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Advance Auto Parts Communicates Its Commitment to the Aftermarket Independent Shops

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Hi Joe, Fred and I were just wondering why were not finding out about this meetings until after there over? Who is letting you know and how do we get put on the list?

Thanks Joe

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Please keep us informed Joe, I am starting to have more parts problems since the change over from carquest to advanced. Also we are having problems with the warranty process, how come the original installer can only be reimbursed for up to 1 year but if another shop takes care of a warranty concern they are reimbursed with in a 2 year window? I have reached out to my TechNet reps and never hear anything in return. Do you have any contacts that would talk to me and answer any questions that I may have?

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I was a former Technet member and did very well with Carquest. As the changeover took place I noticed our costs went up and list prices went way up in most Advance lines. It is very easy to look at tremendous profit margins from false, inflated list prices and think everything is great, don't be fooled. Belts, hoses, wipers and exhaust pricing seemed to be ok but all other lines were distorted with elevated cost and greatly exaggerated list prices. Numerous stocking Carquest lines were never changed over to Advance and sat fallow with no ability to efficiently sell since my shop management interface to Carquest evaporated after the changeover. I forwarded item by item price comparisons to my sales rep who in turn forwarded them to his superiors and nothing changed. The Advanced rep stopped coming in so one by one each stocking line was changed over to Napa. The Napa shop management interface is not as good as what I had with Carquest but the prices are back to normal. I truly miss Carquest and would be with them today if possible, what a shame. I would like to see how many concerns on Joe's list align with issues that I experienced, some of which are noted above.

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I use Baymaster shop management software for almost five years and it works great for my needs.


You are correct that there were many incorrect prices blamed on computer glitches. I am bad with time but I believe it was in 2013. These "glitches" caused me to investigate all pricing and compare. Almost every price comparison resulted in the Advance pricing having a higher cost and a greatly exaggerated list price. My shop management information would indicate everything was ok because my profit margin was ok. In fact my profit margin looked better than average due to the exaggerated list price of the Advance parts. Non professionals walking into an Advance store never paid anything near the list prices that Advance was supplying me with. I feel the prices were falsely inflated to hide or conceal the increase in our cost price. I supplied endless printed price comparisons and finally gave up since no corrections were being made. I still have access to Advance pricing and purchase from them occasionally but the prices continue to have higher cost/list pricing.


The interface with Carquest was the best. For my requirements no other supplier comes close to matching that but unfortunately it is gone. Back when my Advance sales rep would stop in he said that Advance would be changing over to the Carquest system but that has not happened. I have not seen my Advance sales rep in 6-12 months so if change is coming I am not aware of it. Advance uses something else or an altered version. My Napa supplier does not use the Napa interface and instead uses Nexpart which is at best ok and not even close to Carquest.


I am now a Napa Car Care center and I find the benefits, training and support are all similar to Carquest so no loss in that area.

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At a TECH NET meeting this past March in Westchester County New York, a heated discussion erupted over the acquisition of CARQUEST by Advance. And the comments by the shop owners was not good. We decided to list all our concerns and present these concerns to our sales rep. To be honest, we all felt that this list would fall on the deaf ears of a corporate giant.


I drafted a letter and sent it on its way. The letter spread through the company and it was only a few days later when my phone was ringing. Advance got the message and wanted to talk. After a few informal meetings with people from the Advance Auto and reps who were formally from CARQUEST, we all agreed that we need to break bread at a round table discussion and air out these concerns.


The TECH NET shops, along with people from Advance met in the same room last Thursday in Westchester to discuss the concerns we had listed in March’s meeting.


The meeting started with a detailed presentation on all the programs Advance has for the independent TECH NET shops and the things that Advance are working on. Programs all designed to help Repair shops become more successful. Then we engaged in an open and honest (and sometimes heated) discussion. We discussed everything from our concerns that Advance was too aligned with the DIYer to the issue that shops felt that our cultures are not aligned as they once were with CARQUEST.


Well, we may have entered that meeting with guns drawn and cocked, but the words and actions from the Advance reps resonated to all of us that Advance is a company that recognizes that the future of Advance and the future of the Independent Auto Repair shops is dependent on the relationship we create. One by one the people from Advance spoke to us, asked questions, answered questions and at the end we witnessed a different side of a company we once thought as Too Big to listen.


More importantly, this meeting set into motion and new-found relationship between the professional automotive repair shops and Advance. Our future looks a little brighter.


Hi Joe, I also would like to know what they had to say. I have been a Tech Net member for 2 years and would like to find out more on how they going to treat their best customers, the independent repair shops. Thanks.

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I to am a Tech net shop and a little worried about parts quality.

My independent CARQUEST is now stocking BWD electrical components such as ignition parts, sensors, switches, etc.

I have an Oreilly parts house up the street from us and have used BWD in the past that we got from them and have had nothing but trouble with them.

Also the Wearever brake pads CQ is now selling have me a little worried also.

We do ALOT of brakes because 70% of my customers commute 40 miles or so to Denver daily from my rural town and its all down hill

Quality of parts is very important to a shop like mine and always has been.

We are not the cheapest shop in town because we use quality parts ( or used to ) and hire the best techs to get the job right the first time.

If a parts fail because of quality that gives us a black eye, even if it isn't out fault or even if its covered under warranty.

Customers want convenience, bringing their vehicles back to have the same problem fixed again isn't convenient not to mention what it does to shop flow and profitability.

Time will tell whether this whole Advanced deal comes back to bite me in the rear diff.

There are some advantages, like their new Nationwide warranty is now 3yr/36,000 mile. You have to pay an extra $83 a year to get it.

There labor claim program is quicker but now its more of a fight than before to get it approved.

Updates to come about this Advance Auto Parts adventure.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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