This week the team at Service Dealer have been hard at work, beavering away on the next issue of the magazine - which should hit your desks during the first week of the new year.
2018 is a special one for Service Dealer as it's the 30th Anniversary of the magazine.
As such when you receive the new issue you may notice a few tweaks and improvements here and there. Nothing too radical, just a little freshen up to celebrate the fact that we've hit this significant milestone. Basing our decisions on the very positive reader feedback which received from you recently, we could see that you didn't want us to make big changes.
It was 1988 when Chris Biddle walked into Salisbury Printing with a pile of papers and the idea of making an independent magazine for the UK dealer trade. It's been fascinating for me this week as I've been looking though old editions to compile a new regular feature which we'll run throughout 2018 called Flashback.
Each issue next year, we'll take a 5-year period chronologically and have a look at the news stories, the products and most importantly the people who have shaped this industry during the course of the magazine’s lifetime. Any nostalgic manufacturers out there who feel they'd like to support this feature commercially, please feel free to get in touch with Susan in the office!
When reading through archive material it's quite easy to laugh at superficial things which strike you as funny or antiquated immediately such as haircuts, fashion, technology, even the machinery. However, the heart of the magazine has remained the same. Providing a forum for the industry to come together and share news, views, ideas and information.
Also as crucial today as it was then, the magazine has always held as its core value to act as a champion for the dealer network and to offer a platform for dealers’ voices to be heard.
In an issue from June 1991 which I have been reading this week, there's a Comment piece from Chris entitled 'Harnessing Togetherness'. In those days it was the 'sheds', the B&Qs and Homebases of this world, who were perceived as the biggest threat to dealers - rather than the not yet invented internet!
Chris wrote, "The doom and gloom merchants have been serving notice on specialists for years, but they ignore the place that the independent specialist can have in the retail economy.
"The battle - if there ever was such a thing - with the multiples is 'old hat'. Their boom days are over as their coverage is virtually complete. The multiples' battles in the future will be amongst themselves.
"They would like to be specialists and do their utmost to provide added value. But they never will be of course, because the name of their game is volume."
Wise words as ever from Chris there. And of course those sentiments of an independent dealer network offering a true and viable alternative to the mass channels is just as relevant today. It’s what Service Dealer has always reflected and will always continue to do so.
When you receive your freshened-up edition in January, along with this Weekly Update, I hope you'll see the ethos of that heritage built up over 30 years continues apace.
At the same time as this of course, we shall be diving headlong into the current trends and latest issues to effect dealers - whilst looking ahead to what should be a prosperous future for this vibrant industry.