Auto Service World
News   March 17, 2023   by Adam Malik

Jobber News Executive Outlook: David H. Williams

Jobber News reached out to several leaders in the supply and distribution segment of the automotive aftermarket and asked them what they see happening in the industry over the next 12 months, what will improve, what one challenge to the industry will be and what opportunities are out there for jobbers and suppliers alike. We will present their answers in alphabetical order over the coming weeks…

You can view the full feature in our January 2023 issue.

David H. Williams, CEO, OptiCat / JNP Soft

I would expect supply chain recovery to continue, strong demand from DIY and DIFM segments and increased online shopping for both information gathering and actual parts purchase. The automotive aftermarket is counter-cyclical; if inflation continues, or at worst a recession, I expect consumers to fix or better maintain their current vehicles rather than replace. Even if the market remains stable at the current level, I expect sensible consumers won’t want to pay high prices, plus a higher interest rate. So they see the value of repair and maintenance.

From my perspective, it’s all about the data. More robust application and fitment, clear and concise descriptions, accurate and high-resolution images, etc. Then this data will need to be brought to market as quickly as possible to support growing model launches from carmakers. The challenge will be in the suppliers’ available resources to develop and enhance their catalogue information as budgets could be strained.

E-commerce will be an opportunity. While some consumers will return to brick-and-mortar, e-commerce sales will continue to soar. Accurate and timely data will be a key to success. Also, the return of trade shows; Automechanika and AAPEX were well attended in 2022. With many staff working remotely, tradeshows are a great way to make quality in-person contacts. Travel is an expensive endeavour, so trade shows are efficient as supplier teams can meet with customers, vendors, business partners, and industry associations, and do competitor reconnaissance all in one location.

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