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Advance to Purchase GPI CARQUEST


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I think the purchase of BWP by Advanced at the beginning of the year has yielded pretty solid results so far. I was very skeptical at the beginning but am becoming much more comfortable with the process. Advanced brings massive purchase power and warehousing/distribution muscle to the table. The changes in product lines are ok in some cases, not in others though. So far they have kept on most of the BWP personnel, which has been key. BWP/Carquest has done very well in the wholesale market due to their sales and counter personnel being far superior to the competition. This is something Advanced could not duplicate on their own. The API venture is a miserable failure and despite much lower prices was never able to grab significant market share in the wholesale sector. I believe that is why Advanced became interested in the Carquest brand.

 

For those of us in the northeast that were previously served by BWP I don't think there will be a significant change beyond what has already been set in motion. Worldpac is key for certain parts for us, Volvo and Saab parts they tend to have stock where our other supplies don't and that helps but we just use Worldpac to fill in the gaps where other warehouses fall short. I am not a fan of their WorldSource line, its pretty low quality. In the long run I wouldn't be surprised to see that product line and the API branded products all becoming one low qual/low cost line. There is a market for that stuff, just not at our shop.

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Advance auto parts and CARQUEST are our main 2 suppliers currently for parts. Both seem to have their pro's and con's. Hopefully a merge with these 2 companies will get rid of some of the cons from both companies and reinforce the pros. Just from reading a little blurb from the link to the article, I never realized AutoZone was such a big player in the aftermarket parts. We rarely every purchase parts from AZ.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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