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.
Sean Fortin, Jobber of the Year, Fortin’s Supply
Over the past few years, it feels like change has accelerated. Change feels normal. There will be challenges this year. At our level, there is only so much we can control and prepare for. I have trust in our partners that they’ve forecasted and are implementing plans to set us up to succeed. Some change can be positive, too. For example, communication has changed a lot in the last few years. I feel like I am talking more efficiently with reps through text and quick phone calls.
A challenge will be trusted and experienced people continuing to retire. We need to find someone who is a fit to take over those positions. We’ve had staff take personality profile tests to see if they’d be happy with that job description. For example, someone with an “accountants” personality (i.e., loves detail) may excel at an inventory manager’s position but may never enjoy a more social job like outside sales.
That’s why developing bench strength is so important; having people ready to move into open positions. But experience takes time. Provide tools, resources, support, and a culture where everyone can improve through having experiences. Take the time to walk someone through a task start to finish. Explain why each step matters. Let them ask questions and take notes. Have them repeat it. One of our core values is mistakes can be lessons because that is the culture I want. The understanding is everyone is constantly learning and improving.
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