Overcoming obstacles for opportunities

When it comes to overcoming obstacles, we are forced to either beat it or give in. Whether it’s dealing with the competition, market changes or our own personalities, we find challenges everywhere we turn.

There’s a coming obstacle/opportunity for distributors because of the economy, according to “Aftermarket Insight” by Jim Lang, president of Lang Marketing Resources Inc.

Lang said, “At mid-year 2008, there were nearly 45,000 fewer car and light-truck service bays in the U.S. than 10 years earlier.” Yet we have a growing population of cars and light trucks on the road that are also getting older.

In 10 years, the average number of vehicles per bay has increased from under 160 to more than 200. And that number will continue to increase.

“The closing of more than 2,000 car dealers during 2009 will reduce the number of bays by nearly 30,000,” Lang said. And the dealer bays tend to be the “most productive and technically advanced bays.”

The obstacle is not only dealing with the loss of dealerships on many tool routes across the country, but with selling in busier environments as those vehicles go to other shops. But that’s also an important chance to improve sales.

“This amounts to big opportunities for tool and equipment suppliers … [to] increase the efficiency and maximize the productivity of technicians in the aftermarket’s shrinking number of service bays,” Lang said.

As most philosophers and life coaches will tell you, every obstacle provides opportunity.