By Joel Rosenthal
|The MRC Select Committee, SEMA staff members and SEMA Board Chairman-Elect Rick Rollins held a long-range brainstorming meeting in December. The outcome of the meeting will result in changes and improvement to the rep conference, member benefits and communication. Thanks to all of the men and women who were able to participate in the event.|
I am celebrating my twenty-something year as a manufacturers’ representative in the automotive aftermarket. In those years, I have always felt that spring is the most exciting time. Sure the flowers are blooming and the snow is off the ground; however, there’s more to life than pretty stuff. Spring has always been the time of the year when new vehicles hit the streets, jobber stores are stocking up for the new season, WDs are distributing their new media packages, manufacturers are launching new products and reps are on the street promoting products and new opportunities. So what about 2009? To quote Bill Clinton campaign strategist James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
This is a year of change. The Obama administration has begun to change tax laws. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors have become dependent on the government to weather these economic times, and legislators on the hill are influencing vehicle manufacturers. Parts retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, expect next-day fulfillment from the WDs and parts manufactures. There are fewer warehouse distributors. Those are the facts, but business goes on, and all of these instances allow for opportunities.
Don’t be influenced by the doom-and-gloomers. Successful companies in the automotive aftermarket are honing a sharper focus on profitability and growth. That goes for rep agencies as well. Look into the future. Don’t camp out in the past, and you will find new opportunities to grow your business, improve your processes, add to the services you provide and become more profitable.
The MRC is sponsoring a webinar titled: “Increase Profitability with Fewer Customers.” The featured speaker is Dan Kettelson, and the date is March 12, 2009. This seminar will open your eyes to new methods of business intelligence. Are you keeping your costs in line? How would you know? What benchmark do you use? Are your parts acquisition costs in line with your competition’s? How much should a good salesperson sell a month?
We will discuss benchmarks, guidelines, pay plans and real-world methods to dramatically improve your bottom-line performance. This webinar has value for WDs, jobbers and reps, so pass along this information to your customers.
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.
Smell the Smoke!
In December, members of the MRC Select Committee as well as SEMA staff members and SEMA Board Chairman-Elect Rick Rollins got together for a long-range brainstorming meeting in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, Florida. It was an insightful dialogue that offered the newly formed MRC long-range planning subcommittee solid ideas for increasing our impact on the membership. The outcome of this meeting and the work from the subcommittee will be evident in changes and improvement to the rep conference, member benefits and communications. Thanks to all of the men and women who were able to participate in this event.
It is election time for the MRC Select Committee, and the MRC needs your support. Do you know someone who could be a leader? Maybe it’s you or a colleague. This year, there are eight seats available. We are looking for industry leaders and decision makers to fill these seats. Now more than ever, the MRC needs dedicated people to help guide our industry. The election this year will be processed electronically, so there should be no excuses for not voting! Just click and send! We need the ballots returned by June 5, 2009, and the new committee members will officially join on July 1, 2009.
The MRC Select Committee continues to work on ways to offer more services and value to our members. We need input from you and your staff. Every agency should empower at least one associate to get involved in the MRC. We need people from the membership at large to come alongside Select Committee members on subcommittees and task forces. When we work together, we accomplish more for our rep members and the industry. Contact SEMA Council Liaison Staci Bostock at 909/396-0289, ext. 104 or firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know that you are ready to get involved to make a difference.