SEMA Member News -- March/April 2009
Spring Brings New Opportunities; Webinar Addresses Methods of Business Intelligence
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
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.
Your Trade Association Needs You!
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.