times per year, to attend two conferences/networking events in the industry, and to hand out virtual tacos for giving shoutouts to anyone in the company to celebrate anything worth shouting out for. Our ladies have a “Women of Torqata” group that includes regular mentoring sessions from the Pink Mentor Network, “a program designed to help women through team workshops that recognize collective challenges and individual contributions and energize and unite every member for the work ahead.” Our ladies have raved about how informative, empowering and uplifting it is to gather.”
Torqata is a blend of unique talents and skills, pulling together a variety of the brightest data scientists, talented developers and automotive industry veterans’ laser-focused on providing tools and solutions that help advance the automotive industry.
Advanced data analytics is just another way the automotive aftermarket is growing and providing insight to businesses and career opportunities for a new generation.
If you want to join Torqata and the many other technology providers that have used MOTOR’s Insights data solutions to support data-driven decisions, please visit motor.com.
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