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.
Pino Vocaturo, VP, General Manager, Maslack Operations, Maslack Supply/Uni-Select
Those working in the automotive aftermarket will be very fortunate over the next 12 months. The supply chain is improving. They’re much better now than they were 12 months ago. Everybody can have strong inventories. Availability is going to be better. The parts are getting there. Fill rates are starting to get better.
With new vehicle supply still struggling, I think the aftermarket is going to benefit from that. People are going to keep their cars longer — even if they’re leasing, they’re going to lease for longer terms, just because they can’t get anything new. So anything that stays longer on the roads, it’s going to benefit the aftermarket.
The biggest challenge we’re going to face is the workforce — finding qualified people for our businesses, from counterpeople to warehouse people to operations and everywhere else. The industry is struggling to find staff. And it’s the same on the repair side; finding qualified technicians. We’re having trouble answering the phones because we’re having trouble finding staffing and they’re having trouble finding qualified people.
Make sure that your staff is happy. Make sure that you stay engaged with them. Understand their needs; understand their wants. They’re the ones who will see your business prosper. And for anybody that has feet on the streets, those relationships matter. You can have all the knowledge you want, all the parts you want but relationships win all businesses.
Finding qualified technicians. I have been in this trade for 40 years. With the cost of tools just to start and apprentice wages , there would be two good reasons I would not enter this trade today . Maybe Jobber News could send staff out into the trenches and get opinions from technicians working in big and small business across the country as to why they think people are not lining up to be technicians . Maybe it’s time to ask why .