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Where's the Urgency in the Aftermarket?

Automotive & HD Business Management Articles.
Bob Greenwood. July 12, 2012. ( over 5 years ago ) 535 views

Ever noticed how things are changing so fast within the aftermarket, especially vehicle technology, shop internal technology systems and the OEM aggressiveness to take on the aftermarket?

I have and I’m trying to figure out why no one seems to want to address these issues with any true sense of urgency?

Here’s a simple example. Technical and Business education are an urgent matter right now in how the aftermarket has to address the above mentioned issues, yet I find most aftermarket shop owners and aftermarket executives contemplating “maybe we’ll look at that in the Fall.” What the heck… “Maybe the Fall”??? Why not step out of the box and tell the industry two or three days during the summer is a definite nowplan itthis is urgent… with a follow-up in the Fall. We don’t have the luxury of just sitting back with the usual aftermarket routine any more!

When the industry looks at the Fall, it looks at mainly one month, September—because October, November and the first half of December are the sector’s the busy season when no one wants to leave their business (they can’t because they wouldn’t learn the math or processes about how to change that format… they were too busy!). That leaves January and February for any other training and March is “March Break” month. Oh, and then January and February you’ll hear “cash is too tight”, so in reality not a lot of shop owners attend in those months either. Now because of the procrastination, poor planning and lack of urgency to “get things done”, you’re talking one more full year before ANYTHING concrete begins to happen which sets the aftermarket another 1.5 years behind.

We’re not getting it yet. The aftermarket is a fast changing sector, however our “structure processes”, our “habits” are out of the 1970’s—we shut down all information development in the summer and most months of the year due to holidays, the shortage of staff, cash flow, coupled with “I’m too busy to address that” answers across the country.

Show me any other industry/profession that still thinks like this.

Our sector of the industry has such poor planning skills that we can’t get the other months in the year to be proactive to true business development, jobbers or shop owners. Until we change this format and especially our attitude towards any development, technical and/or business, the aftermarket will continue to fall behind the OEM.

When will we start to get it? Who out there will shake it up and put a sense of urgency to the messages?

Is the aftermarket that complacent or so afraid of changing its format?

If that’s the case, try to visualize what the true aftermarket will look like five years from now; please, really think about that in great detail…

Bob Greenwood


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