Weighing your options
Options are great, right?
Coke or Pepsi? Blue Cheese or Ranch? Baked potato or fries?
Those are the good kinds of options.
Options are for the benefit of the consumer.
If you’re the provider, options are the noose around your checkbook.
In the parts and aftermarket business, options vary by brand affiliation and are only limited to the sheer numbers you can afford to carry.
Then, there’s a split.
For engine components, you have to ask yourself:
Is LNG/CNG coming or is it already here?
Is propane for real?
What parts do I have for which nameplates? What parts do I need?
What parts do I need more of?
Does my staff know how to sell these parts? Do they know their target audience?
Then, another curve ball: Most of the answers to those questions only apply to your heavy-duty customers, right?
Could you help a guy whose Ram 5500 limped into your shop’s parking lot? Do you, the distributor, have the capacity to help a heavy-duty customer looking to branch out into the medium-duty marketplace?
As detailed in the April 2013 print edition of Truck Parts & Service, the medium duty marketplace is growing. As the vehicle population grows, so does service opportunities and the opportunities for aftermarket sales.
You’ve probably seen the Dodge Super Bowl commercial “So God made a farmer,” right?
According to the last census of agriculture, there were 2.2 million farms in the United States, covering about 922 million acres.
Most of those guys haul hay, wheat, corn, grain, feed, fertilizer and assorted other whatnots in medium-duty trucks.
Sure, the big operations have some heavy-duty rigs but generally the outfits that have heavy-duty trucks have medium-duty ones, too.