Job: Parts director, Gandrud Auto Group (Chevrolet-Nissan-Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram), Green Bay, Wis. He wholesales Mopar, Nissan and General Motors parts to dealerships and repair shops mainly in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Challenge: Fighting downward pressure on prices and profits.
His story: Top of mind for Slack, 51, is the pressure on prices caused in part by cost-cutting insurance companies and widely available aftermarket parts from China and other low-cost countries.
"We get 10 percent over cost if we're lucky" on the factory-approved parts he wholesales to dealers and independent shops. "We used to get 25 percent over cost."
Why are his margins falling? "Insurance companies are putting pressure on everyone to use cheaper parts."
For example, PartsTrader keeps a long list of parts suppliers for repair shops. The suppliers provide a range of parts, including factory-certified, recycled and remanufactured parts.
"Insurance companies are running the collision industry," Slack says.
PartsTrader naturally has a different view of its role. Suppliers can only bid on parts if they are nominated by a repairer who uses the PartsTrader service, says the Parts-Trader website. And shops choose the parts they use.
In other words, PartsTrader says it is trying to create an efficient marketplace by matching suppliers and repairers without coercion.
Dale Sailer, vice president of business development at Parts-Trader, said after the show that repair shops influence the site by rating the suppliers. Sailer said, "Our highest-rated suppliers sell two-thirds more parts than lower-rated suppliers."