A year in cover stories

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror and Christmas just around the bend, the year is quickly coming to an end. Truck Parts & Service magazine has been busy throughout, and with the release of our Buyers’ Guide this month’s print edition, I think now is a good time to look back on what else has graced the pages of Truck Parts & Service in 2013.

Below are links to every cover story and related sidebar featured in Truck Parts & Service over the last 11 months. If you don’t subscribe to our print magazine, below is a great way to catch up and see some of what you missed. If you do get the magazine but weren’t able to read every one, hopefully the links below will help you fill in the gaps.

And for our loyal monthly readers, I hope links below remind you of some of the topics we addressed this year and how they may impact your business moving forward.

My goal with every article in Truck Parts & Service is to inform, educate and assist. I want to tell you what’s up in the industry, how it could affect your business and give you advice from industry experts on how to proceed. The independent aftermarket is a wonderful industry, and Truck Parts & Service is incredibly focused on helping the market remain prosperous for decades to come.

So, without further ado, here are the cover stories featured in Truck Parts & Service magazine in 2013.

January: A Natural Revolution

The TP&S year started with an entire issue dedicated to natural gas, and its potential to grow in popularity as a commercial vehicle fuel. We looked at how NatGas engines are designed, and requirements for maintaining them in the aftermarket.

Sidebars: Modifying your facility for NatGas service; Training your techs on NatGas; A Conversation on Conversion

February: When OSHA comes knocking

It’s easy to think your business is safe if everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. But a safe business is more than just avoiding a time-loss accident. In this feature, broken into two parts online, we looked at what it takes to stay on top of all government OSHA regulations.

March: Making the most of CSA

This article zeroed in on something most of you are doing in your businesses everyday — promoting best practices, products and services to your customers to help them avoid CSA regulations.

April: Mastering the medium-duty market

I read this morning that Americans spent more than $2 billion in online sales yesterday for Cyber Monday — a 17 percent increase over last year. And until Amazon’s new helicopter delivery method takes off, nearly all of those products will be delivered to our homes in medium-duty trucks. So that’s a market you shouldn’t be taking lightly.

Sidebar: Acquiring medium-duty information

May: Impacts of vertical integration

The concept of vertical integration isn’t new, but revived efforts by OEMs to integrate and improve their processes have caused changes in other areas of the marketplace.

Sidebar: The Right to Repair question

June: Carving out your ‘niche’

Are you a specialist? Have you ever considered that option? In June we reached out to aftermarket businesses that offer specialized services and had them detail the benefits those niche services provide to their overall operation.

July: The global supply chain

The North American commercial truck market once operated on an island — well, technically a continent. It doesn’t anymore. Trucking is a global business, with suppliers and manufacturers servicing North America from around the globe. That means changes, both good and bad, for our marketplace.

Sidebar: The return of American manufacturing

August: Riding the data wave

Our August cover story took a deep dive into the world of vendor managed inventory (VMI), and the opportunities it provides distributors and their suppliers in the marketplace. Designed to maximize inventory turns, VMI is quickly gaining acceptance in the aftermarket.

September: Answering your expansion questions

Expanding a business is tough no matter what the economic climate, which is why our September cover story focused on several key questions business owners and management should answer before attempting to expand.

Sidebar: Be honest with your lender

October: Building a crisis response plan

I grew up just 30 miles away from Washington, Ill., a town that was decimated by a tornado in mid-November. For the businesses in that community, having a crisis response plan has been the difference between getting back up and running and closing for good. Your business needs to have one. There’s no telling where the next disaster will strike.

November: What are you thankful for in 2013?

Last month’s cover story, if you haven’t checked it out yet, was filled with stories from people across the aftermarket talking about why they are thankful this year. We all sat down last week to give thanks, and Truck Parts & Service wanted to know what people were thankful for in their businesses.

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