Ever since the recent announcement of Advance Auto Parts’ acquisition of
GPI, we’ve gotten comments on the Counterman website and some emails
from parts professionals concerned about repercussions of the deal. Much
of this is driven by fear and the lack of overall information about
what is being planned. It is human nature to worry when we hear about
change. How will it affect us and will it be positive or negative?
my years in the automotive sector, I have experienced a lot of change.
Some at the macro level and some at the close-to-home perspective. In
the long run, most of it has been positive. Of course, life would
dictate that some of it was not. That’s what makes us stronger, right?
That’s what they tell us anyway.
As I reflect back on those
changes, I can be objective enough to admit when I navigated the changes
well and when I did not. The key was to leave the emotion and
speculation out of my navigation and focus on the known facts. When I
tried to anticipate or stay ahead of the information, my batting average
was well, let’s say, less than 50 percent. And that’s probably being
Over on the collision repair side, we have been dealt
much change and uncertainty as of late. Consolidation, regulations and
insurance rules have caused great upheaval and highly emotional
behavior. But there’s a way to mitigate the fear and uncertainty that
inevitably comes with change: I remind myself that it’s critical to have
The next important thing is to stick to that plan until
some information is validated that requires an alteration to the plan.
This activity will keep you and your organization focused on moving
forward and not waste time on hearsay or speculation.
uncertainty in the distribution world currently? Of course. But having a
plan to follow and adjusting it along the way will take much of that
uncertainty away. Whether you are a supplier manager, distribution owner
or retail counterperson, you need to stay focused on what we know and
need to do. There are 240 million vehicles out there. And they need
parts and need repairs.
Let’s keep this great nation of ours moving and on the road. There are 3 trillion miles to travel this year alone.