The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance convened its summer meeting in Minneapolis at the Marriott City Center hotel last week.
More than 250 individuals representing 51 shareholders’ companies joined with over 150 supplier channel partners, making it one of the largest such events in the organization’s history.
The four-day meeting was devoted primarily to collaboration among members and staff to further develop the group’s many award-winning programs and initiatives. Standing committees met to brainstorm and develop plans on a broad range of subjects including products, branding, national accounts, e-commerce and global expansion.
“Our summer meeting is an outstanding event that enables our shareholders to roll up their sleeves and tackle some of the serious issues and opportunities facing our group,” said John R. Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance. “It gives us the opportunity to put our heads together and push our group forward, as well as celebrate some of our accomplishments.”
The Alliance meeting featured presentations on product and category management, information technology and e-commerce as well as branding and marketing.
On Tuesday, supplier channel partners joined with Alliance shareholders for updates on group initiatives as well as to hear a keynote address from Bill Hanvey, Executive Vice President of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association. Mr. Hanvey’s address was entitled “So How Do We Collaborate?” Featuring highlights from some recent AASA studies, his remarks brought greater clarity to the audience on many current market issues. Much of AASA’s research was used to support the central theme of his speech: Warranty Prevention and how collaboration throughout the supply chain can reduce waste and improve net margin for all
“Bill’s presentation was both insightful and engaging,” said Washbish. “Our shareholders and guests were impressed with the relevance and timeliness of his message. Our industry is fortunate to have individuals like Bill in leadership positions.”
Tuesday culminated with a vendor expo and an ice cream social where supplier channel partners interacted with shareholders while enjoying some tasty frozen treats. The assemblage then enjoyed cocktails and food at the Metropolitan Club overlooking Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins.
The event concluded Wednesday with votes on leadership and product line enhancements and a meeting with the Alliance Channel Partners Advisory Council.