Articles by Bill Wade

Bill Wade is a partner at Wade & Partners and a heavy-duty aftermarket veteran. He is the author of Aftermarket Innovations. He can be reached at bwade@wade-partners.com.

Bill Wade has posted 31 Articles for Truck Parts & Service

Selling tactics for a slow growth heavy-duty market

The non-recovery from the 2008-2009 heavy-duty parts market recession may continue to creep along for sometime. Certainly the recent hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, technician and driver shortages and softness in the worldwide economy don’t clear the economic crystal ball at all. Because of this weak recovery, review your marketing assumptions ...

Happy 50th Birthday to Us: Independent Heavy Duty Distribution

The entire organized heavy-duty aftermarket seems to have emerged all at once about 50 years ago. Organizations such as the Automotive Electric Association (AEA) and the National Wheel and Rim Association (NWRA) were around earlier, formed mostly to deal with protected territories from a handful of key suppliers. But in 1966, ...

Margin-killing heavy-duty pricing myths

Here is a perplexing contradiction in the heavy-duty parts and service business. On the one hand, it’s fair to say that every member of the heavy-duty supply chain would like to maximize their margins, improve their profit performance and ultimately, increase the firm’s value. On the other hand, relatively few ...

We’ve spoiled ‘em, and they’re still not happy

There is an interesting dynamic developing in the North American economy, both at the consumer level and in business-to-business marketing. Chinese goods are flooding most markets. And our customers have become terminally spoiled. Note, however, that these are two entirely different stories. There really are no under served markets ...

Failure Autopsy … An Essential HD Innovation Tool

Every New Product Will Not Earn a Hockey Stick! The drive to innovate actually has a lot to do with the past. The ‘old guys’ stories of striving and failing then succeeding are often inspiration, as we spend hours dreaming up new products and distribution models that will change ...

Semper Fi, Jack

Below are Bill's thoughts on the passing of his friend and aftermarket veteran Jack Creamer. Ronald Reagan once said, "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Marines don't have that problem." The Great Man theory is a 19th-century idea according to which ...

Are We Missing the Point by Calling Every Group a Team?

The word 'team' has come to be used almost automatically for groups ranging from two to thousands of members. In some cases, the 'team members' may never meet each other, much less work together. It seems 'team' is being used to bestow the aura of performance and pride to ...

CASH: There is no substitute

Distributor Cash Flow Is A Major Determinate of Growth   Count this as a lesson everyone knows, but a random reminder won’t hurt anyone. At its simplest, cash flow management means delaying outlays of cash as long as possible while encouraging anyone who owes you money to pay it as ...

Service Integration as a Competitive Weapon

For many distributors, service has become a vital source of revenue, customer satisfaction and competitive differentiation. Whether driveline bench service, mobile maintenance or on-vehicle, many companies recognize the value of becoming a service-led organization and are re-aligning their service operations with their overall business strategies. Why? Distributors are looking to new ...

Is a Private Equity Partner Right for You?

Exploring all options is a healthy exercise, especially as part of a yearly planning process. Thinking it may be time to partner up? Maybe take some chips off the table? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Deloitte polled more than 500 middle market executives and found that nearly 60 percent ...