Getting to Know the MRC

SEMA Member News—July/August 2012

Getting to Know the MRC

There are few segments of the automotive specialty-equipment industry that are as engrained in the distribution channel as manufacturers representatives. Reps are critical to understanding the markets through their territories and the professional relationships they cultivate over time. Given the fact that they work closely with manufactures, warehouse distributors and retail accounts, their industry insights and perspectives lend key perspective to the state of the industry. The Manufacturers’ Rep Council (MRC) recently asked a few of its members to offer their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities confronting reps and the industry.

Zane Shaffer-Company: Wes-Coast Marketing IncZane Shaffer

Company: Wes-Coast Marketing Inc.
Position: Manufacturer’s Representative
Established: 1999
Markets: Truck and SUV
Territory: Western United States, Western Canada, Alaska and Hawaii

Challenges: The current role of a rep is changing rapidly in today’s eCommerce market. We are always adapting and acquiring new skills to stay on top of the market. One of our challenges is working directly with manufacturers, e-tailers and WDs to make sure all the data is being utilized and loaded correctly to maximize sales. There are so many forms of data out there, with everyone needing it in a different format or style, that it is tough to stay up on all the information.

Opportunities: Being able to utilize the data that is available to help grow sales for manufacturers. There is a wealth of information and data available, and being able to process it to aid your customers and manufacturers is going to be key going forward.


John Gleason-Company: United Sales Associates

Pat Sheffer

Company: The Kayes Co. Inc.
Position: President
Established: 1948
Markets: High performance, heavy-duty truck, tools and equipment
Location: Lewis Center, Ohio
Territory: Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Challenges: Industry consolidation throughout the distribution channels.

Opportunities: Branching out into crossover markets.


John Gleason-Company: United Sales AssociatesKarl Dedolph III

Company: D3 Consulting Inc.
Position: Owner
Established: 1990
Markets: Performance, racing, passenger car, light truck and heavy duty
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota
Territory: North America

Challenges: With the next generation of government-mandated Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations and standards pertaining to fuel economy and emissions, the specialty-equipment industry needs to be cognizant of the advancements and timetables of drivetrain technologies for gas, diesel, hybrid and electric vehicle applications. Without that understanding, product trends for newer vehicles may shift away from, for example, popular air intakes and exhaust modifications.

Opportunities: Diesel fuel is seen by many as the most available and globally accepted alternative to gasoline. Diesel engines are generally 20%–30% higher in fuel economy when compared to similar gasoline powerplants. In the next couple of years, diesel will have a larger presence in the automotive and light-truck landscape, affording specialty-equipment companies new
market opportunities.


Manufacturers Rep Council (MRC) - SEMA CouncilRon Liedel
(not pictured)

Company: Liedel-Bradshaw LLC
Position: Managing Partner
Established: 1977
Markets: High performance
Location: Rochelle Park, New York
Territory: Northeastern United States

Challenges: The economy and the need for innovative new products.

Opportunities: Increased training and education for all facets of the sales and distribution channels.