Opinion | Commentary

  • Poor internal alignment, limited collaboration and weak data optimization are three common failings in category management strategies with retailers that can hinder the best-laid plans in building a profitable product assortment.
    Alan R. Segal
  • Why can’t we get shops to train employees? That is where the conundrum comes in -- the training that the shops know they need becomes secondary to their immediate problems at hand.
  • The big issue for the aftermarket, the one raised by the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), is whether suppliers can also test AV components the same way auto manufacturers can test vehicles. And the House bill establishes that authority.
  • Category managers often struggle to decipher shopper behavior that appears unexplainable. To alleviate these issues of disparate data clashing with gut instincts, category managers can follow four steps for critical thinking.
    Alan R. Segal
  • The problem is in process and procedures. Cybersecurity defensive technologies are well built and evolving rapidly. However, these technologies will only help against actual brute force hacking type attacks. They will not save you from your own company’s missteps.
    Jerry Hutcheson
  • Whether you call them fast track or express repairs, these small repairs could be the key to improving cycle time. Fast track repairs generally cost less than $1,500, which for most shops is commonly 45 percent to 50 percent of their business
  • Republicans in the House started the ball rolling on autonomous vehicle (AV) legislation by publishing 14 separate staff drafts of bills that cover such things as federal pre-emption of state law and increasing the number of AVs that a company can test.
  • Amazon must have loved announcing that major traditional aftermarket suppliers have agreed to support their new push. Now that almost all items are available through Amazon Marketplace, direct selling of most popular SKUs to Amazon is snowballing.
    Bill Wade
  • What is the average closing percentage of website leads for collision shops? I researched this and realized there are shops that do not know how the work they get in the shop is finding them, nor where new business is coming from.
  • The auto care industry needs to produce sustainable solutions to recruit and retain capable technicians to operate independent garages. Without creative intervention, the customers’ choice of repair outlets will be limited.
    Alan R. Segal
  • There was no federal funding attached to the automated vehicle proving grounds program when it was announced during the Obama administration, and there is none in the Trump administration budget for fiscal 2018.
  • Aftermarket V2V devices will play a big role in determining how quickly autonomous vehicles become successful. But just how big a role will be determined by how the intricacies of the proposed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standard work out.
  • In addition to including glass removal under preparation for repair, you should also think about pre-painting parts like core supports, hood hinges, rear body panels and even the underside of the roof if it was required in OEM procedures.
  • Paper catalogs are dead. We just haven’t had the memorial service. Until the industry supports the exchange of applications for all classes of vehicles and machines, the burden to print catalogs remains.
    Scott Luckett
  • Prepare to take a beating on your inventory on hand. If you are lucky, you will get 50 cents on the dollar from either a warehouse return, or, another store buying selective lines.
  • The Colombian market's medium and heavy trucks represent almost 10 percent of the cars and light trucks combined, compared to other countries’ ratios, such as Mexico’s with 3 percent to 4 percent.
    Evaristo Garcia
  • Technology is having a massive impact on how automotive businesses operate, helping everyone from auto manufacturers to aftermarket parts suppliers and distributors stand out from the crowd.
  • Amazon is great for retailers who have their own warehouses and excel at fulfillment and customer service. But just because you meet their fulfillment standards doesn’t guarantee sales. To get traffic and conversions, you need to optimize your listings by applying popular search terms in your product description and bullet points.
    Albert Ong
  • If employees in auto parts stores could have it their way, would they vote Amazon out of the marketplace? Scores of counter people who serve on the frontlines are at risk of being replaced by e-commerce technologies.
    Alan R. Segal
  • Big data is big business and as it stands now, the aftermarket is not in the game. Vehicle manufacturers are the only ones with access to this data and they have signaled their concerns in making it available to the car owner or the parties of their choosing.
    Scott Luckett