Guest Column

Truck Parts & Service Staff August 4, 2012


By Tom Stewart

Carolina Rim & Wheel

The dictionary defines “predictability” as the degree to which a correct prediction or forecast can be made.

As we enter the second half of 2012, questions regarding this industry persist. How does the aftermarket look? How can we make accurate predictions going forward? And how can we use these predictions in both the near- and long-term?

Each evening we tune into the news to see the weather forecast for the upcoming day.

Sometimes the “experts” are dead-on accurate, sometimes they miss the mark altogether. The point is things always come up that are unexpected.

The heavy-duty aftermarket, like the weather, has seen highs, lows and everything in between. At HDAW this past January, there was growing optimism that the economy was slowly moving forward; and I largely believe this is still true.

However, slow seems to be the operative term, as we wait patiently for that recovery pace to quicken.

In a simple world we all know what it takes to run our businesses when the economy slows.

We do what we do best — get out and sell, increase our efforts to gain market share and watch expenses.

This has been the tried-and-true method for decades, but today we face a much more dynamic environment.

We as distributors make hard decisions when necessary, but it is important to remember, you cannot change the past. So let’s focus on the future.

There are outside factors that we all deal with every day — factors that we have little if any control over — which constantly change the way we do business.

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