The Automotive Distribution Network named Federal-Mogul its Vendor of the Year during the closing ceremony of the group’s 2018 Network National Convention Saturday night at the Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando.
“The Network is proud to recognize Federal-Mogul as our most valued manufacturer partner in 2018,” said David Prater, president of the Network. “Federal-Mogul excels in every vendor area we evaluate, including exceptional quality, marketing, training, logistics and category management. Federal-Mogul continually goes above and beyond to participate in every promotion the Network launches to ensure each program is a success with the group’s members and their customers, embodying everything the group strives for in a partnership.”
Federal-Mogul also earned the group’s award for Exceptional National Account Support. The Network recognized several other vendors for excellence in the following categories:
Vendor Customer Service Representative of the Year — Tim Rhodes, Federal Mogul
Exceptional Marketing Support — BBB
Exceptional Category Management — Spectra
Exceptional Content Management — Gates
Exceptional Quality — East Penn
Exceptional Innovation — Dorman
Exceptional Sales Team Support — DENSO
Exceptional Training — Standard Motor Products
Tool & Equipment Vendor of the Year — Rotary
Network Product Vendor of the Year — CRS
Technology Partner of the Year — Epicor
More than 200 Network vendors and product specialists were on hand at the convention’s massive 60,000-square-foot Manufacturers Exposition on the Disney World resort property, showcasing their latest wares and services, and talking shop with attendees over two days.
During his opening remarks to the convention’s 1,500 attendees last Thursday to kick off the three-day event, Prater said the Network must continually step out of its comfort zone and open its doors of communication globally if the program group is to evolve and meet the needs of its members and their customers in an ever-changing industry. He pointed to the Network’s involvement with the Auto Care Political Action Committee (ACPAC), as a vital component of the group’s enhanced emphasis on communication, and yes, networking.
“Working alongside ACPAC, the Network helps promote our side of important legislative issues facing our industry,” Prater explained. “Elected leaders make decisions that have a profound impact on every company in the auto-care industry, affecting how we do business.”
During the proceedings, Prater met with Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL), who represents Central Florida’s 9th District, to discuss access to telematics data and automotive manufacturers’ repair information, along with Mike Fitzgerald, vice president and general manager for Innova Fleet Services; Gary Whidby, director of political affairs for the Auto Care Association; David Honig, president of Jacksonville-based The Parts House; and David T. Segal, president of Automotive Supply Associate in Concord, N.H.
“I appreciate Congressman Soto for taking time to meet with us to discuss these issues that are important to not only ensure the industry’s future but also to secure the automotive consumer’s right to choose where they want to have their vehicle repaired,” Prater said. “Independence and freedom of choice epitomize everything the Network represents.”
For this year’s gathering, the Network hosted 66 seminars, featuring 15 different instructors and more than 35 topics selected for the convention’s overflow crowd. Attendance was sparked by the family-friendly host site, as the Disney World Resort features three championship golf courses, 17 restaurants, and shuttles to the four nearby Disney parks.