Phew,What A Year! - aftermarket
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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Phew,What A Year!

Written By: Ron Slee

Article Date: 12-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.


I wonder how many more of these we can stand.

We had strong sales, we couldn't get enough equipment, we had weather, we had fuel prices that only the Europeans understand, we had healthcare costs that were almost incredible, there was nowhere to find skilled people, and we all made money. Imagine that. It sounds like that old television show "That Was The Week That Was." Each week, the show would review the week politically using a humorous perspective.

We've just completed a great year. Can it keep on going? Who knows? But it shouldn't matter.

We have terrific opportunities in parts and service, irrespective of the market activity. Our market share leaves plenty of room to grow and increase sales and profits. Technology provides wonderful costsaving tools. And the younger people that we can attract to our industry have much better skills than we had when we arrived on the scene.

I want to bring you back to the three handbooks that AED offers you on product support.

The Product Support Handbook covers job descriptions for everyone in parts, service and product support sales. It also includes job performance standards and pre-requisites.

The Product Support Opportunities Handbook provides a model with which you can determine market opportunities and calculate your share of that market.

The Product Support Best Practices Handbook reviews operational benchmarks of Parts and Service and Product Support Sales and offers suggestions regarding best practices.

If you don't have them, it's time to get all three. They are quite inexpensive and what they will generate in cost savings or sales increases far outweighs their cost.

If you've got them and read them, it's time to use them to determine if the performance standards you're using are working. Are they being achieved? Are they too easy or too stringent?

Have a look at how well you are penetrating the parts, service, and maintenance markets. What can you do to drive the business farther? Where are you experiencing heavy competition and why? How can you combat it and overcome the weakness?

Are your operations as finely tuned as NASCAR machines? Do they reflect the needs and wants of your customers and employees?

For the past few years, this market has been what all of you have worked hard for and you deserve the results. But don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back. The next few years promise to be wonderful opportunities. It will be those of us who are prepared for it that will reap the rewards - the dealerships that are constantly trying to improve.

Improve through training and personnel development; through systems and technology and those who have planned for specific sales activities with specific products, services and customers.

To all of you I say, congratulations on a wonderful year and I wish you a terrific holiday season with your friends and family. Take a deep breath and reflect on the year and get ready for the year ahead. It promises to be another surprise for all of us. "Be prepared" is a terrific motto.
Are you?



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Article Categories:  Product Support