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We are currently a CSC for Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper. We are happy with them, and they are a block away from us so delivery is quick.

 

Auto Zone has recently broke ground for a new store in town. Now the other parts suppliers are scrambling to get as many auto repair shops to be CSC for their brand; coincidence? We have had a lot of promises thrown at us by salesmen.

 

Is there really any differences between what each brand offers?

We have in town:

 

NAPA

Advanced Auto

O'Reilly

Car Quest

Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper

and soon Auto Zone

 

Just asking for input in case someone has a better program.

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I am csc in Wisconsin. The program is roughly like the rest. 2 year and 24000 miles warranty. Lots of discounts. Uniforms,etc. The biggest thing is do you know the actual parts counter people? I have a good working relationship with them. If I have a a good customer that has a part issue and they are way out warranty bumper covers no questions asked. My other parts stores are completely by the book. They won't comprise on warranty.

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I am csc in Wisconsin. The program is roughly like the rest. 2 year and 24000 miles warranty. Lots of discounts. Uniforms,etc. The biggest thing is do you know the actual parts counter people? I have a good working relationship with them. If I have a a good customer that has a part issue and they are way out warranty bumper covers no questions asked. My other parts stores are completely by the book. They won't comprise on warranty.

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We've been NAPA Autocare for about ten years. The range of support services they provide is amazing. Our NAPA stores are privately owned by people who provide great service. They provide good tech training at reasonable prices, promotional programs, etc. In addition we are members of our local NAPA business development group. I was chairman for about three years with about seventeen local shops participating. It's partly social, but we created an endowed scholarship at our local community college and we do shared advertising, like our group web page at napafinder.com. When you get access to the member section of napaautocare.com, you are faced with an overwhelming array of benefits, programs, advertising support, discounts, plus and in-depth management program of in-house training development. They definitely have the strongest brand-recognition nationwide. Their parts and labor warranty is well documented and reliable. They just did a national expo in Las Vegas. If you just look for the guys with the cheapest parts, you will be short-changing yourself.

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We've been investigating the various "CSC" programs available to shop owners as well, and they all have some of the same feaures, including:

1. Extended warranty (Typically 2 year / 24k Miles)

2. Various branding incentives like bay or office banners, signage, etc. to promote additional services to our customers.

3. Roadside assistance program offering towing service reimbursement to our customers.

4. Aggressive rebate programs on all purchasing in the form of a quarterly rebate check based on your parts purchasing as much as 5%.

5. "Points" system that banks savings on large purchases like additional equipment for the shop, again, based on meeting parts purchasing thresholds.

 

All in all, each company's program will have their own pros/cons. I'd suggest reading the program information CAREFULLY before you sign on the dotted line, to make sure you know what you're committing to, and thoroughly understand exactly what you are entitled to in return.

 

I'm hoping First Landing Autocare or someone else can give me some good advice about the NAPA AutoCare program, however...

 

I've recently begun investigating the process to become a NAPA AutoCare shop in my area, and after setting up an account with the local store and expressing my intent, the owner of the parts store told me that although he's happy to sell parts to me, that he won't allow me to become a NAPA AutoCare center on the basis of having promised one other local shop that he would, in fact, be the only shop in the area with such designation. Not being able to comprehend the gravity of that, and being a little shocked at the impropriety of it all, I chuckled, assuming he was joking. Now mind you, he was polite, and indicated that it wasn't MY shop, but ANY shop that inquires as to becoming an AutoCare center will be turned down on this basis. I spoke to another NAPA parts store owner, about 10 miles away, and he offered to sell me NAPA parts, and that because he is aware of the volume I purchase, offered to do so at "NAPA AutoCare Center" pricing, but that the affiliation paperwork would have to come from the store closest to me, and that his hands were tied.

 

Can anyone please tell me how it's possible that one local parts store owner has the authority to do this? Should I speak directly to the corporate office? Any advice?

 

 

Thanks,

 

Tony

 

Does anyone currently have the NAPA AutoCare designation? Apparently the individual at my local NAPA parts store has (rather unprofessionally)

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Great post. We have been NAPA Autocare for about ten years. I don't know how close that other Autocare center is to you, but I think I would go over the store owner/manager and inquire with NAPA corporate. They really want to expand the reach of Autocare and I can't believe they would deny the brand and association to a shop that qualifies. I can provide points of contact at NAPA corporate if you continue to get resistance.

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Thank you for your reply. I navigated the NAPA wabsite looking for where to begin, and I'm embarrassed to admit, I still don't have a clue aside from calling some toll-free number & start ringing anyone's extension that might have good information for me. Can you give me an idea of who to call, or what department/number?

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Salerno's.... all I can say is wow! Is the NAPA owner related to the other shop? Is the other shop in direct competition with you? If the NAPA store is independently owned you may have fewer options. Here is some contact info I received direct from NAPA. Terry Mann, Director NAPA AutoCare Headquarters - NAPA Autocare 800-205-0642

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We did add NAPA CSC to our shop, they had a few freebies that made it worth our while. We liked some of the services their program has. We are going to ride out the year with both then evaluate. Thanks for all of the information, it really helps knowing we can get honest, unbiased information here.

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Salerno's.... all I can say is wow! Is the NAPA owner related to the other shop? Is the other shop in direct competition with you? If the NAPA store is independently owned you may have fewer options. Here is some contact info I received direct from NAPA. Terry Mann, Director NAPA AutoCare Headquarters - NAPA Autocare 800-205-0642

Hello. Paradigm, and thank you for the input. Yes. the other AutoCare center is in my local market, is well established, and has a long-standing relationship (as a purchaser) with the owner of the Napa parts store. The thing that doesn't make any sense to me is why the repair shop would care if they were the only one to hold the designation, and second, why the parts store owner would limit his own sales by promising to refuse such an arrangement.

