By Michael Carcone
With the summer ending and November quickly approaching, this means only one thing to many hundreds of thousands of car enthusiasts and auto professionals. It’s that time of year for arguably the biggest and best automotive-and-accessory-related expo in
North America: the SEMA Show.
To some, SEMA is the exposition of choice to walk through and take in all of the latest and greatest cars, accessories, equipment and gear on display. To others, it is the place to see and be seen—to showcase new product, network, meet new customers and build professional relationships that will help bring exhibitors to the next level of success. To me, the event is all of the above, and then some.
IN THE DETAILS
Yes, I am a car guy but not in the same sense as others attending the show. You see, when I look at a car I look at it differently from the way most people would. When I see a vehicle, I see it broken down into hundreds of parts and products, and I ask myself what can these parts do to affect the way I do business as an auto recycler. I see a vehicle not for its value as a whole, but rather its value in its many separate pieces and parts.
Over the past few years, I have begun to see how the ever-evolving industry and changes in the construction of the automobile itself is affecting the very way we do business. From body styles to suspension and braking, and from wheels to advanced technology, everything requires the willingness to adapt, change and refocus. By attending SEMA, event-goers and industry stakeholders can get an up close and personal look at the changes set to come down the line years from now, and even those just on the horizon.
Recently, the trend has revolved around new technologies. First it was the sound systems, then it was front and rear bumper sensors. Then came rear and front view cameras, and now it is crash avoidance and even self-driving, or autonomous cars. Staying informed on how and why cars are changing, and working to keep up with new trends are all key to kick starting and determining the changes I will need to make in my own business.
I ask myself questions like:
- Will I need to look at more indoor storage?
- Will the new vehicle require a new process to dismantle?
- Will I have the proper equipment to dismantle the vehicle, and will mysta have the right training to deal with the new products and vehicles?
- On top of all of this, will I have adequate access to the right information when it comes to inventorying some the new products and parts on today’s cars?
These are just a few things that spring to mind when I walk the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor. When I look back at the earlier years, the questions were similar, but they were questions that would change annually—or at best, semi-annually.
With today’s technological advancements and dramatic shifts, staying on top of these critical changes has become necessary on an almost monthly or even daily basis, which is becoming increasingly difficult. Some of the answers to my questions come easily, and are controllable in the sense that I can make the changes that I believe will help keep my staff and I up-to-date and moving in the right direction.
Other questions that are not as easy to digest are the ones that involve having the access to the right information and interchange. This information is vital to our industry and is something that needs to be readily accessible and updated at very rapid intervals. One other thing you should know is that this information is supplied to us by third party companies. This is a topic I look forward to touching on in the near future.
Michael Carcone is the co-owner of Carcone’s Auto Recycling and Wheel Refinishing, located in Aurora, Ont. He can be reached via his company’s website at carcone.com.