Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor.

Denise Rondini, Aftermarket Editor. 

It’s that time of year when suppliers, distributors and service providers all gather to talk to each other, share best practices and to discuss the future of the heavy-duty aftermarket. I’ll be there too, at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, January 26-29 in Las Vegas.

There’s lots of time for networking and for seeing what’s new from industry suppliers. There are also several education sessions:

• Relationship Strategies for Building Customer and Employee Loyalty

• Leadership Best Practices for the “New” Supply Chain

• Evaluating Sales Systems Using Analytics and CRM

• The High Performance Selling Edge.

While aimed at distributors, these also have relevancy for fleets. This seems especially true for the session on the supply chain. Since you’re such a big part of the supply chain, you could probably benefit from some information on best practices.

There's an old adage: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.

Fleets don’t typically attend Aftermarket Week, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. There’s an old adage: If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. If some of the important players in the industry are getting together to share ideas and talk about the future, you need to make sure they are aware of your concerns.

I’ll be at the show and will report what I learn, but I strongly encourage you to talk to your suppliers, distributors and service provider partners about what’s keeping you awake at night. Who knows, maybe in their discussions at HDAW, they can come up with some solutions that will make your life just a little bit easier. It’s a given that if they don’t know what’s wrong, they can’t help fix it.

Heavy Duty Distribution Dialogue takes places just before HDAW, and it, too, has lots of good content:

• The Evolving Role of eCommerce in the Aftermarket

• How Changing Service Patterns Are Affecting the Aftermarket

• Economic Overview: The Fundamental Drivers of the Industry

• The Evolution of Distribution: Not Your Father’s Aftermarket.

I am particularly excited about that last session, because I am moderating a panel of OEM and supplier representatives. I’m in the process of putting together a list of questions for them to respond to, so if there is something on your mind, send me an email and I will add it to the list.

And while you’re in the sharing mood, let me know what issues you’d like to see me explore in this space. Recognizing the significant role parts and service plays in your fleet’s success, we are expanding Aftermarket: The Fleet Perspective to 12 times a year.There’s a lot going on in the aftermarket, from the emergence of integrated drivetrains to the growth of remanufacturing, to continued consolidation, to the proliferation of private label parts. All of these issues and more have a big impact on your operation, and we at Heavy Duty Trucking want to make sure that you not only have the latest information, but also that we are addressing the issues that are the greatest importance to you.

So let me know what’s troubling you, and I’ll do my best to get answers that will help you sleep at night.