LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Day Two of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance’s Rock the House III brought a booth show, an operations roundtable discussion and presentations where channel partners and Alliance Parts Warehouse (APW) staff drilled down on category management.
“Our idea was to create an environment where our shareholder owner/customers could work collaboratively to generate ideas about how we can improve as a supplier,” said Max Dull, who recently assumed the helm at APW as vice president and general manager. “The ideas and feedback we are receiving is invaluable.”
Four channel partners received awards and another was recognized during an afternoon presentation.
The award recipients were:
*Standard Motor Products – Outstanding Manpower Support
*Radiator Specialty Corp. – Outstanding Marketing Support
*GB Remanufacturing – Outstanding Customer Service Support
WAI Global – Outstanding Category Management
In addition, Dull recognized Winhere Brake Parts for its recent Lone Star Award. The award is voted on by Alliance headquarters staff the APW personnel. Dan Rader, the Alliance’s vice president for category management, presented the award to Winhere in December at the annual winter meeting in Miami for the company’s creation of the PerfectStop rotor program. Monday also featured a Town Hall question and answer exchange with Alliance and APW leadership followed by idea generation roundtable discussions with participating shareholders.
On Monday afternoon, APW staff and channel partners discussed various aspects of category management, which addressed everything from how products like oil come to market, starting from the actual drilling of it to the improper installation of some parts and how that affects how returns are handled.
Attendees were treated to an evening of music, food and craft beers at the Diamond Bear Brewery, across the Arkansas River from downtown Little Rock. Today will feature a sales and marketing roundtable and dinner at The William J. Clinton Presidential Center, among other activities. Rock the House is a tri-annual get-together for Alliance staff, APW shareholders and channel partners.
More than 330 attendees assembled in Little Rock, Ark., for the start of Rock the House III, an open house event. The tri-annual event kicked off Sunday evening at APW with participating supplier channel partners showing and demonstrating their products in a booth show setting. The booth show has grown over the years and has developed into a vital interface with APW staff and suppliers. The event also featured an Arkansas-style barbecue dinner.
“Rock the House was originally conceived as an opportunity to showcase one of the most important strategic sales-, marketing- and business-building tools in the Alliance arsenal, The Alliance Parts Warehouse,” said John Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance. “This year, with new leadership here at APW the event has become a much more forward-looking and strategic session.”
The new leadership Washbish referred to is Dull, who recently assumed the helm at APW as vice president and general manager. He joins the Alliance after a long career with many leading aftermarket companies including Clevite, Dana, Beck/Arnley and MAHLE.
“Our approach to Rock the House is a bit different than in years past,” said Dull. “We plan to spend the majority of our time listening rather than telling.”
Dull went on to say that APW’s mission had historically been to purchase in quantity and serve as a point of consolidation for Alliance shareholders. While he stressed that those tactics will continue, he suggested that the strategic scope of the operation will be expanded.
“For one thing, APW will become a center of product development designed to minimize local market risks of launching new lines for our shareholder owners,” said Washbish.
“Our shareholders are the owners of APW. It is crucial that we take the time to get their insight and input about how we best move forward,” said Dull.
(Photos by Oliver Williams)