At the intersection of tradition and innovation with Grace Hovis

At the intersection of tradition and innovation with Grace Hovis

Grace Hovis's journey in Hovis Auto & Truck Supply blends tradition with digital innovation in the automotive aftermarket industry.

Grace Hovis’s journey in the family business, Hovis Auto and Truck Supply, highlights the balance between honoring tradition and seeking innovation. Founded in 1952, Hovis Auto and Truck Supply Inc. has evolved from a small operation into a major player in the automotive parts distribution space. This evolution was fueled by a willingness to adapt and innovate, a lesson Grace learned from an early age.

“My father brought me and my brother into the business as soon as we could push a broom,” she said. “He had us in the warehouse. We were following around employees. He’d give us a few bucks at the end of the day, and we were thrilled. He made me business cards when I was in preschool. I’d walk around trade shows with him and hand them out to the reps and tell them that I’d be working with them someday.”

Today, Hovis is the marketing and training director at Hovis Auto and Truck Supply, and from those traditional aftermarket beginnings, she underscores the significance of digital tools – from e-commerce platforms to CRM systems – in enhancing customer engagement and streamlining processes. The digital transformation of the aftermarket is not just about adopting new technologies, but also about reimagining business models to thrive in a connected world.

“I think it’s always important to look back on where a company started, how it came to be the way it is and why they do things the way they do them,” she said. “But I also think that a young, fresh perspective can come in and look at some of those things and say, ‘That works great, but why don’t we try it this way?’ I think another perspective our generation brings is a fresh look on technology.”

Hovis noted that young automotive aftermarket professionals, like those involved in YANG, bring invaluable insights into emerging technologies and market trends. Their fresh perspectives are crucial for understanding the implications of advancements such as electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous driving technologies and AI. By fostering a culture that values innovation and inclusivity, the aftermarket can tap into the potential of the next generation to address future challenges and opportunities.

In this episode of AMN Drivetime, sponsored by AISIN, Hovis talks through her journey in the automotive aftermarket and highlights the integration of fresh perspectives on automotive aftermarket technology that can significantly impact the industry’s trajectory.

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