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Welcome to the Automotive Service Business Network

Or, for better clarity,

Welcome to the Web Center of the Automotive Aftermarket, Service Sector, British Columbia

We know how huge the automotive aftermarket is. But, when you talk to corporate and industry analysis groups or specialists, the automotive aftermarket has been relegated to parts only. (Type 'automotive aftermarket' into your favorite search engine and see the results to get my point.)

Here is a recent U.S. statistical analysis example of the health of the aftermarket industry: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/us-automotive-aftermarket. Nowhere does it even mention automotive repair centers. Do they think that vehicle owners have solely purchased these billions of dollars of parts to fix their own cars? I don't think so.

I did find one website that, according to the Channel Forecast Model from the Auto Care Association and AASA, the DIY (Do It Yourself) market accounts for approximately 20% of the total market by parts purchases, and the DIFM (Do It For Me) market accounts for the remaining 80%. 

Okay, there's a small shot of reality, but they even messed that up. What the heck is DIFM? Is that supposed to be better than 'grease monkies'?

I don't know about you, but I totally disagree with their 'alternate reality' and take issue with their assumption that they can convince everyone that the parts manufacturing industry is the main driving force of the total Automotive Aftermarket. In fact, their production numbers are totally based on the market's demand, and that's certainly not from the 20% DIY's.

As a dedicated automotive repair and service professional, you are a major contributor to the Automotive Aftermarket. In fact, you are the sole reason there is an Automotive Aftermarket industry in the first place. It is all 'supply and demand,' and it is through your needs that the demand is set, which starts all these supply wheels in motion.

But we're not alone.

There are other sectors—education, training, tooling, and product distributors, just to name a few—that are equally key ingredients that make up the total automotive aftermarket. Many are industries within themselves, and many are support services, but all of them share common dependencies;

  • Their businesses are commercial in nature and less dependent on the general consumer. Most are commercial only.
  • There are very few marketing avenues they can utilize to connect with their commercial customers
  • Most recognize their market depends on the health and needs of their retail business customers  

Now, every single aftermarket business requires income and profits. That's why they call it business. But where does that money ultimately come from? 

Okay, let's follow the money.

Most commercial businesses owe their income to other commercial businesses within this network. So, it doesn't take much research to trace the tree to its original source. 

The general consumer is the origin source of funding that ultimately supports this vast and complex network, and only one sector is fully responsible for bridging the gap between retail and commercial.

That is the Automotive Repair and Service industry.

It's time for a new marketing viewpoint.

Industry Graph

Since all roads of the aftermarket lead to the service sector, one would assume there would be a strong relationship among all participants. Well, there is none.

Read. We are at the Core of the Automotive Aftermarket for more information on this topic.

From the beginning, all participants worked hard to build their local and regional markets by developing close relationships with their commercial customers in the service sector. The field representatives applied resource tools such as product training, customer support, warranty issues, inventory management, service tips, and resources, along with the occasional gossip. This, in turn, developed business and brand loyalties and resulted in strong market shares. 

This may have been an antiquated system, but it was all we had, and it worked for the most part.

Then, through cost-cutting measures just to stay in business and the promise of unlimited customers worldwide, most commercial product manufacturers and service suppliers decided to significantly reduce their field sales and service force, which were replaced with public websites. This was a major shift in their marketing process that has proven to have had a negative effect on their market shares and customer confidence. Then came the Covid epidemic, which sealed the doors to this decision. This also sealed the fate of too many of our industry suppliers and local business service providers who do not have the resources to build an alternative marketing process. 

Read Where Have All Our Reps Gone? for more on this topic.

The lure of the World Wide Web information superhighway is unmistakable, but it has proven to be fully governed by the general consumer worldwide. Creating our own niche dedicated to commercial enterprises may appear impossible, especially when you also factor in the sheer immensity of the Automotive Industry.

Let's take a closer look.

  1. We, on the front line, service the retail public within our individual communities. But behind the scenes, many ingredients need to come together to make this possible: training, tooling, products, and services, just to name a few. All these ingredients are commercial in nature and are hard to find in a consumer-driven marketplace if they are there at all. All the suppliers of these commercial ingredients, on the other hand, need to connect with their commercial audiences. But they, too, need to navigate within this consumer marketplace. 
  2. All businesses, commercial suppliers, and retail services are of a known quantity. 
  3. All businesses are governed by the markets in which they operate. Small businesses depend on local markets, and regional markets govern large ones. 
  4. All businesses, commercial and consumer, rely on each other.

Creating a platform specifically for the Automotive Aftermarket is not a far-fetched idea; it is a necessity. The problem is that we have based our failed attempts to connect and do business with our commercial industry within a consumer-based market, which is simply not working.

We Need To Generate and Carve Our Own Path.

The obvious irony is that the commercial and consumer business worlds are two sides of the same coin, but they have moved far apart, and each requires the resources only the other offers. Since that is true, we need to create a new path that is separate from the public realm to allow everyone to focus on their commercial needs. 

Here are some common questions; 

Q: So, what do we need?

A: Our primary need is a structured center where all stakeholders can connect in a semi-private, commercial environment.

Q: Who are the stakeholders?

A: Anyone with a vested interest or career in the Automotive Aftermarket, from product manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers and employees to writers, educators, and even students.  

Q: Since that's a wide range of participants, what would be the control limiter?

A: That would be the market region. Only those who are focused on this market region would benefit from and, therefore, qualify to participate in this endeavor.

Q: What would be the core of managing and securing such a complex platform?

A: Simple: an INTRANET. (Not to be confused with the Internet)

For those who are not in the know, an intranet is a private network contained within an enterprise, using existing internet tools, that securely shares company information and computing resources among employees. It can also be used to work in groups and teleconferences. Intranets encourage communication within an organization.

This system has existed since 1997 and has been primarily used by large companies and corporations as a secure system to connect their divisions and various internal business levels. We will use this system, but on a much grander scale, to connect all industries and individuals.  

Q: Who stands to benefit the most? 

A: That's a simple answer: No one and everyone within the Automotive Aftermarket.

Q: Who will be taking the lead? One sector must be the face of this network.

A: Since all roads lead to the automotive service sector, it's logical that this sector be the central point.

Q: What are the fees for becoming part of this INTRANET?

A: We are already part of the Automotive Aftermarket, so there are no additional fees for this focused platform. All that is required is to complete the registration form for approval. Every registrant will be vetted for authenticity to help ensure our privacy and security from the open internet. 

 

There is no shortage of suggestions and ideas on what our industry needs in order to be better and more efficient. There is also no shortage of resources and willingness to communicate with each other. The problem has always been getting these messages to those who would most benefit and within a market where it makes sense. 

What we now have is a vehicle that can deliver.

This is a central communications network that focuses on the total Automotive Aftermarket Industry. Every individual can build personal or group connections within any or all sectors so we can do business, discuss and solve issues, or simply have a conversation. 

This is a resource warehouse where everyone can share and contribute tips and resources to improve our lives and jobs.

It is market-specific. Our livelihood is focused on our individual communities here, which means any and all things that have a direct effect on us within our communities are the priority. 

This is our path, built not only for our needs but also by us from within this industry. Plus, since this is our own platform, we can adapt it to wherever our needs take us. 

Welcome to the Automotive Service Business Network 

As a community network, we can work together to fix almost anything. Personally, I'm tired of waiting for someone else to do what we know we can do ourselves.

So, If you haven't joined the network yet, sign up now. All are Welcome.