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David Prater: Many Network Members Seeing ‘Double-Digit Growth’

From the June issue of Counterman, here’s our Q&A with David Prater, president of the Automotive Distribution Network.

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In our 2019 Midyear Distribution Update in the June issue of Counterman, aftermarket leaders reflect on their first-half successes and look ahead to second-half opportunities.

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Here’s our Q&A with David Prater, president of the Automotive Distribution Network:

CM: We’re at the halfway point of 2019. Could you reflect on The Network’s accomplishments and highlights from the first half of the year? 

DP: This year has started off in a big way. Many of our members are seeing double-digit growth. As for the group as a whole, we have brought in several new members to both the Auto Pride and Parts Plus divisions, adding to our ability to service national accounts and provide better availability for not only our brick and mortar customers but our e-commerce programs as well.

CM: What kinds of challenges and opportunities are you seeing in
aftermarket distribution this year? 

DP: In my opinion, challenges are opportunities. Information technology continues to be a driving force for our business, and we find that developing and utilizing those tools not only keeps us in the game but also is a big differentiating factor for our members. We are proud of the work the Auto Care Association is doing to keep our industry healthy with shared-data legislation, and that is a primary area we continue to work diligently to support.

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CM: What’s on The Network’s agenda for the second half of the year? 

DP: E-commerce is a big item for us and getting bigger. The ability we have to show combined inventory availability from our entire membership in one place is giving us exciting new opportunities with fulfillment partners. We have our Fall CEO Meeting coming up at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, where we will unveil several new initiatives to our members and our key vendors. Stay tuned!

CM: Anything you’d like to add?   

DP: Every year we all say the market is changing, and as always that is the constant. We continue to question everything, try new avenues and embrace and capitalize on those changes. This is an exciting time for our business, and we are glad to be in the thick of it.

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