ATD Chairman: Step Up Your Spring Training with ATD

By Steve Parker, May 2017

Steve Parker
ATD Chairman
Steve Parker

With more than 2,260 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships contributing tens of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy, there is no doubt that America's truck dealers are leaders. We are smart and strong, working in an industry that moves 70 percent of all the freight tonnage annually, while employing more than 9 million people in jobs across the entire U.S. commercial truck industry. And as challenges in our retail market get tougher and demands on us become harder, it can't hurt to pump some iron, break a sweat and flex those business muscles before summer arrives. 

So how are you getting buff at your dealerships? 

If you have not yet signed up for a specific regimen, take advantage of our ATD products which can keep you in the best business shape of your life. Consider ATD/NADA headquarters in Tysons, Va., your personal gym. The ATD Academy and Plus program offer year-long courses that include six intensive, week-long instructor-led classes. The curriculum includes classes on financial management, parts, service, pre-owned vehicles, new vehicles and business leadership. There are also opportunities for OEM and allied industry staff to participate in the Academy.

Just as professional baseball players hit the field for spring training each year, every successful workout plan includes long-term goals. That's why every ATD member dealership has access to complimentary online education and training at ATD/NADA University Online. This is a great resource for:

  • New-hire training: helps new employees learn the business and develop core skills to succeed in the retail industry
  • Cross-training: develops employees' skills and explores how their roles support the dealership's overall operation.
  • Training for career advancement: builds your staff from within through successful advancement opportunities and leadership training.

ATD's online webinars are presented by industry-leading subject matter experts and focus on solutions for issues affecting today's dealerships. ATD members can view past webinars on-demand at no charge. And the ATD Driven guides are created to improve dealership performance. They are your personal library-always complimentary-and available to download. ATD's interactive online courses are as close as you can get to hands-on learning without being in a physical classroom. Courses incorporate real world simulations. Interactive courses are developed by ATD/NADA Academy instructors and ATD/NADA 20 Group Consultants to incorporate best practices.

And if you'd like 'platinum status in our gym,' enroll in the ATD Academy. The programs are world-class, designed for current and future operators of truck dealerships. Our programs feature the latest in industry trends and developments, while being deeply rooted in the fundamentals needed to operate a successful and profitable business. Academy instructors are renowned industry leaders recognized for their expertise. The Academy offers intensive sessions from general dealer management and dealer group training to certifications and allied industry programs. 

So, whether you're a beast at the gym or just a beginner, don't hesitate to enroll in ATD's training programs. We are here to make your business leaner and stronger for the year ahead. Visit www.nada.org/academy for more details.

Steve Parker is chairman of ATD, a division of NADA in Tysons, Va., which represents 1,800 heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships. He is president of Baltimore Potomac Truck Centers in Linthicum, Md., which operates five full-service commercial truck dealership locations with Mack, Volvo and Hino Trucks franchises in Maryland and Virginia.