The annual North American Service Benchmark (NASB) is a forum for participating OEMs to examine trends in automotive service, establish metrics to measure their performance, and share best practices with one another. Today, NASB boasts 21 automotive brands, with the conference bringing together 150 participants, covering more than 10 topics across two days.
Although our industry has seen enormous warehouse benefits from human-centric improvements, the improving cost and flexibility of automation demand a closer look. Automation can solve three problems: footprint, headcount, and throughput. However, these may not all be possible from the same installation. First, this session will cover how OEMs have implemented (or have considered implementing) automation in their warehouses, providing a baseline for what everyone is doing in this space and their key lessons learned. For the middle portion of the Focus Day, we’d explore bringing in outside experts and/or vendors in the automation space to share what they have to offer as well as trends they see in the industry. Finally, the group of OEM participants will close the session with a debrief on what was learned from the day and key next steps.
Topics like wholesale support are tough to cover at Ducker Carlisle conferences because they often span parts and service, and depending on the company’s organization structure, can be owned by one or the other group. This means they make ideal Focus Days because OEMs can send attendees from across their organization. This year’s Wholesale Support Focus Day will focus on Mechanical Wholesale – which refers to all the bulk service-related genuine products sold to independent repair facilities, chains, resellers, and fleets. The focus day will cover a mix of sales and marketing, program structures, reporting, fulfillment, and customer support topics designed to improve OEM understanding of the latest in wholesale and how to grow the business and cut costs. Collision Wholesale will be out of scope for this event so that we can get an even deeper view into Mechanical Wholesale topics.
- Who manages Wholesale in the organization?
- How does wholesale performance change or differ depending on its management?
- What is current market share and what are OEMs doing to improve share?
- What are the biggest opportunities and risks to wholesale as a business model?
- Case studies on marketing programs, fulfillment, and customer support in areas such as marketing campaigns, fulfillment models, and dealer training and support
Beginning with a focus purely on warehouse operations, NAPB has since expanded to cover various topics across the supply chain, including transportation and logistics, sales and marketing, enterprise solutions, and more. Today, NAPB includes 30 member companies representing all the major motor vehicle sectors, including automotive, truck & engine, construction & agriculture equipment, and powersports OEMs.
Retail Inventory Management (RIM) is a critical business tool used by most OEMs in the industry – it is key to achieving high dealer off-the-shelf fill and ultimately, end-customer satisfaction. For this reason, the RIM Focus Day is the only one that we conduct on an annual basis, with participants continuing to see significant value in the increasingly detailed discussion. Due to the expansive and detailed nature of the topics covered at this focus day, it takes place over 2 days, as opposed to our normal single day offering. Exact topics vary each year depending on OEM interest levels, but typically cover items such as:
- Overview and updates on each OEM’s system
- Detailed functionality deep-dives
- System demos
- Next generation technologies
Each year, we gather supply chain leaders for two meetings – at the conference in the spring, and then about six months later at this Focus Day. Unlike our traditional Focus Days, this session is a more free-flowing discussion amongst OEM participants, with Carlisle facilitators guiding the discussion. The scope of this Focus Day is limited to a few key topics, in order to drive deeper discussion and more meaningful, actionable insights. Specific topics for this Focus Day will be driven by executive input following the NAPB conference. This Focus Day answers questions such as:
- What keeps OEM executives up at night
- What are the new “hot topics” that will be impacting our industry in the next several years?
- How are OEMs planning for these impacts?
- How are OEMs handling a world in which there are so few parts out there to sell?