3M announced that it has acquired the technology assets of LeanTec, a provider of digital inventory management solutions for the automotive aftermarket segment in the United States and Canada.
The acquisition demonstrates 3M’s commitment to its “connected bodyshop,” one of 3M’s active digital platforms that integrates data capture and analysis with material product platforms, capitalizing on emerging needs and trends.
“Businesses across industries are looking for innovative ways to harness the power of digital transformation—and body shop owners are no exception,” said Dave Gunderson, president, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division. “This acquisition adds new levels of data integration and insights that will allow body shops greater visibility of their business operations, operational efficiency, and a better customer experience.”
The LeanTec technology complements 3M RepairStack Performance Solutions, a hardware and software system that helps ensure materials needed for safe and reliable repairs are available on hand, streamlines the blueprinting and billing process, and gives real-time insight into business performance.
3M uses the term “connected bodyshop” to describe a new level of digital tools and connectivity that enable and streamline shop operations, capitalizing on data analytics, predictive tools, integration, and automation. And as vehicles become more sophisticated due to use of sensors and digital features, body shops need to keep pace with this digitization to efficiently service the next generations of vehicles.
The acquisition will advance 3M’s ability to deliver a more connected, digital body shop solution via its 3M RepairStack Performance Solutions in three key ways:
The universal, brand-agnostic inventory management system helps technicians track and organize materials for repair orders while automating re-order from distributors.
It provides enhanced performance analytics, including real-time snapshots of shop performance and metrics tracking that would otherwise be missed on the shop floor.
It ensures product is logged and usage is captured in alignment with given repair procedures for more integrated repair order invoicing.
3M continues to aggressively prioritize investments that leverage the core strengths of 3M to create value for customers and shareholders. This includes areas with strong demand that align global trends advantaged by 3M science and innovation, and in building for the future, creating new platforms to access emerging trends and opportunities, such as the connected bodyshop.