The people business

Blogs Lucas Deal September 11, 2013

Over the last month, I’ve done interviews with a lot of different sources in the aftermarket on a multitude of topics. I’ve talked to distributors, service providers, dealer principals, suppliers, aftermarket advisors. I’ve talked to managers, company presidents, sales and marketing managers.

We’ve discussed business management techniques, day-to-day operations and service. Almost every area of this industry has been covered.

And yet despite that wide range of topics, and all of those different sources and questions, there was still one answer I received at least once in every interview. It came from separate questions. It came at various points in the discussion. But it always was mentioned, and each source emphasized it as a key driver to success in the given topic of discussion.

People drive this business.

It’s so true. No matter where you fit in the aftermarket, if you want to succeed, you have to have people on your side.

Distributors need good people who know how important their customers are, and understand what it means to do ‘whatever it takes’ to help. Suppliers need good people who can receive requests and concerns from customers and provide solutions.

Dealers need salespeople who know how to sell customers on their ‘total package’ solutions. Service providers are only as successful as the motivated, dedicated service techs in their bay. It goes on and on.

We call this the aftermarket, but it’s really the people business.

For proof, just look at the articles in this month’s magazine.

Our cover story provides a guide for aftermarket businesses considering expansion. While there is a lot of operational and financial planning that can be done to maximize expansion success rates, ultimately it is up to the staff at a new location to properly execute the expansion plan.

The same can be said for our feature on core management and recovery. The most important step in maximizing core return rates is assigning dedicated employees to oversee the operation.

Lucas Deal is the editor of Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer. He can be reached at

You can follow me on twitter at @lddeal85

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