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ETTN Member Insight: Matt Behrnes of KW automotive North America Inc. on Overcoming Inventory Challenges

By Ashley Reyes

Matt BehrnesMatt Behrnes is the latest SEMA Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) member to share his insight on how his company pivoted during the pandemic and utilized technology to keep business moving forward. Behrnes is a brand manager at KW automotive North America Inc., a company that manufactures automotive aftermarket suspension system technology.

SEMA: How has your company pivoted during the pandemic?  

Matt Behrnes: As with others, our biggest challenge was keeping the doors open while keeping in line with the everchanging CDC guidelines. Our team did an outstanding job of not only keeping the doors open, but also not having to sacrifice any employees. Running dual and staggered shifts, employees working from home, social distancing and mandatory masks and regular cleanings were all a part of our new “normal.”

SEMA: What technology tools, new or old, have you leaned on recently?

MB: With the challenges of keeping inventory levels up, we have resorted to growing our internal manufacturing and increasing speed to market and rapid prototyping by purchasing a new 3-D printer.

SEMA: What new trends have you noticed with sales and marketing?

MB: Not a new trend per se, but it’s become brutally clear with everyone being stuck in isolation this past year that content is king these days. Our marketing team has been hard at work on not only our social aspect but our video content as well.

SEMA: What, if any, changes in business do you feel will outlive the pandemic?

MB: It seems that on top of all the hurdles, specifically supply chain and empty shelves, that customer service as a whole has suffered drastically regardless of industry. With that in mind, we have focused heavily on making sure that we have been providing the best customer experience that we possibly can. In the end, all we really want are happy, satisfied, repeat customers. Without that, it doesn't matter how great your products are.

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