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The Perfect Training Tool


7/1/2003
By Jon S. Owens

For just a moment, I would like both programmed distribution and retail groups alike to focus on a common goal.
 

 More and more WDs, retail chains, regional store groups and independent store owners are realizing the importance of operating and maintaining a profitable store location. Corporate profitability, regardless of how many stores a company operates, now relies heavily on store operations. This phenomenon has been true for many years for some store operators, but only recently for others. However, now that most or all store operators manage their companies with this philosophy, competition at the store level, across all operating functions, is on the rise.

Things such as customer mix (DIY or DIFM, or both), market share within customer categories, profitability by customer, profitability by parts category, location and real estate management, hours of operation, inventory management and so on are all elements that drive successful store operations. Its as much an art form as it is a structured blueprint for success.

Each store location offers a different set of operational challenges and characteristics. Given this set of challenges, who can deny the premium importance of having competent, reliable, well-trained, talented, enthusiastic and experienced store personnel?

With corporate success becoming reliant upon store success, where are you finding the people you need to hire and retain to work in your store? A good parts person is like gold. An astute and efficient store manager is like platinum. An adept, resourceful and aggressive sales person is like a diamond. So, where are you finding these rare and precious people? Are you frustrated at the lack of available talent? Are you concerned about retaining the ones you have, or replacing them if they should leave?

Well, the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Associations (AWDA) members have decided to take some action regarding these issues. They have produced, via their Store Operations and Sales Committee, a new video called Life in the Fast Lane. The intended audience for this video is high school seniors, vo-tech students and college students. The fast-paced footage is only 11 minutes long, and it delivers an exciting and compelling message about career opportunities in the automotive aftermarket. The video touches on all aspects of the market, from careers in parts sales and distribution, to service technicians and manufacturing/supplier positions. Real-life testimonials are used throughout the video from young professionals in our market. The video is $8.99 and is available in both VHS and DVD formats.

View the video with your staff, and then initiate your own distribution of this video to the various audiences mentioned above. Give copies of the video to guidance counselors, teachers, professors and school administrators. Host viewing sessions at your place of business or at community centers. Get involved with job fairs or career days, and be sure the video is part of the agenda.

Take advantage of this video and draw newly qualified and motivated young people to our dynamic and challenging industry.















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