Aftermarket Cinderella is a fictional Christmas story adapted by Servispart Consulting from the Disney version of the Cinderella story. See if you can identify with any of the main characters.
Once upon a time there was a hardworking Aftermarket Manager called Cinderella.
She had two dominant colleagues – the Manufacturing Director and Engineering Director – who were very unkind and made her work lots of unpaid overtime with few resources and for no recognition.
She had lots of ideas for growing the business and those of their customers and often produced PowerPoint slides to explain her best ideas.
But the directors weren’t interested in the aftermarket and never gave Aftermarket Cinderella the time of day.
So she had to run the parts business without proper aftermarket systems and do all the management reporting manually with spreadsheets, despite making most of the profits for her business while manufacturing and engineering got all the best ERP and planning systems, used up all the management consultancy budget on their pet projects and went to all the best business meetings with senior management and customers.
The CEO’s Invitation
One day a special invitation arrived at the receiving area in Cinderella’s parts warehouse.
It was from the company’s largest and most important customer.
The customer’s CEO was looking for ways to grow his business and was arranging an important executive meeting for key suppliers.
Three colleagues were invited from Cinderella’s company to attend a private meeting with the CEO and provide innovative growth ideas.
Aftermarket Cinderella knew she would never be allowed to go to the meeting.
But her manufacturing and engineering directors were falling over themselves with excitement!
They couldn’t talk about anything else.
When the day of the meeting came, the manufacturing and engineering directors ran poor Cinderella ragged.
She had to come in to work very early, well before they did to provide management reports and information at short notice.
She helped them package their expensive new product samples.
She even prepared their PowerPoint slides with fancy graphics, animation and videos just as they demanded.
As soon as they’d gone, Aftermarket Cinderella sat down by the packing bench, exhausted, and said, “Oh I do wish I could go to the customer meeting.”
Wishes Can Come True
The very next moment, standing beside her was an authoritative man, with grey hair and a magic pen in his hand.
“Aftermarket Cinderella,” he said, “I am the Partsman, your friendly aftermarket consultant from Servispart Consulting and you shall go to the CEO meeting to have your ideas heard.
But first you must go into the warehouse and get the yellow forklift for me.
Then bring me a forklift driver and six order packers from the warehouse plus six labourers from the transport yard.
You’ll find the labourers in the smoking area behind the discarded rusty stillages.”
When Aftermarket Cinderella had gathered them all, Partsman touched each one with his magic pen.
The forklift became a golden long wheelbase limousine.
The forklift driver became a chauffeur wearing a black suit, white gloves and a peaked hat.
The packers became six aftermarket capability experts and the labourers became six aftermarket system experts.
When Partsman touched Cinderella with his magic pen, her dirty warehouse workwear was transformed into a smart, navy pinstripe suit and the aftermarket growth ideas she had been working on were now in professionally branded Aftermarket Growth Guides held in her clean hands.
“Remember,” said the Partsman, “you must leave the CEO meeting before the clock strikes twelve because at noon the magic ends.”
“Thank you Partsman,” said Cinderella as she slid into the golden limousine with her team of aftermarket experts.
Meeting the CEO
Aftermarket Cinderella arrived at the CEO’s palatial offices just in time and was very nervous to begin with but needn’t have been.
By the time the meeting was in full swing, she was demonstrating so much knowledge and was so engaging that everyone wondered who she was!
Even her Manufacturing and Engineering directors didn’t recognise her.
The CEO was so impressed with Cinderella’s ideas for developing his aftermarket business that he hardly talked with them or anyone else.
Aftermarket Cinderella was enjoying the meeting so much that she forgot Partsman’s warning until it was almost noon and the clock began to strike.
She hurried out of the CEO’s board room.
As she ran down the stairs she dropped one of her Aftermarket Growth Guides.
She ran outside toward the golden limousine.
The Clock Strikes Noon
There was a blinding flash and Aftermarket Cinderella stood in the street dressed in her dirty workwear again.
The yellow forklift was parked beside her, blocking the road.
Scampering off were the forklift driver, six order packers and six yard labourers.
Aftermarket Cinderella had no choice but to drive the forklift all the way back to the warehouse herself, through the busy lunchtime traffic and with everyone honking their horns at her as she trundled along in the wind and rain.
By the time her dominant director colleagues returned to the office after their long, boozy, slap-up lunch, she was back in the warehouse picking parts and manually preparing spreadsheets for them.
What Aftermarket Cinderella Didn’t Know
When Aftermarket Cinderella ran from the customer’s board room, the CEO tried to follow her and found the Aftermarket Growth Guide she’d dropped.
“I shall do business with the executive who produced this Aftermarket Growth Guide and only her,” he said.
Next morning, the CEO went methodically from company to company with the Aftermarket Growth Guide and every executive he met tried to match it against their branded materials.
But it didn’t match any of them.
Eventually, the CEO came to Cinderella’s company.
First the Manufacturing Director tried to match it up with his marketing literature, but his materials only talked about manufacturing processes and systems.
The Engineering Director had a go next but his literature only talked about new product materials, designs and engineering systems.
“Please,” said Aftermarket Cinderella, “let me try.”
“Nobody is interested in you and your boring ideas,” said her dominant director colleagues, “and you don’t have any budget for business guides either.”
Aftermarket Cinderella went to her desk drawer and pulled out the PowerPoint slides she’d been working on earlier that week after everyone else had gone home.
They matched the diagrams and ideas in the Aftermarket Growth Guide perfectly.
The next moment, as if by magic, Partsman appeared by her side again.
He touched Cinderella with his magic pen and there she was in a navy pinstripe suit with professionally branded Aftermarket Growth Guides in her hands again.
The Manufacturing and Engineering Directors were so shocked that, for once they couldn’t think of anything to say.
But the CEO knew exactly what to say.
He asked Aftermarket Cinderella to sign a lucrative long-term aftermarket business deal with him.
When the deal was signed, everyone in the two company’s were invited to celebrate, even the dominant Manufacturing and Engineering directors.
There was wonderful food, an open bar and lots of engaging conversation as business relationships were enhanced on multiple levels between their companies.
And the CEO of course spent all evening discussing innovative aftermarket growth ideas with Cinderella, his trusted aftermarket partner.
He would not talk with anyone else.
How Servispart Consulting Can Help
Our aftermarket growth service is called Aftermarket 360™ and is specifically designed to assess your aftermarket capability strengths and weaknesses to create an aftermarket growth strategy that delivers high impact results in minimum time.
Additional Christmas Gifts
More information on how to discover your aftermarket genius and grow your aftermarket business is available here.