Old school vs new school. Car paint traders business through generations.

by Alexander Aslamazis

We will all agree that a bodyshop professional, a painter, a body shop manager or a panel beater, must work hard to keep up with modern technology, new materials and techniques. However, we often forget that the same applies to the paint suppliers (or jobbers as their are called in the US) even to a greater extent.

Have you noticed that many car paint traders are detached from the industry? Many of them rely mainly on the “old baggage” of knowledge, which is outdated. Meanwhile things in the car refinishing industry have changed a lot. Materials have advanced, equipment has improved dramatically and promotion and advertising are miles away from what it used to be.

    Nevertheless, many paint suppliers simply dust off their ancient training certificates. It may sound rough, but a great number of automotive refinish supply shops have no reason for existence anymore.

    My intention is not to insult but to urge every trader to wake up! Don’t just sit waiting for the next customer to walk in. There may not be any left soon. Instead, get involved, visit exhibitions, participate in seminars, and use all of the new means of networking and communication (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook or industry forums). And the most important, ask yourself a simple question: What is your added value to your customers? How do you help (not paint company rep) your customers to get more business and better profit? If the answer doesn’t come easy, than it is time for real action. Spring is just the perfect time to rethink your business practices and to move forward! Many car paint suppliers face real problems simply because they provide no service to their customers. Simply being a delivery point is not enough, unless you think of switching from trade to mere logistics provider…


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