SEMA eNews Vol. 23, No. 15, April 9, 2020

ETTN Members Share Insight, Advice Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

By Ashley Reyes

The SEMA Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) recently reached out to members on how they are adapting to new challenges facing the industry during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Get to know what steps Select Committee members Tim Gearhart and Kelleigh Ash are taking as they share their experience and provide automotive aftermarket engineers, programmers and product developers with the support they need to help ensure continued success. Additional updates and resources are also available to assist ETTN members and their business at www.sema.org/coronavirus.

Tim Gearhart
Battery and Tire Operations
Sam’s Club

  Tim Gearhart
   

What hobby have you picked up or reignited now that you find yourself socially distanced?

Given the luxury of being able to work from home, I am thankful to my company for allowing me the flexibility to adjust my schedule as needed to help face the challenges of schools being out, pets demanding attention and an increase in the temptation to work on the computer during “off hours.” During my “off hours” and the start of Spring, I have stepped up my yard work. It helps get outside the four walls that seem to close in as the minutes tick by. Not only does this help with physical exercise and the absorption of Vitamin D, but it also gives a sense of accomplishment and improves the aesthetics of my street. With a mind relaxed by heavy lifting in the yard, I am refreshed and ready to do some heavy mental lifting when I “clock-in” for work.

What has been the most challenging aspect for your company and how are you overcoming it?

Working for a retail/wholesale organization, there have been many unique challenges to overcome. Two of the most difficult have been the barrage of constant changes of local and state ordinances directing things from hours of operation, number of consumers allowed in facilities at the same time, etc., for each of the locations in our fleet of facilities. The second issue being that “necessity is the mother of invention,” or in our case innovation. I am blessed to be working for a company that has been investing in technology for some time and that our leaders are nimble while searching for the most viable product. The company has opened multiple communication channels to keep us connected and informed of the rapidly changing landscape.

What advice do you have for businesses to help them stay positive during this pandemic?

While technology helps us stay connected, make advancements and recover quickly, remember it is your people that keep the business running. Take care of them, keep them informed and listen to their ideas. They are on the frontlines and in the trenches daily making incredible sacrifices for your business, the economy and the world.

Kelleigh Ash
Director of Sales, Marketing and Brand Management
KW Automotive North America Inc.

  Kelleigh Ash
   

What hobby have you picked up or reignited now that you find yourself socially distanced?

It has given me so much more time to work on all of my garage projects! From all of the small engine projects I had in the works, to large ones like swapping out a rear end, my hands have been busy!

What has been the most challenging aspect for your company and how are you overcoming it?

The most challenging aspect for our company is navigating the legislature. The legislature at a state and federal level is changing by the hour sometimes, and sometimes the legislature is even changing its mind. It is hard to keep up with and keep track of what we should be doing. Navigating through the government stimulus packages is even more confusing. For smaller companies without legal teams to help with clarifying this, I can imagine they are completely lost.

What advice do you have for businesses to help them stay positive during this pandemic?

If you can, keep your doors open. Do whatever is necessary to keep the doors open. The stimulus packages include assistance for small businesses, and more so the business doesn’t lay off employees. Change marketing tactics. Do some LIVE videos or LIVE events to engage with your customers or consumers. Have a virtual car show. Change tactics, but don’t give up.

Rate this article: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)