VIPAR Conference sets attendance record

The 2013 VIPAR Heavy Duty Annual Business Conference, held Oct. 20-25, 2013 in Marco Island, Fla. featured a record turnout of more than 725 distributors, suppliers, service partners and industry associate attendees. The annual meeting also included more than 130 exhibiting supplier companies and more than 95 percent of VIPAR Heavy Duty stockholders that operate more than 500 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

In his general session presentation, VIPAR Heavy Duty President Steve Crowley says over the past 12 months the organization has proactively responded to a heavy-duty market that is in transition.

“In response to these shifting market conditions and channel demands, VIPAR Heavy Duty is well positioned to help its distributors meet these needs and challenges and stay ahead of the curve,” Crowley says.

Crowley also notes the independent distributor is stronger than ever.

“Larger national firms are slower to react to market opportunities,” he says. “VIPAR Heavy Duty distributors build relationships with their customers and provide better service through their local presence.”

Noting the 2013 theme of “Success through Collaboration,” Crowley says though VIPAR Heavy Duty is made up of many different companies who think a little different than one another, “we collaborate together to make a stronger overall organization.”

Crowley also mentioned the success of Global Parts Network (GPN), VIPAR Heavy Duty’s wholly-owned subsidiary that achieved significant growth in 2013. GPN provides seamless service and support exclusively to the VIPAR Heavy Duty network of distributors and suppliers to satisfy the replacement parts needs of commercial vehicle operators and maintenance facilities, the company says. GPN operates Parts Distribution Centers as well as its brake manufacturing production centers, known as CoMan Centers, with a focus on new and remanufactured brake shoes, brake shoe kits, friction material and related parts.

The 2013 VIPAR Heavy Duty Annual Business Conference also included a motivational speech by football great Joe Theismann, along with a general session, tradeshow, one-on-one stockholder/supplier partner meetings, the annual stockholder meeting, as well as networking events. This year’s conference also featured a Young Leaders Forum luncheon, which allowed emerging leaders the opportunity to network with each other and hear a presentation by industry speaker and author John Passante, the company says.

The 2014 VIPAR Heavy Duty Annual Business Conference will be held Oct. 19-24, 2013 at the Marco Island Marriott, in Marco Island, Fla.

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