Auto Service World
News   May 15, 2024   by Adam Malik

Why there’s a ‘sense of urgency’ around industry change

As knowledgeable automotive aftermarket experts retire, how does the industry fill the gaps?

The automotive aftermarket can’t rely on its traditions and old ideas to draw in a new generation of talent, warned an industry observer.

Speaking at the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Aftermarket Technology Conference, Ram ChandraSekar, founder and CEO of PhaseZero urged aftermarket leaders to think about their digital presence and how to shape themselves to not just fit into what today’s industry pros are looking for, but tomorrow’s as well.

“We need to have a sense of urgency,” he said at the conference. “We believe that the fundamental change that none of us can control is the development of expertise [as] decades of expertise is leaving our industry, our business.”

So in order to replenish what’s being lost, the aftermarket has to speak the language of the next generation to attract them. That means examining the way business is done.

“Why? Because this generation is a search engine generation. This generation is a mobile and smartphone generation. And lo and behold, this is also going to be the AI generation. So we need to have the ability to attract and retain and train them” by speaking at a level they understand and appreciate, ChandraSekar said.

The aftermarket also needs to look at how professionals are being educated and how they do their research. The way they familiarize themselves with a product and brand has fundamentally changed, he observed.

“You cannot have enough sales guys to educate our customers anymore. You can still do that but there are much more effective, much more easier and cost-effective solutions called search engines — they’re called digital platforms,” ChandraSekar said.

So build out websites to be more informational and welcoming to the next generation. They need to see that it’s easy doing business with you.

“So it’s a must today,” he said. “Transforming now is no longer a nice to have but essential.”

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1 Comment » for Why there’s a ‘sense of urgency’ around industry change
  1. We are in a time of transition, shop owners need to keep an open mind, they need to learn what motivate the new generation and adapt the work environment to make it more appealing to them. Just like we did when we first started, they are looking for opportunities to build a future on, and our old ways no longer offer what they are looking for. We need to listen, learn, and adapt to the new reality.

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