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Aaron Stokes Delivers Closing Keynote at ADAPT Summit

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Sept. 25, 2022—Aaron Stokes of Shop Fix Academy closed out the 2022 ADAPT Summit by delivering the final keynote today. 

His address covered the topic of "Staying Power" in the aftermarket. Stokes acknowledged some of the current challenges facing the aftermarket, ranging from electric vehicles to inflation rates. 

Understandably, these are areas that pose great challenges. But Stokes assured the audience that with preparation, it is possible to be successful. 

"You're in a great industry! Stop panicking," Stokes told the audience. 

Stokes explained the opportunity presented by new vehicle technology translates differently depending on the sector of the aftermarket that you are looking at. For example, he shared that auto repair shops are faced with the difficulty of keeping up with constant changes in vehicle repair procedures, and while body shops are dealing with that in their own way as well, they also have new competitors.

Stokes said that there are shops that conduct services such as detailing are able to bring in a lot of money because they don't have to work with insurance. He said that customers are spending more money on their vehicles, and they want to invest in these kinds of services in order to keep their investment up. 

Regardless of these new challenges, Stokes doesn't think that anyone in the aftermarket needs to be afraid. He said he understands that it is easy to panic and not use common sense when thinking about everything that's emerging and changing across the industry.

"You have to understand where people are coming from," Stokes said. "And you have to understand the new technology and understand that it may not always be the answer."  

Stokes said that shop owners need to investigate and look into new technology, but they don't need to be first. 

"Whenever you're first to anything, you always realize you missed the boat," Stokes said. 

He told the audience to stay informed, but they don't need to get out ahead of themselves. Too much panic may not lead to the best solutions during this time of transition across the industry, Stokes said.

"What's happening right now is a massive transition, it's going to impact a lot of our friends and our customers," Stokes said. 

Stokes also dedicated some of his address to discussion inflation rates, which impact almost every aspect of daily life. That impact translates to the aftermarket as well. 

"The best thing you can do during inflationary times is own a business," Stokes said. 

He relayed this as a great opportunity, and told attendees again not to panic. He ended his address on a high note by saying that there could be some great opportunities on the horizon for the aftermarket, even if it may come in the form of challenges. 

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