The year of learning new things

Where constant market change meets rigorous competition, conditions are right for research.

Happy 2019!

We are well into a whole new year. Was 2018 a breeze, or did it pose some challenges? Do you plan to be comfortable this year? Don’t hit autopilot just yet. No matter how long you’ve been in the business -- whether a few months or a few decades -- there’s always something new to discover. 

As it turns out, a learning mindset helps to push us out of our comfort zone. It helps us to strive, (sometimes fail) and yes, succeed.

For this month’s cover story Associate Editor Vesna Brajkovic joined Cornwell Tools dealer Vito Abbinante on the road for an up-close look at his business, his customers and his outlook on life. The ASE-certified technician-turned-tool dealer sells lots of product, from boxes to scanners. Not just in-the-know about sales, Abbinante’s a sponge in all areas of the business. This includes gaining input and perspective from those around him. He encourages others to do the same.

“My tip for any dealer would be to become friends with other dealers and talk to them on a daily basis,” Abbinante says.

His colleague Bob Jarso, for example, has been in the tool business for 40 years, and Abbinante says his advice is invaluable.

“He’s seen a lot, he’s heard a lot … you know, it’s experience,” Abbinante says. “He’s been a big help.”

Abbinante also gives a lot of credit to Cornwell’s franchise support.

We are constantly learning and changing here at Professional Distributor, too. We depend on your feedback, knowledge and experience to help us produce a magazine that’s as informative as it is fun to read.

That said, this is the first issue featuring our new column that’s all about diagnostics. ASE Master Technician Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver has been in the industry for quite some time, turning wrenches and teaching about new automotive technology. This month’s column focuses on what shop owners would do well to consider when it comes to ADAS calibration equipment. Next month’s piece will educate about TPMS. We hope Gonzo’s insight, combined with our regular Product Training and new product sections, can help you navigate the ins and outs of new repair technology in the field.

Finally, I’d like to bida fond farewell to contributor Phil Sasso. Sasso dispensed helpful sales and marketing advice in his Sales Q&A and Better Business & Sales columns for a number of years. He will continue to work and write in the automotive tool industry. Over the course of his years writing for PD Sasso has no doubt inspired countless discussions, provided thoughtful insight on current issues and even sparked a bit of happiness. He has been an invaluable teacher to me, and for that I am thankful. Phil, I wish you all the best.

The truth is, we’re always learning -- not just for one class or one new job -- but all the time. In today’s world, learning is nonstop. Each new year brings its own challenges and opportunities. We can respond to both by seeking valued resources, and continuing to find innovative ways to implement the knowledge we discover.

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