Auto Service World
News   March 20, 2024   by Adam Malik

Jobber News Executive Outlook 2024: Douglas Squires

Jobber News reached out to 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 2024 issue.

Douglas Squires, President, CEO  |  Colonial Group (Colonial Auto Parts and APM Limited)

Consumers will continue to extend vehicle life due to challenges with new vehicle supply which presents opportunities for jobbers. EV sales will increase but market constraints will slow this pace and reduce adoption. The large U.S. chain coming to Canada and another selling off the stores will result in uncertainty about the future. Market consolidation will continue, and small jobbers and regional or small program groups will struggle to compete. The lack of industry succession planning will increase consolidation and the number of jobbers in Canada may shrink.

The global supply chain still has fill rate issues. Jobbers with strong inventory management will succeed whereas others will fail. Sourcing from nearshore will help timing but jobbers and suppliers need to increase their inventory safety stock, bulk order when supply is available and focus on improving their supply chain management. Finding and retaining knowledgeable staff will continue as an issue until a focus is placed on attracting and training staff in the industry.

Rising debt will result in M&A opportunities on a macro level and jobbers can grow at the micro level due to an aging ownership base with limited succession planning. Those who took advantage of recent strong years’ performance to improve their financial stability are positioned to capitalize on those struggling with high interest rates and debt loads. Dependable supply of inventory will be key in navigating these changes and those able to optimize and bulk up on inventory will succeed while others will struggle to compete.

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