Auto Service World
News   April 11, 2023   by Adam Malik

CARS Executive Outlook 2023: Jason G. Herle

CARS reached out to leaders in the automotive repair and service sector of the automotive aftermarket to ask them about their thoughts about the industry over the next 12 months: How will this year be different, what will drive change and what will be the biggest challenge. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in the February 2023 issue.

Jason G. Herle, CEO, Fountain Tire

We anticipate shop business will grow. We’re already seeing increased travel for vacation and work. Inflation and supply shortages are curtailing consumers’ ability to buy new vehicles, leaving older vehicles on the road — and in our shops — for longer.

Inflation is driving up our operational costs. We must be smart about how we manage our businesses. Shops that are efficient, responsive and attuned to customer needs will come out on top.

Technology will be the biggest driver of change. Digital customer service solutions, like online appointment booking, integrated CRM software and digital vehicle inspections, have become table stakes. Now more than ever, we’re able to leverage big data to deeply understand our customers and potential customers.

The aftermarket needs to stay committed to learning with constant communication with suppliers and other industry partners to learn what’s emerging; subscribing to user forums and publications like this one; and staying connected to the customer as their needs evolve.

A lack of skilled labour has and will continue to plague the industry. We need to educate young people on the benefits of the industry and advocate for those already within it with safe work environments, strong workplace culture and opportunities to advance.

With a little creativity, the toolbox to attract, train and retain talent is within the hands of every repair shop owner. We can also stay on top of formal programs like the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nomination Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers program and the Canada Summer Jobs grant.

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