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Inconceivable! & Store Personnel At Trade Shows

Read this month’s letters to the editor.


In reference to Mitch Schneider’s comments in his column, Inconceivable (September, 2006):
According to Mr. Schneider, “However, the problem was compounded when the parts house asked only two questions: ‘What’s the engine size and is it a 4×4?’”
Mr. Schneider, do me a favor: Work in a store and the the first time an ASE certified technician calls to order parts, ask him if he’s sure about what he’s working on.
Enough said.


Les Phillips, Store Manager
Jackson, OH

Mitch Schneider responds:
Thanks for taking the time to write, Les.
First, let me say that I have the utmost respect and admiration for anyone who does work on your side of the counter. It’s difficult — almost maddening — to try and pry information from someone who doesn’t have it, see the need to get it or thinks someone else should “know” it somehow.
Having said that, we’ve worked diligently to create a system that ensures all that information is available. I understand the frustration of receiving the wrong part. I fully understand the expense that 20 to 25 percent returns has on the profit picture of a warehouse or jobber store.
At the same time, I hope everyone understands the impact it has on service-bay productivity.
For those who do understand, what have you done to share your world with your clients? Have you allowed your clients to share their world with you?
The jobber-shop relationship is one of the most symbiotic relationships in the world. If we work together, we can all find ways to make it work “better.” All any of us has to do is ask a lot of questions. If we leave things the way they are, we will all live to see a new and different paradigm emerge, one we might not like as much as the one we suffer with now!
Les, how would you have handled one of your ASE Certified Parts Professionals asking me just five minutes ago, “Do you want me to look that up?”


— Mitch

Store Personnel at Trade Shows?
Regarding Jon Owens’ recent column that put forth the opinion that more store personnel should attend Industry Week: As a manufacturer, it would be nice to meet with store personnel at trade shows — not to see them fly past booths in order to see models or to get a free hat. We have to work to pull them out of the aisles and into our booths!

St. Louis, MO

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