Bill Bryan, store manager, Bumper to Bumper, Elmhurst, Ill. Auto Wares, is the 2010 Counter Professional of the Year.
year’s Counter Professional of the Year award requirements were more
strict than in years’ past. In addition to being ASE P2 certified,
applicants or nominees had to also be AIA Import Parts Specialist
Bryan is a consummate parts professional, having been in the parts field for 20 years and automotive in general for an additional
four. He manages nine employees. He currently works in a hub location
that dispatches parts for a group of Bumper to Bumper/Auto Value stores
in the Chicago metro market.
year marks the 25th anniversary of the Counter Professional of the Year
award. As part of the application process, finalists are asked to
review in an essay the three biggest issues facing the aftermarket.
his response, Bryan said he believes more time must be set aside for
counter professionals to train. “We have vast amounts of training
available to help everyone learn the newest systems, refreshers for
stuff you don’t see everyday and not a lot of us set aside the time for
it,” Bryan wrote. “Many do but more could. Training is key for success.
The more everyone learns, the easier the day goes because everyone can
help everyone. I don’t claim to know it all, but I am not afraid to ask
my peers for help or ideas.”
believes the poor economy should help the aftermarket garner sales. “We
need our customer’s business to stay alive. Everyone needs to ask for
the sale, period,” he wrote. “Mr. Shop owner is hurting too, and has
probably let that helper/apprentice go or reduced payroll hours in some
fashion. Now it’s harder for him to chase that part you might not have.
If it’s a dealer part or at the competition, ask him if he wants you to
go get it. You can make a few bucks and it’s less stress on the shop’s
part. That makes him just a little bit more loyal.”
Bryan discussed one of the hot-button issues that affects operations
each day and how he has tackled it. “Returns nowadays are crazy. You
sent the wrong part, you got the wrong info, the vehicle owner
cancelled or the old part was put in the box to show Mr. Car Owner and
ended up in the returns,” he wrote “We make it a habit to open every
box that comes back. It’s a good habit to be in.” The reasons to make
opening each box a habit are many, he believes. “It keeps that special
part that the next guy might need a good clean part on the shelf, not a
used or a core,” he wrote. “The last thing you want is to send out a
clean box and get the nasty, upset phone call from the shop. Open your
returns when you get them, you’ll be happier in the long run.”