According to Doug Reinert from PARTS, “The event went great! It was a very successful show with 56 attendees from 25 facilities and 14 vendors at the tradeshow. Attendees were very receptive to the educational information presented, and our survey yielded great responses in regards to the subject matter. Thanks to our vendors and speakers who helped to educate us on the latest and greatest and made the event a huge success!”
Saturday morning began with a tour of Dorman Products’ facility, but unfortunately, the HPI Car Part Wash demo had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. Reinert said that during the tour, “We learned a lot, including how they identify issues with OEM parts. It was very informative.”
When the tour ended at 11 a.m., the tradeshow opened for three hours, giving attendees a chance to visit booths and learn about the products offered by the exhibitors in attendance. This year’s vendors included Dorman Products, MCI Core, SAS Forks, HPI Processes, Pinnacle, Electric Guard Dog, Keystone Alliance Insurance Services, Car-Part.com, Buddy Automotive, Crush U Pull It Software, Phoenix Automotive Cores, JB Core, Rebuilders Automotive Supply, Premium Car Solution, and G J Sullivan Company. Reinert noted, “The quality of the vendors and buyers was good, and vendors were pleased with the turnout.”
The educational portion of the event began at 2 p.m. with “What to Do When the Investigators Come Knockin’: Do You Start Talkin’ or Tell Them to Keep Walkin’” presented by Barbara Zemlock, partner in the law firm of Perry, Shore, Weisenberger & Zemlock. In addition to addressing your rights when law enforcement knocks at your door, Zemlock provided best practices and strategies when dealing with law enforcement in various situations. Simultaneously, Sue Schauls, Environmental and Safety Consultant with the Iowa Certified Automotive Recyclers Environmental (I-CARE) program presented “Prescription for Safety,” offering a simple approach to developing a strong safety program to meet all OSHA Haz Comm, MSDS/SDS and labeling requirements by current deadlines.
Next, “How Social Media, Customer Service and Extended Warranties Will Increase Your Bottom Line” was presented by Theresa Colbert, Sales and Training Specialist for Car-Part.com, and this seminar covered interacting with customers through social media as well as online ratings and advertising. She also explained why competitors offer extended warranties and why attendees should do the same. At the same time, Brian Seltzer from Premium Card Solutions presented “Winning Chargebacks and Avoiding Scams” in which he focused on how to manage credit cards to limit exposure to fraud and comebacks, things sales teams should be aware of to avoid being scammed, new smart cars laws and their impacts on businesses, and how the PARTS credit card program can help businesses.
The final three segments were offered during the same time slot, allowing attendees to choose between Sue Schauls’ “Hazmat Shipping Certification,” Theresa Colbert’s “Retrain Your Brain and Retain Your Customers,” and “Safety Orientation – Star Insurance Company” with GE Risk Management’s Principal Consultant Ken Librizzi. Schauls’ seminar provided the classroom certificate required for non-deployed airbag and seatbelt pretensioners, while Colbert’s topics included how brokering trusted yards raises profits without capital, why “the way we used to do it” no longer works, and how to have what customers want through aftermarket brokering. “Safety Orientation” covered basics of safety leadership and risk management and also provided attendees with website resources.
Reinert explained that the main purpose of the PARTS event was to "provide education for business owners and their employees. Our sessions focused on thinking outside the box, helped attendees stay current on industry trends, and provided compliance updates. Every segment of our industry was addressed in the seminars. Of course, the opportunity to network is also a big attraction; with virtually all business being conducted online, it's nice to meet face-to-face, and our event provided an opportunity for industry professionals to gather and share ideas one-on-one."
After the educational sessions, attendees enjoyed an evening of networking at PARTS' Go-Cart Racing and Social Event, held at Speed Raceway in Horsham, PA where attendees engaged in some friendly competition on the track.
Reinert said that association-sponsored events are important to the industry because "it adds validity to the educational sessions and legitimacy to the vendors. It shows the benefit for attendees by demonstrating that the association is looking out for its members, and attendees always walk away with more than they arrived with. This year's event went better than planned. Because the event was hosted in a single facility, the entire group was together all day, encouraging lots of open dialogue.” Altogether, Reinert noted that the PARTS event flowed really well.