HDAW Preview: The Challenge of Maintaining a Competitive Advantage

Date: January 16, 2018

Truck Parts and Service Magazine

There are a lot of reasons to attend an industry event, yet when it comes to takeaways, most people’s goals are always the same: You go to events to learn how to improve your business.

At Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) next week in Las Vegas, Tuesday’s Aftermarket Briefings educational session was clearly developed with takeaways in mind. The event will feature presentations by Colin Gold, Thomas Nestor and Jim Pancero. Each speaker will have 20 minutes to address one aspect the week’s ‘People, Partners, Profit’ theme with short, snappy, content-rich presentations developed with clear takeaways for the aftermarket audience to bring home and implement in their operations.

In his role as the Profit expert during Aftermarket Briefings, Pancero is excited to hit the stage.

Unlike his fellow presenters, Pancero comes to HDAW with aftermarket experience. The National Speakers’ Hall of Famer has conducted more than 3,100 speeches and seminars in his career, and likes to say he’s “big in the HDG markets – heavy, dirty and greasy.”

A past presenter at CVSN, VIPAR Heavy Duty and GenNext events (with more of the latter scheduled in April), Pancero says his upcoming HDAW presentation will address the three most dominant changes impacting profitability in business today: generational changes in the workforce; the entrance point for sales professionals into a customer’s decision-making process; and the definition of what now constitutes a competitive advantage in business.

In the industries where he works Pancero says most executives are aware of these changes but have yet to determine the best way to deal with them. He says that hesitation, while understandable, can be catastrophic to a bottom line. Once a company’s competitive advantage is lost, sales erosion regularly follows.

“Everyone is working so hard on things yet they’re not always working on the right things,” he says.

But Pancero admits change is extremely hard. Evolving a businesses’ focus toward the “right things” takes open and committed leadership. “I believe the future profitability and success of any distributor business is based on what its leadership does now more than what any of its people will do.”

Pancero says he will devote a major portion of next week’s presentation to addressing steps business leaders can take to evaluate their businesses and how they may need to change. He says he won’t be able to cover everything – he’d need days to do that – but if he can illuminate the importance of change, and the risks and problems with the status quo, he believes his message will reach the audience.

“I believe there have been more changes in selling over the last few years than there has been through my entire career,” Pancero says. “We are talking major disruptions and change.”

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