When Bill Babcox asked me to join Babcox Publications, I immediately experienced multiple emotions: excitement, intrigue and curiosity, all based around taking on a new challenge. So, in the weeks following the offer, I carefully evaluated each of those feelings while deciding on what my next career move would be.
Embarking on the journey of working in a new field is always an exciting challenge for any of us. Relying on skills that have been honed in other industries to better serve our new customers and partners is truly exciting and beneficial for all of us. While industries differ in many ways, there’s always a benefit received from experiencing new ideas and perspectives.
The thought of utilizing my previous career experiences was intriguing. I was born into the automotive aftermarket through the family jobber and engine rebuilding operations. Many hot, sweaty days working over the rinse and alkaline soaking tanks has given me a true perspective of the hard work that goes into the automotive aftermarket every day by thousands of people. These hard- working Americans literally keep the U.S. automotive fleet running on a daily basis.
Following this initial automotive experience, I spent 28 years with Ford Motor Company. During my years with Ford, I had the good fortune to experience all areas of an automotive manufacturer, years with Motorcraft, even more on the technical side and then assignments in customer relations, owner retention, dealer fixed operations, marketing and finally two joint ventures.
In one of those joint ventures involving the automakers, I had the responsibility of assisting in the start-up of OEConnection, which provides Web-based products to enhance the information and sales of collision parts. Those seven years of work in the collision space provided me with an in-depth education of the collision repair market. While pondering Mr. Babcox’s job offer, curiosity had me asking myself, “Could I combine the above experiences to help better communicate the needs of the repair space between all involved in the industry?”
In the end, it was the challenge this job offered that made my decision for me. The automotive industry has been my passion since I was very young. I love cars! Working on them and communicating about them has occupied a substantial part of my life. So my challenge here at Babcox is to provide a forum that allows the communication of industry changes, opportunities for improvement and direct, honest reporting of the happenings in the collision repair industry.
I welcome this opportunity to communicate with all of you on a regular basis.
S. Scott Shriber is publisher of BodyShop Business. He can be reached at (330) 670-1234 ext. 229.