AASA Technology Council hosts record setting fall conference

The 2012 Fall Conference of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association Technology Council (ATC), held Oct. 14-16, attracted a record-setting crowd of automotive and heavy duty professionals for vital discussions of technology priorities.

“I’m not sure which was the best aspect of this incredible event,” said Dave Haley, vice president of operations for Cloyes Gear. “Our team loved the networking with other technology professionals, the high level of content, the contribution by sponsors or the open discussions during the manufacturer-only sessions.”

Conference attendees included professionals working at automotive aftermarket suppliers responsible for their company’s customer service, business support, e-commerce, information services, cataloging, forecasting, supply chain, EDI, IT/IS and Web services. The event provided manufacturers, channel partners and technology solution providers a forum for sharing best practices, learning about cutting edge technologies and networking.

Among the top-rated sessions at the conference were presentations by Brent Windom, senior vice president, sales and marketing, USA Uni-Select; David P. Ortega , director of electronic catalog systems, O'Reilly Auto Parts; and Steve Gould, vice president of information systems, Auto-Wares Inc. These representatives of major automotive aftermarket customers shared their perspectives on the future of technology in the aftermarket, special ordering technology and the importance of quality data.

Other highlights included:

  • Breakout sessions for roundtable discussions of topics specific to heavy duty and automotive manufacturers;
  • Discussion of technology priorities in the aftermarket as depicted by the ATC’s recent “IT Spend & Trends” survey results; and
  • Robust discussion during a panel on the growing use of mobile apps in the aftermarket.

“We were blown away by the comments about the quality and relevance of the fall conference this year,” said Chris Gardner, AASA vice president and event organizer. “The feedback clearly demonstrates the importance of technology professionals in the aftermarket and the need to share ideas among peers and with business managers. Our 2012 theme, ‘The Intersection of Business and Technology’ truly resonated with the event’s attendees, presenters and sponsors.”

Pricedex Software was the premier sponsor of the 2012 ATC Fall Conference, held in Marco Island, Fla. Polk sponsored the welcome reception; and Experian Automotive sponsored the luncheon. Elite sponsors were: Aftermarket Analytics, ANX, Corcentric, Datalliance, Epicor, GCommerce, Infor, InterTrade, MAM Software, Nu-Way Automotive, OptiCat, ShowMeTheParts.com, SRS Insight, TecDoc and WHI.