Your chance to ask the experts
Whether it’s succession planning, running a reman business or technical hints, an Expert Panel is on hand at ReMaTec 2017 so that you can pick their brains over casual ‘coffee table’ events.
Entrepreneur and co-founder of Automatic Choice
“A ‘coffee table’ session is the only way to do this. When you’re on a panel or in a big session, only maybe one in 50 people asks a question. That means the rest of the questions come in the breaks when you’re standing and talking. People are shy or they think they don’t have a good point. I know how to run businesses. I’ve been in automotive all my life, first on the conversion of petrol cars to propane: I spent 16 years in the LPG business. For 15 years I was in transmissions, co-founding Automatic Choice in 2001. I sold the company two years ago and still advise my successor. It’s a strong combination. Now I work from home, investing in start-ups, sharing ideas. They find out that you have to go lean, lean, lean when you have your own company – but I can learn from them as well, it’s a two-way thing. For the ‘mom and pop’ companies which make up most of reman, you have to have to have good administration. By the time the company needs three mechanics, it’s then you see that the owner – who is also the best technical person – is standing behind a desk in reception, doing things he doesn’t want to do. That’s a problem. It’s also important to share communication and technical information. I’m a guy who likes to co-operate: you can’t do it yourself – that’s over. When you can’t beat your competition, join them. If you keep everything to yourself, then you don’t get anything back.”
Sales and marketing manager, D&V Electronics
“The sorts of questions that come up are on new products to be remanufactured. In alternators, everyone has LIN and BSS computer control. In starters, start/stop applications are becoming more mainstream, to be followed by ‘change of mind’ starters, with dual solenoids. Next is the remanufacturing of Prius motors, BAS products and iSTar and BRS/BRM products. We are building testers for 48Volt BSG/ISG products now. Finally, there are more and more electric motors and inverters/drives and lithium ion batteries in the marketplace now.”
Salvador Munoz Zarate
General manager, Wabco Reman Solutions
“Wabco has been in reman since 2010 and we have reman sites in the US, a joint venture in Mexico, activities in Brazil, Poland and Germany. So I’ve been with Wabco Reman Solutions from the beginning and started from scratch. It means I’ve been in charge of a small company within a company, doing everything from recruiting to opening new sites to agreements with joint venture partners. I look at all that: supply chain, core return, sales and marketing, human resources, finance – everything that is involved in running the company. One of the biggest questions we get is ‘what do you see as the biggest challenges in developing the reman business?’ Everybody speaks about the circular economy, but the reman business is not as well understood as recycling. The dialogue from automotive to IT to medical reman is just starting and we are trying to understand the differences and similarities between our industries. From the point of view of infrastructure, it would be possible to have reverse logistics across sectors, but the main concern there is the confidentiality of sensitive information. You need to know what customer sent back what product. I don’t see it in the short term. There are common problems across sectors, such as the traffic of cores.”
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