Advance's Lauren Beaulieu: 'We're Preparing Our Customers for the Future'

Lauren Beaulieu: ‘We’re Preparing Our Customers for the Future’

Beaulieu, VP, professional marketing for Advance, Carquest and Worldpac, talks about the importance of differentiation.

In the July 2023 issue of AMN/Counterman, we gave leaders from the major distribution groups and trade associations an opportunity to reflect on the most critical issues affecting the automotive aftermarket. For the second year in a row, we let distribution leaders “riff” on these topics in their own words.

Here’s what Lauren Beaulieu, vice president, professional marketing for Advance Auto Parts, Carquest and Worldpac, had to say on the topic of differentiation.

Our enterprise is focused on providing repair shop owners with differentiating products and solutions to help their businesses succeed and grow. We’re always evolving our strategies to support the needs of our customers.

We’re preparing our customers for the future – because the future is here! We’re seeing how EV efforts are ramping up across the country. Our home state of North Carolina is opening multiple facilities that will be responsible for manufacturing batteries and other components for EVs, and I recently read that several manufacturers of EVs and EV components are coming to Georgia. As more electric vehicles and ADAS technologies populate the car parc, it’s our responsibility to support our more than 16,500 TechNet member shops and other enterprise customers with industry-leading education to support the vehicles of today and tomorrow.

Part of how we do this is through our Carquest Technical Institute and Worldpac Training Institute technical and business management training. One of the most important things a shop owner can do is invest in its people. Shops that invest in their team and create a positive, engaged culture retain good employees. CTI+WTI’s online, virtual and in-person training provides technicians, service advisors and owners the opportunity to expand their knowledge and grow their career and business. We’re developing more training content on high voltage, ADAS and other emerging technologies to help our customers prepare for the future.

Along with our commitment to expanding the curriculum available in CTI+WTI, our team is hard at work preparing for next year’s Supplier & Training Expo (STX) in Nashville. Each year, our goal is to add more relevant training and networking opportunities for attendees. We’ll have more than 350 courses led by the world’s top OE instructors, along with expert instructors from CTI+WTI. This will include significant programming on electrification and ADAS. While STX originated and is primarily a Worldpac customer event, it’s open to all our customers in the US and Canada: Advance, Carquest and Autopart International. We’re also excited to host our first event at STX specifically for members of TechNet Nation to network with other shop owners and technicians. This event is sold out, and we’re looking forward to seeing how members respond.

Earlier this year, I mentioned in this space how we’re expanding the benefits that come with being a TechNet shop. From social media templates to direct-mail designs, we’ve added more to our library of TechNet-specific marketing resources for shops to leverage. We also recently launched within our online TechNet shop locator a “service and specialty” section. Motorists can now sort and filter shops by what type of work they do. For example, if you’re looking for an import specialist, you can find the shop that meets your needs. Same if you’re looking for a shop that works on hybrid or electric vehicles, a collision center, and so forth.

Providing personalized resources to our TechNet shops while supporting the brand they’ve built in their local communities distinguishes them and helps them better-serve customers while helping their businesses grow and thrive.

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