Access to a world of reports at your fingertips is probably one of the best aspects of our current information age, but sometimes it resembles more of a jungle than a highway. Having to slash your way through the clutter to get to what’s valuable can be frustrating.
So I did a little path-clearing for you. Here are seven useful, concise reports you should read. I am confident that each one will provide value for you and your business. And best of all, they’re (mostly) free.
This December 2015 report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative highlights commercial-scale trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy. The Notorious Markets List highlights select online and physical marketplaces that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. While most of the sites listed focus on pirated video, music, and games, a number of e-commerce sites do engage in the sale of counterfeit auto parts. If nothing else, the report serves as a strong reminder of how global the problem is. Click here
Cooperating with Customers on Warranty & Reverse Logistics: Taking the Pain Out of Warranty Returns
The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association’s (AASA) Special Report, authored by UPS, tackles this ever-present issue head-on in this July 2015 report. While warranty rates generally reside in double digits, the report reminds all that on average, only 2.5% of the returns were found to have actual quality issues. Click here
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Automotive Aftermarket: Threats and Opportunities
This concise review of the yet-to-be ratified TPP agreement, published in January 2016 by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), makes for good reading, though the conclusion that any effect on the aftermarket will be small, may not come as a surprise. Even though it is brief, at 24 pages, the report does spell out the basis for this thinking – and that should provide intelligent guidance to anyone moving forward. Click here
KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey
While focused on the vehicle manufacturing world, this annual study provides interesting insights on the business issues that keep top-level automotive executives up at night, and by extension, where opportunities may or may not exist for the aftermarket. Click here
The View From Here: 2015 Productivity benchmarks in the Automotive Service Sector
This AIA study, published in February 2016, provides an accessible analysis with a view to assessing the size, sales performance, and intentions of the Canadian service sector. The study cites the performance characteristics of small (1-3 bays), medium (4-6 bays), and large (7+ bays) operations, focusing on repair orders per year, average hours sold per repair order, average repair orders per technician per day, and hours sold per technician per day, all with regional breakdowns. Click here
Avoiding the 10 Most Common Mistakes When Selecting a Technology Solution
This brief “Thought Leadership” white paper from Epicor is an assembly of the most common mistakes made when choosing and implementing a business management system. With only a small amount of self-serving phraseology, the key points are easily applicable to any series of technology decisions. As such, smart jobbers should probably print it out and pin it up in their office. Click here
Growing Number of Women Who Own Vehicles Points to Shift Needed in Aftermarket Strategy
Frost & Sullivan’s Insight Report outlines the impact that demographic shifts have had in the North American vehicle market. Current statistics show that over 50% of license holders in North America are women. The number skews even higher toward women (53%) when considering Gen Y drivers, a consumer segment that is poised to become the biggest target demographic for any business. Click here
Overall, these reports provide a broad perspective on some of the many issues we all deal with in the aftermarket industry. Happy reading! — Andrew Ross, Publisher, Jobber News Magazine, Andrew@newcom.ca