Thanks to convenient scheduling, program managers representing more than 40 members of the Automotive Distribution Network recently were able to attend three major meeting events in a single trip to Las Vegas.
Held two days prior to the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) meetings, the group’s Parts Plus and Auto Pride Program Managers Meeting enabled the membership to review their successes in 2016 and plan the Network’s marketing initiatives for the coming year.
The program managers broke into roundtable focus groups and shared plans with each other and Network Headquarters staff to arrive at a consensus of the direction for 2017. Topics included the new LMS training site, shop marketing and business programs, Repair America product promotions, and NHRA marketing opportunities tied to Parts Plus’s sponsorship of Top Fuel driver Clay Millican.
“When planning the group’s future marketing and product initiatives, it’s important the Network listens to a variety of opinions from within the membership to understand what’s happening locally with our WDs across the country,” says David Prater, Network president. “This also enables the group to grasp the bigger picture of what’s going on in the industry so that the Network continue to develop programs that are relevant in the marketplace.”
Upon the conclusion of the Program Managers Meeting, they attended AWDA, taking part in 21 meetings with individual manufacturers over the next two days. They were joined by member CEO’s representing all branches of The Network, including Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
“In years past, when the Program Managers Meeting was held elsewhere, the Network might have had 10 to 15 individual members at AWDA,” Prater says. “In 2016, the group had more than 40 individual members meeting with manufacturers about Network programs and issues as well as concerns that were specific to that particular member and that manufacturer.”
For the Network’s efforts and participation, AWDA recognized the group as a major contributing force behind this year’s 30 percent attendance increase. Following AWDA, the Network’s member representatives had the option to attend the AAPEX and SEMA shows, which several opted to do.
“All in all, it was a very productive time for the Network’s members, who were able to participate in multiple meetings without an additional trips, reducing time away from the office,” Prater says. “The response from the group’s members and manufacturer partners has been very positive. Along with the recognition from AWDA, this tells me the Network will schedule future Program Manages Meetings in the same fashion.”
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