2016 YANG Spring Leadership Days Experience

Journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step, Chinese Proverb


The Auto Care Association‘s Young Auto Care Network Group, also known as YANG and its Automotive Warehouse distributors Association, AWDA, are wisely paving the way for future leaders in the industry. Its “Next Step” program hosted a scholarship for ten young (under 40) auto-care professionals to join its inaugural YANG Spring Leadership Days (SLD), which focused on leadership development, as well as challenges and opportunities within the auto-care market now and in the future.

As a Chinese proverb goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and Openbay was grateful to have been invited on this journey.

Wise advice abound, and here’s a sample of insight from a selection of the Young Auto Care Network Group’s leadership conferences:

On Leadership: John Washbish, president & CEO, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

“Employee satisfaction = customer service.”

Washbish gave examples of how he and his company treats employees like gold, and how they, in turn, deliver outstanding experiences to customers. In one instance, an employee literally ran “the extra mile” to deliver parts quickly after his truck had broken down.

He issued four tenets of success:

  • Have clarity of mission.
  • Understand that customer service & employee satisfaction are joined at the hip.
  • Become a tech fanatic.
  • Think differently, be inspirational, be passionate.
Check Out:  Do As I Say, Not As I’ve Done: Ezra Dyer’s Driving Rules

4 Tenets of Success from John Washbish

On Globalization: Panel

  • When expanding abroad: “Hire locals. They know the market better than we do.” – Jens Schueler, president, Schaeffler Group USA
  • “Figure out who you are. Be that and be better at it. … Go to the trade shows not for what you know will be there. Go for what you might find.” – Brian Cohn, president, Multi-Parts 

Auto Care Association Advice on Being Better

Talking Shop: Service-Center Owner Panel

On parts suppliers
“Our business considers parts suppliers as friends who have helped our business. … [Others] can’t compete for that #1 spot until our #1 gives it away.” – Dwayne Myers, co-owner, Dynamic Automotive

“If my #1 supplier recommends [a part], it’d better be good, and I’ll stand behind it.” – Andy Massoll, co-owner, Curt’s Service Center, Hamburg Garage and Farmington Garage.

Auto Care Association Panel Andy Massoll Dwayne Myers

On parts marketing to consumers

“There’s a misconception from manufacturers and distributors. Customers never say the kind of part they want, so marketing is a lost cause. No consumers care about that. We only install our tech-preferred parts.” – Massoll

Myers agreed: “We’ve had one customer in six years who’d been aware of the changeover to Valvoline.”

For additional intel gleaned from the YANG Spring Leadership Days, check out this blog.

Auto Care Association YANG 2016 Spring Leadership Days

This article was written by Openbay and was first published in the June 19, 2016 YANG newsletter.