Association-sponsored training on the upswing
The “soft” infrastructure of education and training is increasingly important in a rapidly changing, technological society and industry. In many cases, it is the associations that have dedicated time and resources to collaborating, developing and sponsoring quality training events.
ASA regional training
April is National Car Care Month
The popular and effective National Car Care Month (NCCM) is here. Service providers can use the Car Care Council’s 2013 national consumer media campaign, new website, and professional promotional materials to help connect with current and prospective customers.
Shifting ‘sweet spot’ is an industry challenge
The “Aftermarket sweet spot” is an accepted concept in the industry generally agreed to be the age range of vehicles where the entire aftermarket channel, especially independent repair and maintenance, thrives. Sweet-spot vehicles range from those just out of warranty to older ones that are still worth putting significant money into maintenance and repair.
Increasing volume of information impacts tool and equipment decisions
As the volume of vehicle service information increases, seemingly without end, the difficulties experienced by tool manufacturers to incorporate the information in a timely, useful, and efficient way is negatively impacted. By the time new tools reach the aftermarket, the sum total of the delays and difficulties manifest themselves in the service bay in the form of additional cost, service accuracy, and inefficiencies.
Fork in the financial road
While some worried about a Mayan astronomical projection that links solar-system rotation to survival crossroads on earth, pegged to a certain day, no less a financial crossroads looms ahead in the New Year, in part defined by access to capital and the competitive advantage it allows.
Industry Week — industry strong
Ten years ago, to the month, this was the title of this Publisher’s Statement upon returning from Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW). After a difficult year, on many levels, following the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers in New York City on 9/11, there was concern and apprehension regarding the business climate at the shows and about the business year ahead.
It’s time for the various industry segments to meet and confer about what’s on tap for the coming year. Tens of thousands of attendees come in search of new product and brand alignment, vendor/customer agreements, networking opportunities, training, association meetings, and a resulting sense of the industry’s well-being and new directions.
Talent, capacity, and liquidity present a three-part challenge
Compared to the difficulties resulting from the 2008-2009 economic downturn, automotive vehicle and supply chain manufacturers are enjoying a relative rebirth with sales surging and plants running at full or near-full capacity. However, difficult challenges remain woven in the fabric of renewal and return to the volume that preceded the need to compress operations and survive a sinking economy.
Right to Repair
Dedicated efforts paid off for the Right to Repair Coalition in August when Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law a bill that requires auto manufacturers to sell diagnostic and safety information to car owners and vehicle service repair shops.
For more than 25 years, monthly Parts & People byline articles are written from interviews conducted with small- business owners in the parts and service industry as well as industry executives, leaders, managers, trainers, and spokespersons. Many changes occurred over 25-plus years and the industry evolved, survived, and thrived through hard work, determination, and effective management.
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