It's Time To Partner For Profit
A recent conversation with an executive from a major 12-volt manufacturer was illuminating. He stated that the do-it-yourselfer is no longer a staple of our industry and that today's younger consumer does not want to be bothered with installing his own product. That might be true in some markets, but it's certainly not true in all. By believing in that type of statement, though, manufacturers are sending a message that our industry is no longer fun or relevant to the demographic that built our business. Instead, manufacturers should focus on re-engaging that do-it-yourselfer, who inevitably pushes more business to our sales floors and install bays.
In another conversation, a retailer complained that one of his key suppliers had put another account in his market where he had once enjoyed an exclusive dealership. When pressed for details, though, the dealer said his sales for the line in question had declined in recent years. He explained that he had brought in two competing lines to prevent his competition from obtaining those lines.
Those two conversations show that in today's economic environment, it is incumbent upon all of us to examine all sides of business and respect the needs and wants of all involved parties. At the end of the day, we all have the same goals. To get there, the disconnect between the 12-volt specialty retailer and the manufacturers must be addressed. It is not reasonable to believe that we can return to "the good old days." It's time for a new approach.