 

Ideally, I'm guessing that under other circumstances, both my shop, and, say, the 5 other Napa AutoCare centers in the area could cooperatively advertise in all the local papers, online, and in all the penny-saver books...and end up sharing the cost of all the advertising...saving each of us thousands of dollars in the process.

 

I can't believe there are still others in this business that either think they HAVE to advertise wherever they see their competition, or worse yet, that they'll only advertise where their competition DOESN'T. In our fast-moving, technologically prone world, isn't it reasonable to assume that all our prospective consumers can easily compile a list of ALL the repair facilities in their town...easily, from their computer?

 

Not only an I unafraid to list my company's contact info & mission statement alongside all my competitors...but I'm the weird guy who wants to have lunch with the other independant facility owners, and (with discretion) discuss the things that challenge us ALL, realizing that there is plenty of work for us all.

 

I appreciated your response to my original post - I was hoping I wasn't the only one that found the situation to be an example of unparalleled unprofessional behavior. Hey - I'm honestly not trying to run anyone out of business...I firmly believe that while we're competitors in the same industry, that we're also similarly plagued by some of the challenges unique to independant operations.

 

For the record...I'm the weird guy that will shoot an email out to a select few of my competitors when a new hire ends up being a nightmare...just to drop a name and save someone else the pain. After all, if we all started showing the simple professional courtesies, I think we'd ALL be more successful.

 

Just one man's opinion.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was a Napa auto care center. Key word - was. The warranty I was able to offer as part of the program turned out to be worthless to the customer. If you want to advertise for NAPA by all means pay your $900 a year, buy their invoices, buy their advertising programs, and buy their training. Don't worry they will supply you with a large Napa sign. The rebate checks offset the costs, but ultimately I felt like I was working to promote Napa and not Alfred Auto.

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We've been NAPA Autocare for about ten years.

Their parts and labor warranty is well documented and reliable.

 

I was a Napa auto care center.

The warranty I was able to offer as part of the program turned out to be worthless to the customer.

 

Hmm something doesn't add up here...? Please do explain, Alfred!

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UPDATE 7/27/15

 

Terry Mann is no longer with Napa. he gentleman whom he referred to me via a cc on an email he sent to me on Jun 30th still hasn't gotten back to me. I called today, and they said I need to speak to someone named Ted Hood, who worked alongside Terry in the past; holding the same title.

 

I called the gentleman Terry previously cc'd into the fold, and had a brief, pleasant, and what I thought was a fruitful conversation. He indicated he would look into this, and get back to me, but he failed to do so. I left 2 messages on his voicemail, but as I still hadn't gotten a response, I called their office again today, and got the info on this other gentleman, Ted.

 

I'll let you know how this works out. Either way...i'm starting to wonder if I did something to offend them. Of course, I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt, as I know full well how chaotic it can be when there's any degree of change or turnover in staff.

 

Here's hoping!

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I've had Napa care customers from out of state come in for repairs to us because we were an auto care center. Each time the claim was not paid by the autocare warranty, they had some excuse to not pay. They basically asked us do the repairs as goodwill. Napa supplied the parts, we did free labor - free labor on another shops comeback with promises of getting reimbursed. No thanks. I assumed that my customers will experience similar results. Don't get me wrong, the marketing and customer care level is superb! Actually getting paid is the issue. It may have been my local stores incompetence in handling claims, your results may vary.

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Ok, ladies and gentlemen, I've got the final answer from Napa about the circumstances I describe in this thread, and this is the best I can explain it...

 

I talked to a total of six different Napa employees, all managers. I literally climbed the tree of authority, and last spoke to a gentleman who claimed to be Napa's VP. The conversation with him was very polite, and grounded in solid business candor from both sides. The other 5 people I spoke to were SIGNIFICANTLY less qualified to be trying to address my concern, and although I ranted freely to my wife about how I feel about the rest of them, I ill only tell you here that I have no respect at all for any of them. Until I rattled the chains to near the top of the oranization, no one seemed to have a clue what they were talking about, and seemed better suited to have been working the cash register at the local gas station, answering questions about why the green slurpie machine wasn't working right now.

 

Alas, I will NOT be carrying my nearly million dollars worth of parts purchasing through the Napa doors, and here's why: The Napacare program was designed by their corporate office as a tool for the Napa parts stores to use to draw in more business in their local markets. Period. Napa's corporate position is to allow the local store owners ABSOLUTE authority over who they sell parts to, and who, in fact, they allow the designation of becoming a certified Napa Autocare center. The VP I spoke to indicated clearly that the Napa store owners are NOT partners, they're not seen as franchise participants...they are CUSTOMERS of Napa. Yep...Napa Corporate sees them as their customers, not the installers, and surely not the end-use consumers. THAT, in my mind, completely explains why no one seems to care whether the local Napa store owner has been making such dramatically bizarre decisions about who he feels like selling parts to.

 

So, the quick answer is this: The VP confirmed that no one in the corporate office, upon launching the Napacare program to their customers, ever thought it would necessary to ask, "What if I don't WANT to sell more parts?" I guess I don't like the answer because it cuts across the grain of good business practices, but at least I understand how we got to this point.

 

The VP promised that "if the dynamic of the environent" in my local market was to shift, or anything were to change that might clear the way for us, tha he would make sure that someone would be in touch with us. I thanked him for that, and told him that if that happened, when the Napa suits pulled into one of my parking lots, if they saw someone else's branded logo/colors on my building alonside my own, that they should keep driving, because at that point, it would be too late.

 

It is what it is.

 

Just one man's sorrowful journey through Napa's fields of ignorance.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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