Nowadays, when you ask for a VIN, a production code or any other detail necessary to finalize parts lookup, often the customer ends up taking a picture of the item in question and sharing it with you – no words needed.
“I just read that question on an industry magazine cover this year, and it made me refocus on one of my first-learned family business practices: homegrown data mining,” writes Mandy Aguilar.
In Havana, a scrap yard becomes a treasure chest.
“I often feel like I’m wearing two hats: one as a sales guy and one as a scientist observing our clients,” writes Mandy Aguilar.
The problem started when one of our technicians figured a customer’s sombrero was just too special and decided to play with it. He did put it back; but not before an epic grease smudge was applied to its extra-wide brim.
By some estimates, within the next 25 years, cars per household will decline by 50 percent, while average miles driven per vehicle will increase significantly. You see, when cars begin to drive themselves we will need less of them, and they will drive a lot more than we ever did.
My jobs often reward me in the most unforeseen ways, but by far the best rewards are when you connect with customers and peers at a profound personal level.
Still, this month’s column is not about our financial woes; instead, I wanted to share a great story about Puerto Rico that has thundered across the Internet. It’s the story of Kevin Blandford, a 34-year-old from Kentucky, who back in March visited our island on an all-expenses-paid trip that should have been the stuff of dreams; instead, it became his most miserable trip ever.
Over the years, I have met thousands of customers that bought auto parts from me. Some are great at procuring, others are good at logistics, yet again many have the right location; however, lately I have been collaborating with several customers that are really good at something else: graphic design.
Soon the makers of Oreos will install ultra-smart shelves near checkout counters that can scan your facial expressions and determine general demographic details about yourself like gender and approximate age. The automotive aftermarket could learn from this.
Like all great gangs, our members have code names, and while our names might seem ominous and savage, they are more often a reflection of our one truly unifying characteristic: our sense of humor. Yes, we have a deeply rooted desire to have fun while trying to sell as many auto parts as we can.
To sell auto parts, we all need broken cars and trucks, and Cuba has more cars junked than running — the problem for us is that they are just not the right cars. We simply don’t have the parts for them.