Special Report: An Executive Interview with Nancy McLean, Director of Marketing for ACDelco GM Service and Parts Operations -

Special Report: An Executive Interview with Nancy McLean, Director of Marketing for ACDelco GM Service and Parts Operations

Nancy McLean is director of ACDelco Marketing for GM Service and Parts Operations (SPO). Read on as McLean shares with aftermarketNews the details of the ACDelco 360 initiative.

By Amy Antenora

Nancy McLean is director of ACDelco Marketing for GM Service and Parts Operations (SPO). McLean began her career with GM in 1978 with the former Packard Electric (now Delphi Packard Electric) in Warren, OH, where she held a variety of engineering and business planning positions. In 1990, McLean became Marketing and Business Planning manager at Packard Electric’s European Operations headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany.

In 1993, she transferred to what is now Delphi Automotive Systems Corporation as the director of Marketing. In 1996, McLean transferred to SPO as a general product manager with responsibility for collision and powertrain. She was appointed director of Sales and Marketing for General Motors Service Parts Operations — Canada in May 1999.

McLean graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s in industrial and systems engineering. She also earned an MBA from the University of Virginia as a GM Fellow.

Read on as McLean shares with aftermarketNews the details of the ACDelco 360 initiative and other marketing plans

Tell us about the new ACDelco 360 initiative. What does it entail and how was it developed?

“ACDelco 360” is our way of representing ACDelco’s mission to provide a full circle of support to our distributors and their customers. We believe when our customers win, we all win. Therefore, we continuously work to bring our customers increasing value and support by looking at our businesses from every possible angle.

ACDelco 360 is not a tagline that we’re using in advertising or on a parts box. What ACDelco 360 does represent is a fresh approach to our marketing, as it does the other pillars of our business.
At the 2006 AAPEX show – and our ACDelco National Convention that immediately preceded it – we focused a lot on “Winning Customers Together.”

While we’re still building on this mission; ACDelco 360 represents a real shift. It’s what we’ve been doing in the marketplace for years, but at the same time, it is now being brought into much sharper focus. ACDelco 360 provides us with an infrastructure to expand programs globally in a consistent way.

How will the 360 initiative be marketed to your distributors and their customers?

At the 2007 AAPEX show, we held meetings with our U.S. and international Warehouse Distributors (WDs) to roll out our new approach.
What we shared with them is that, from a global perspective, ACDelco 360 represents a different mix of products, services and support, depending on the market, but what is shared is the leadership and visionary thinking of ACDelco.

That does not mean ACDelco will try to apply a singular approach to the aftermarket globally. Rather, we understand the need to serve each local market while leveraging the power of our global resources. Our ability to mobilize knowledge, share assets electronically and leverage leading-edge programs from around the globe enhances our ability to execute locally.

Our distributors and their customers are the ones who best understand the issues of their local marketplaces and we will continue to rely heavily on their input and expertise to build ways to lead – rather than follow – in the market.

Does the 360 initiative become the primary marketing strategy for ACDelco or is it simply one element?

As I touched on earlier, ACDelco 360 represents our fresh approach to our business – think of it as another way to describe our value proposition. By that we mean all the ways that ACDelco adds value to the purchase of a part … all the reasons we give our customers to choose ACDelco, beyond the quality of our parts.

Our value proposition, or ACDelco 360, is actually comprised of seven pillars and starts with our product offering which is unique in the marketplace as a single brand that offers an unmatched breadth of high-quality product coverage. Our products are made available via a distribution network that is second to none, comprised of some of the best distributors and installers in the world, who are supported by customer programs, e-business tools, training and marketing focused on enhancing and growing the business at each layer of the value chain.

And the glue that holds the other elements of ACDelco 360 together is our relationships with all of our stakeholders — always building and growing to strengthen every facet.

You unveiled this new program at AAPEX 2007. What kind of reception and feedback did you get out in the marketplace?

ACDelco’s heightened focus of working from the ground up in every market and our desire for even greater input from our customers and greater integration of our businesses was encapsulated in the “ACDelco 360” logo customers saw in signage and other meeting materials, and that show attendees saw at our AAPEX booth.
The feedback we received and comments we heard were overwhelmingly positive. ACDelco 360 is an easily recognizable cue – a simple phrase to describe the value we bring to the automotive aftermarket and the customers who align with us.

Are there any other exciting marketing initiatives in the works that you would like to tell us about?

Without giving too much information to the competition, I can tell you we’re increasing our focus on the digital world, growing our online presence to reach a greater share of the consumer as well as trade audience.
And, we have plans to run more “ePromotions” for our customers. Those who register for ePromotions can see individual program levels, as well as their current standings, which are updated daily on their WIP/WISE promotional dashboards.

ePromotions are more efficient, not just for ACDelco but for enrollees as well. ACDelco can provide customers with their program standings on a daily basis rather than through monthly reports. This affords them the opportunity to change their purchasing behavior accordingly, leading to better, more effective participation. They’re a “win-win” for both parties.

What were ACDelco’s product offerings in 2008?

ACDelco has been a global leader in marketing and distributing high-quality replacement parts for quite some time now. Last year, we continued to add to our “All Makes/All Models” product lines to heighten our position in the automotive aftermarket – in fact, we increased our offerings by more than 9,000 part numbers just through September 2007.

In 2008, we continued this growth and began to focus on expanding our air conditioning product line, increasing our HD (Heavy Duty) coverage for starters and alternators, expanding our fuel pumps "all makes" coverage, increasing our suspension product offerings and expanding our water pumps “all makes” coverage.

Being “green” is being talked about more and more in the automotive world. What does ACDelco do to be environmentally responsible, both at the corporate level and also through your ACDelco TSS (Total Service Support) network?

ACDelco is deeply committed to the communities in which we work and operate, and that includes being environmentally responsible. I encourage your readers to visit www.acdelco.com and read the “It’s Easy Being Green” story on our homepage that spotlights the efforts of just one of our ACDelco Total Service Support (TSS) accounts.

And, we’re focused on ensuring our technicians know how to service and repair all of the environmentally friendly vehicles that we’re seeing in greater numbers, specifically, flex fuel vehicles that run on E85 ethanol and hybrids.

Included in the ACDelco curriculum are several web-based classes and service seminars to help provide technicians with the latest information and technology on topics. And, ACDelco is constantly updating its curriculum to provide technicians with cutting-edge information, helping them (and shop owners, too!) keep up with the ever-changing marketplace.

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