Article > Opinion

Technology Solutions

By Jon S. Owens

Technology will be at the forefront of everything you do in the coming years, and this magazine pledges to keep you up to date on its application and use.

This month we kick-off a new year for Counterman magazine, and in many ways this could be our biggest and most exciting year ever. Market changes are taking place that will have an impact on how your informational needs will be met. Without going in to too much detail, I can tell you that technology will be at the forefront of everything you do in 2008 and beyond.

Technology will come in the form of how you manage and operate your businesses, track your inventories, find your parts and find the information you need to be better at what you do. It’s technology in the form of how you train yourselves and your employees, how you manage your relationships with your customers and how your customers find and order products from you — and you from your suppliers. Technology will have the single most influential impact on your day-to-day business activities and tasks like it never has before. And, we’re here to help!

Beginning this month, we are publishing a series of technology articles. Some will be written by our regular contributors and staff, while others will feature new contributors and special guest contributors that hold a level of expertise in the technology world. The articles will run in 10 issues this year (starting this month). As always, we will have our annual Technology Issue in July, where we feature enhanced coverage of the technology world along with special  features from technology companies and suppliers.

At the forefront of the technology realm is the e-catalog. It’s easily the lifeblood of every parts store. Nothing boils parts professional’s blood more than missed sales due to insufficient and/or incomplete e-catalog systems. As our series unfolds, we hope to shed some light on the e-catalog conundrum, while offering up some potential solutions. But, we won’t stop there. We’ll look in to VIN lookup systems, relational database systems that tie manufacturer’s product information together and delivery navigation systems that enable stores to accurately track and monitor their delivery route drivers. Plus much, much more.

It’s clear that for our industry to succeed we must become much more efficient at accurately identifying and delivering the correct parts for our customers. Only the best, most robust and most invested technologies will enable us to do that. We must all agree to march strongly forward in becoming a more seamless, more open and more technologically savvy industry. If we don’t, other entities with stronger performing technologies to support them will take market share away from our traditional two- and three-step systems. As an industry we will survive and thrive, or die, based on our ability to quickly enhance, upgrade and implement the most efficient and effective technological support available. We must demand better and more effective technological support, tailored to the demands and challenges of our market, and we must aggressively implement those systems as soon as we find and develop them.

Our investment in and commitment to the technology that will drive our businesses will be the leading indicator of our long term success or failure. Here at Counterman, we will be with you, helping as best we can every step of the way. 

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