One of the more pressing issues confronting today’s small-business shops is finding and attracting young talent. The case for winning over Millennials is obvious. As more industry retailers and shops come to rely on advanced technologies and social-media marketing, the need for employees adept in those areas will only grow. Plus, the industry overall is graying, meaning that the demand for new workers to replace retiring employees will also become more urgent with each passing year.
It’s no secret that the retail environment has changed significantly over the past decade. Automotive specialty-equipment retailers in particular are dealing with new pressure points on a number of fronts. But what are the emerging trends that have industry retailers most concerned? And, more importantly, what tools and best practices are they utilizing to adapt? Those questions are at the forefront of a new SEMA market research report.
Wheels and tires are more than utilitarian objects. The right combination can enhance a vehicle’s performance, increase safety and stability, and even make a fashion statement. All that and more have made them popular aftermarket replacements or upgrades for consumers. Unfortunately, many resellers felt a slowdown in these categories last year. But what caused that slackening in the market? How widespread is it? What might it signal for the future?
Remember the old adage? “The first three rules of business are location, location and location.” That may be true, but there’s something else just as basic to a retailer’s success: cash flow, cash flow and cash flow. Yet far too many retailers fail in that area, typically because they either confuse cash flow with revenue, rely on future sales that may or may not materialize, improperly track bills, allocate resources that they don’t really have, or succumb to a lethal combination of all the above.
As OEMs roll out an expanding array of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) on their new vehicles, the latest technologies are proving to be a mixed bag for the aftermarket. On one hand, they open new product channels for the industry’s suppliers and retailers. On the other, they present a challenge to collision-repair, customization and installation shops, all of which must contend with the safe functionality of ADAS components on completed projects.
We spoke with SEMA’s council and network leaders to find out what initiatives they are working on, what’s currently trending in their markets and what they envision the future might hold, and also the challenges they face. Common themes include fighting government overreach, the continued growth of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and expanding youth outreach programs.
For SEMA members, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) is an indispensable resource for product data management and delivery. Not only is the SDC the largest aftermarket industry database—representing nearly 500 brands boasting more than 4.5 million parts—but its unique approach to data management and file transfer can make data exports available in whatever format a given member requires. Whether the need is for complete PIES and ACES XML files or a custom-designed spreadsheet, SDC can provide it.
Since the inception of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) in 2012, nearly 500 product brands representing more than 4.5 million parts have joined what is now the industry’s largest specialty parts product data repository. Designed to enable any company, no matter how small or large, to effectively manage and distribute its product data at the lowest possible cost, the SDC has an expert staff that will coach you all the way through the process.
Staying atop the unprecedented explosion of new technologies transforming the automotive world is a crucial yet constant challenge for today’s aftermarket businesses. This is especially true of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), which are already having a major impact on the ways that vehicles are repaired, customized and serviced. In fact, experts maintain that there will be virtually no specialty-equipment segment left untouched by these safety-performance technologies within a few short years.
The automotive specialty-equipment market kept humming along to the tune of $44.6 billion in total parts sales in 2018—a 4% increase over 2017, according to the just-released “2019 SEMA Market Report.” Rumors continue to circulate that young people have disengaged from the automotive aftermarket hobby, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Young customizers spent more than $7 billion on parts.