By Marty Hollingshead • ARA President
It’s July as I write this, and that’s gotten me to thinking: Are you ready for tomorrow? I learned long ago, the best time to get ready for anything is before you need to. When is the best time to get ready for winter? Answer: In July. When is the best time to get ready for summer? Answer: In January. While this may not seem to make sense, let me explain. By taking this approach, you have time to think things through, plan and prepare for what is coming.
The same thing can be said about inventory. The best time to buy inventory is when you don’t need it. If you wait until you do need it, it’s important to remember that so does everyone else. So, to get what you need right now, you usually have to overpay. But it’s important to be prepared, be able to realize what is coming and be ready for it before it is upon you.
Challenges That We are Facing Now
Electric vehicles: How are electric vehicles going to change our business model? Whether you realize it or not, your business model will have to change. What parts will we be able to sell off of these vehicles? How will we be able to safely dismantle them, and how will we be able to stay relevant and viable as an industry? These are questions you will be required to know.
The OEMs are making a big shift to electric vehicles, and the mindset from what I have seen from all of the players in this new industry is that they are developing the technology first, and then trying to figure out how to manage it later.
I can honestly say, from what I have seen, that in this new frontier, which I refer to as the “Wild Wild West,” I believe ARA is well ahead of the game than most others.
Environmental compliance and regulatory issues: If you look at the news, everyone is talking about the environment and climate change. Rules and regulations are going to change, and this will affect us also. So, with being faced with all of this, what do we do and who can we turn to?
The answer is ARA University. This is your best resource for training and certification. This is just one of the many benefits of being a member of ARA. We have a great training and certification program, which covers safety, environmental compliance, and also covers how to safely dismantle and process the new electric vehicles.
The other answer to that question: ARA’s annual convention and your state show. ARA’s convention time is nearing and we are very excited about what we have to offer for our 79th Annual Convention & Expo in Orlando. We have a great lineup of speakers, industry leaders and vendors, as well as networking opportunities and learning from others about the challenges we are about to face and how we can turn these into opportunities to make our businesses better.
I realize that to attend these conferences is a commitment of time away from our businesses, as well as an expense, but what needs to be realized is that this is an investment to keep your business relevant and viable in the future.
While some may say “I can’t find the time,” or “I can’t afford to attend,” I say, “You can’t afford not to.”
The time to get ready for what is facing us in the future is now.
The place to get what you need will be in Orlando at ARA’s 79th Annual Convention & Expo.
Come and learn from your peers on how to make your business the best it can be.
Marty Hollingshead has been in the auto recycling business since 1973 and is the owner of Northlake Auto Recyclers, Inc., Hammond, Indiana, since 1984. Marty is on the ARA Executive Committee, currently serving as President. He is a board member of the Indiana Automotive Recyclers Association. Both Marty and Northlake have received numerous awards and recognition for excellence in the industry and the community. Reach Marty at 219-937-3960 or visit www.narparts.com.