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News   October 18, 2023   by Adam Malik

Top lessons these execs have learned

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Resiliency, a sense of purpose and the importance of people were three takeaways automotive aftermarket executives noted as lessons learned coming out of post-pandemic times.

Speaking at this year’s MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Vision Conference, three executives taking part in a panel on supplier pain points were asked to note the top lesson they took away.

For Gino Amador, president of Snap-on Equipment, it was how resilient the industry is.

“At the end of the day, we figured out really, really, really quickly that this had everything to do with resiliency,” he said. “And we didn’t stop calling them — our customers. But we saw a whole bunch of people that did. And they did so at their peril. So I think the lesson is, you need to approach every single problem that comes your way with resiliency because there’s going to be another problem tomorrow.”

John Lerner, chief commercial officer at Gojo, highlighted the personal aspect and people finding their sense of purpose.

“Know who you are and what you want. I think what we saw, which I’m incredibly proud of, is as things got harder and harder, our teams galvanized instead of getting into conflict. And that is because we oriented the purpose,” he said. “And we rested on values and culture and collaboration that was ultimately positive. And without that, there’s no way we put up the resilience that we would have needed to deal with all the issues, challenges, frustration, emotion.

“And I think that transcends business, and to just individuals as well as dealing with that kind of disruption, and strain and stress. You have to have a lot of resolve and in what you’re actually after.”

Cal Ganda, head of Americas automotive aftermarket at ContiTech Power Transmission Group, said the tough times reinforced that the aftermarket business is indeed a people business.

“We are very resilient as an industry. This we proved. But once again, it’s very clear that this business is a people business,” he said. “I was very amazed with the amount of accomplishments that our team was able to have when they could not leave their homes. That shows me that they’re the right [people] and the people that they are dealing with, believed in them through our networks.”

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