HDAW 2017 hits a home run

March 7, 2017
With record attendance, annual event features aftermarket ecosystem shifts and warnings on proliferation of cyber-crime

Shifts in the aftermarket ecosystem and the importance of cyber-security were among the topics addressed at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) January 23-26 in Las Vegas.

More than 2530 aftermarket industry leaders attended the three-day conference, including HDAW all-time record numbers of over 1600 supplier and 630 distributor executives, a 15% increase over 2016’s attendance. All available booth space for exhibitors in both exhibit halls during the HDAW Product Expo was completely sold out more than two months prior to the start of the event. And 1890 one-on-one meetings were held throughout the four-day conference—another record.

“It was exciting to be a part of such a successful and record-breaking Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week,” said Carl Mesker, VP of Aftermarket Americas of SAF Holland and HDAW ’17 co-chair. “I believe the new HDAW supplier show special program and an education program focused on solutions helped to draw the record number of distributors to the conference.”

Gary Smalley, the retired CEO of Dayton Parts LLC, was inducted into the HD Industry Hall of Fame by IHS Markit, and Blaine Brothers of Minneapolis was awarded the 15th annual Distributor of the Year Award.

“Shift Happens! How to Think Like Steve Jobs and Be a Shift Disturber in the HD Aftermarket,” a presentation by strategy consultant Rick Funston of Funston Advisory Services, was bolstered by HDAW-specific survey results and results and implications for the independent aftermarket.

Mark Lanterman and Brian Hill of Computer Forensic Services gave an entertaining and sobering presentation on cyber-security and how to defend your business and personal information from theft and disruption. Lanterman and Hill showed examples of how criminals sell stolen information on the Dark Net and how hackers target businesses and individuals by using “phishing” emails and other nefarious techniques to gain access to bank accounts and credit card information.

A new feature at HDAW in 2017 was Aftermarket Briefings, a TED Talk-inspired set of three, highly targeted presentations focused on adapting to new technologies in business and e-commerce. Speakers were David Seewack, CEO of FinditParts.com; Dana Nevins of Web Shop Manager; and Shriram Rajagopal of e-Emphasis. Each spent 15-20 minutes on highly engaging topics, then took text questions from the audience afterwards as a group.

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week 2018 will be held January 22-25 at The Mirage in Las Vegas. ♦