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…
Sean Stokes, VP of Auto Parts and General Manager, PartSource
I think the automotive aftermarket will continue to experience strong growth in 2023 (similar to 2022). Given the rate of inflation over the last year, customers will continue to look at fixing their existing vehicle versus the costs of buying a new vehicle. I think that parts availability will be greatly improved versus 2022 so companies will need to be more data-driven when it comes to pricing models for various customer types.
The biggest challenge for success in 2023, whether for a jobber or supplier, will be their ability to attract and retain quality staff. Companies will need to improve their training programs for staff and customers. It will become more important for companies to create partnerships with learning institutions to ensure they have a pipeline of new talent. Companies will need to look for efficiencies in operations that will reduce operational burdens on existing employees.
I think companies will need to invest in improved inventory positions in 2023 given that the market will be more competitive as supply chain issues normalize in 2023. As such, companies will not only need to invest in the right inventory, but they will also need to invest in lifecycle management data, systems and processes that will help to ensure they can manage the inventory in a profitable way.