Top Challenges facing the aftermarket

sidebar 1Finding service technicians remains far and away the largest challenge facing independent heavy-duty aftermarket operations entering 2016.

According to Truck Parts & Service’s November 2015 reader survey, nearly 56 percent of aftermarket operations cited technician availability as one of the three biggest challenges they face in their business. That number was distantly followed by keeping abreast of new industry technology and competition from dealers.

Most distributor responders say they have started recruiting at high school and tech schools in an effort to combat their staffing problems.

Responders also showed significant concern over low-cost and quality components in the write-in section of the survey.

Nearly two dozen distributors specifically mentioned the importance of aftermarket distribution remaining committed to high-quality brands and product lines. These responders opined that customer perceptions of the independent aftermarket are weakened when the independent aftermarket begins touting products that don’t meet industry standards and expectations.

Says one responder, “More and more people are less interested in quality and more interested in the upfront cost of an item — even when that cheaper item will end up costing them more in the long run. The ‘race to the bottom’ pricing mentality is very bad for the industry overall.”

To return to January’s Truck Parts & Service cover story on the state of the independent aftermarket, please CLICK HERE.

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