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University of the Aftermarket Announces Courses Slated for 2024


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The University of Aftermarket, through Northwood University announced that registration is open for many upcoming professional-development opportunities.

“Continuous education, or life-long learning as it is referred to by some, is the foundation of employee engagement, retention and life satisfaction,” stated Thomas Litzinger, executive director of the University of the Aftermarket and the aftermarket education industry chair at Northwood University.

Litzinger noted that Northwood’s University of the Aftermarket coursework helps businesses introduce newer employees to the automotive aftermarket; facilitate their tactical leadership development; and assist them on their journey from tactical leadership into strategic visionary.

“Northwood faculty, aftermarket industry executives and thought leaders will deliver our coursework,” Litzinger added. “Our sessions will guide your team on how they can achieve better results and create their competitive advantage. Team projects, mutual collaboration, innovation and robust debate are integral features of our coursework.”

The following University of Aftermarket programming is scheduled through the summer.

Leadership 2.0/Session 2

The Leadership 2.0 experience includes a blend of industry research and market analysis, lively discussion and debate on the challenges confronting the light-vehicle and heavy-duty aftermarket; competitive strategies; interpersonal communication skills; contract negotiations; conflict resolution; organizational culture; cybersecurity best practices; insight into supply chain solutions; and other challenging and evolving industry topics and trends.

This course runs from March 10-14. The deadline to register is Feb. 23, and participants must have previously completed Leadership 2.0 Session 1. 

Consumer Behavior

The Consumer Behavior course will explore the consumer behavior theory, including the introduction of behavioral models to investigate the consumer psychology. This includes application of consumer behavior principles to customer satisfaction, market planning and merchandise-mix decisions.

Ethical, diversity and international issues are also explored.

The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.

Selling & Sales Management

The Selling & Sales Management course will develop students’ competencies in professional selling theory and approaches, presentation skills and sales management techniques.

The course focuses on developing and maintaining relationships with customers and management of the process of finding, converting and keeping customers while achieving the organization’s goals. Communication techniques, career planning, selling strategies and tactics as well as sales duties and responsibilities are included.

The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.

The Culture of Leadership

The Culture of Leadership course consists of an analysis of organizational factors that influence leadership and management skills. Key aspects include formal and informal groups, norms, sanctions, organizational change, morale, function of committees and teams, role of unilateral decisions, team work, empowerment, and ethical philosophy. It also includes a self-appraisal of leadership and management strengths and areas for development. 

The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.

Aftermarket Field Sales Management

The Aftermarket Field Sales Management course examines the field sales manager’s job activities. Subjects include selling skills, expense management, time management, merchandising/advertising plans, sales-report writing/sales-forecast plans, tradeshow management and human resource skills.

The course is scheduled for March 18 through May 12.

The deadline to register for any of the above four courses (Consumer Behavior; Selling & Sales Management; the Culture of Leadership; and Aftermarket Field Sales Management) is March 4.

Aftermarket 101

Aftermarket 101 is an introduction to the motor-vehicle aftermarket.

Students who attend this class will develop a firm knowledge of the breadth, depth and scope of the automotive aftermarket including channels of retail, e-commerce and traditional distribution; sales development skills and opportunities; current and future industry trends; a brief introduction to the heavy-duty segment; and the opportunities and challenges facing our service dealers.

This two-day course will be held May 20-21. The deadline to register for the course is May 6.

Heavy-Duty 101

Through Heavy-Duty 101, students will develop a solid understanding of the scope of the HD/CV motor-vehicle aftermarket.

Students will be able to diagram and illustrate the channels of retail, e-commerce and traditional distribution; differentiate and interpret how key industry players contribute to the industry; discuss key initiatives and market strategies within the heavy-duty market; examine challenges and opportunities facing the professional service dealer; demonstrate an understanding the benefits associated with developing a professional sales network; and learn to distinguish themselves from the competition and dominate the marketplace.

The two-day course is scheduled for May 22-23. The deadline to register is May 8.

INFUSION 2024

INFUSION is a high-level executive development series designed to assist leaders transition into strategic visionaries by formulating strategies to prepare them to become much more efficient and proficient at leading their organization. Participants will discuss how to demonstrate knowledge in creating innovative tactics to achieve better results for their organization. 

The course is constructed to analyze varying approaches to critical topics; design clear outcomes; appraise better results; develop ground-breaking strategic visionary skills; create dynamic organization cultures; measure the adverse impacts of organizational isolation; diagram state-of-the-art cybersecurity stratagems; compare best practices in supply chain management; express knowledge in mergers and acquisitions; evaluate their corporate strategy; and differentiate their competitive advantage from their competition.

The five-day course is scheduled for June 2-6. The deadline to register is May 10.

Aftermarket Data Standards

This program was developed for aftermarket catalog managers and product-information professionals who would like to sharpen their knowledge and management of the industry data standards – ACES and PIES. Learners will become familiar with the Auto Care databases and how to effectively use them in their day-to-day work.

To take this class, attendees must have already taken Introduction to ACES and PIES 101.

This is a two-day class, and the registration deadline is June 4.

Heavy-Duty Leadership 2.0

This five-day course is a cornerstone of the industry’s efforts to foster the development of a new generation of tactical leaders who will help drive the HD/CV aftermarket to new heights of excellence in leadership and performance.  

HD/CV Leadership 2.0 is an intense and intellectually stimulating leadership development program that is specifically designed for the heavy-duty motor-vehicle aftermarket professional.

The course will be facilitated by top heavy-duty industry leaders, coveted thought leaders and Northwood University’s faculty. This unique collaboration allows for an intensive course that is specifically focused on advancing tactical leaders who are motivated to purposely perform at achieving key organizational outcomes and objectives across all levels of the HD/CV motor-vehicle aftermarket.

Heavy Duty Leadership 2.0 is scheduled to take place July 14-18. The deadline to register is June 28.

Leadership 2.0/Session 1

Leadership 2.0 is comprised of two five-day sessions. Session I will be facilitated at Northwood University in Midland, Michigan.

The course consists of robust discussion and learning related to the challenges and opportunities confronting the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket.

The Leadership 2.0 experience includes a blend of industry research and market analysis; lively discussion and debate on the challenges confronting the light vehicle and heavy-duty aftermarket; competitive strategies; interpersonal communication skills; contract negotiations; conflict resolution; organizational culture; cybersecurity best practices; insight into supply chain solutions; and other challenging and evolving industry topics and trends.

Session 1 is scheduled to take place Aug. 11-15.

Session II will be held March 11-16, 2025, at a location that is still to be determined.

The deadline to register for Session 1 is July 26.

James O’Dell, assistant director of aftermarket education at Northwood University, explained the University of Aftermarket has five pillars: introduction to the motor-vehicle aftermarket; data; tactical leadership development; executive development; and organizational development. 

“The courses being offered this year fit within these pillars to best serve the automotive aftermarket industry,” O’Dell added.

Registration links, as well as full descriptions of all University of Aftermarket courses, are online here: 

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