HDAW Preview: How to find your competitive advantage

If you’ve spent any time in recent business meetings attempting to define your company’s competitive advantage, then Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2017 has a presenter for you.

Rich Ferguson of Ferguson Partners, LLC, will tackle that topic in detail later this month in a presentation titled ‘The Independent Advantage.’ A long-time veteran of the trucking industry at Daimler and Volvo Trucks, Ferguson will speak at HDAW about how the independent aftermarket can better understand its relationships with customers and their needs, and how advancing technology found throughout the industry will alter that relationship for years to come.

Additionally, Ferguson plans to offer suggestions on areas where distributors should focus on to stay competitive, such as investing in an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, joining nationwide independent networks to leverage customer services, as well as a plan to capitalize on first time warranty fulfillment opportunity with certain suppliers.

“In the near future, the second and third buyers of trucks [customers] will demand uptime and telematics information to manage their businesses,” Ferguson says. “Understanding how technology benefits customers, truck uptime and the service shop, will keep the independent service shop competitive in the ‘connected truck’ market place.”

He adds, “Technician recruiting and retention continue to be a key area of emphasis for all service providers with participation in nationwide networks such as VIPAR and HDA TruckPride of benefit to all parties.”

Ferguson says the independent aftermarket also has built-in advantages, which can be leveraged for success.

“Being close to your customer and understanding their needs is the biggest advantage as [you] can offer the right products and services for their individual markets. Independents have flexibility on the services they provide so they can meet specific customers needs and participation in nationwide networks further enhance their ability to recruit and train technicians as well as provide broader service coverage,” he says. 

The presentation will hopefully provide attendees valuable information to better invest in their businesses in the future, Ferguson says.

“Each market and independent business has different needs, so my discussion will highlight some of the recent industry and customer trends related to market, engine penetration, DPF cleaning, uptime and telematics,” he says. “Each attendee can then identify areas of profitable focus for their own markets and customer needs.”

Ferguson has a successful history of consistently driving double-digit top line growth, better than market returns, and significant EBITDA improvement. He also has extensive expertise in planning and carrying out sales, marketing, corporate finance, continuous improvement as well as product development strategies.

All of those experiences help to shape Ferguson’s presentation and industry expertise.

Ferguson’s presentation, ‘The Independent Advantage,’ will be held from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.  To view a complete schedule of HDAW events, please CLICK HERE.

This article is the fourth in a series previewing the presenters at this month’s Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2017. 

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