Education And The Automotive Aftermarket

Education And The Automotive Aftermarket

How many times have you had an interview where the person sitting across the desk clearly seemed not to care, did not turn off their cell phone or did not bother to at least put on a clean pair of jeans and a pressed shirt?


By Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber

In our 40 years, we have hired many employees and have had, at times a turnover rate that still astounds us. Yes, sometimes we were fortunate and hired the “gem” who stayed with us for 20 or 25 years and flourished. But usually it was the opposite.

We noticed that when the country as a whole was experiencing full employment (unemployment less that 5 percent), the selection was generally poor and we interviewed many more candidates to find those who we considered acceptable. The opposite being true when the country was in a time of high unemployment — we usually had a larger pool of good potential employees.

Anyone who is an owner or in a management position involving hiring has gone through this exercise and could probably share the same stories.

Looking at these experiences the first thing that comes to mind is the salary we have to offer a new employee. Unfortunately, entry- and mid-level positions in our industry are not highly paid.

Obviously, there will be a group who will not go to college, those who seek employment after high school and somehow we would like to find our gems here train them and move them up to management positions with a fair salary. How is this going to happen if schools don’t teach the necessary skills?

Education level aside, how many times have you had an interview where the person sitting across the desk clearly seemed not to care, did not turn off their cell phone or did not bother to at least put on a clean pair of jeans and a pressed shirt?

We have received e-mails from across the country regarding the poor labor pool, and the lack of industry training available.

One possible training solution is the program offered by SUNY Alfred State, which has courses available either online or on campus. The curriculum description below is from their website:

“Parts store managers train, supervise, and schedule personnel; assist in customer service; address employee and customer concerns; manage inventory; understand and interpret company policies, procedures, and legal requirements; maintain sales productivity; and oversee general store operations. A counter professional’s primary job is to meet customer needs and expectations; understand, interpret, and perform company and store selling and pricing policies; assist manager with his duties; and act as manager when necessary.”

Today’s auto parts business is no longer for those who fixed their own cars and then went on to become great counterpeople; today’s cars are just too complex. Only through continually educating our counterpros will we have a workforce prepared for the challenges of the future.

Allen Markowitz and Allan Gerber operate Auto Biz Solutions, which provides training, marketing, management and business consulting services to both the automotive jobber and independent repair shop.
For more information, go to: or e-mail [email protected]

You May Also Like

What’s Really Driving The Automotive Aftermarket’s Growth?

NPD’s Nathan Shipley looks at the many moving pieces contributing to the industry’s recent spike in demand.

aftermarket growth

Almost 18 months ago, early in the pandemic, the automotive aftermarket faced the threat of plummeting demand, like many other retail industries tracked by NPD. Looking back, we know that demand did the opposite: accelerating as the first round of federal stimulus was issued and remaining well above pre-pandemic levels ever since.

Strength In Numbers

The automotive aftermarket is filled with great people. In fact, many say it’s our strong suit.

Teamwork automotive aftermarket
Never Stop Learning

With so much internet-based training content available, it’s never been easier to expand your knowledge base.

Continuing Education
Welcome To 2035 – What Things Might Look Like

The future is what we make it. We need to start addressing technology now so 2035 becomes a bright future.

Future of Transportation
Seems Like Everybody’s Talkin’ About Electric Vehicles

Not only are people talking about EVs, but according to the latest U.S. sales figures, they’re also buying them.

Tesla Electric Vehicle

Other Posts

Still Time To Nominate Someone For Counter Pro Of The Year

We’ll be accepting nominations through Aug. 1.

Zooming In On Aftermarket Indicators

Let’s take a look at the macro- and micro-level economic data to get a read on the state of the automotive aftermarket.

Automotive aftermarket
Bring On 2021!

We’re hopeful that 2021 will begin to usher in a return to normalcy for the aftermarket – and our nation.

No Asterisk With The Counter Pro Of The Year Award

Don’t let the crazy events of this year deter you from nominating yourself (or a colleague).