Store staffers and repair center owners are enthusiastic about the wide selection of educational opportunities provided by Advance Auto Parts. The technician training programs can benefit a shop’s bottom line with heightened revenues, and the in-house product- and sales-oriented instructional offerings steer Advance employees along an upwardly mobile career path.
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“There’s huge room for advancement at Advance Auto Parts,” according to B.J. Gray, a “commercial parts pro” working behind the counter at the Advance store on West Patrick Street in Frederick, Md.
“There’s drivers who are now district leaders; there’s people who came in as inventory specialists who are (now) trainers. It’s a growing company, it’s a great place to work,” she reports.
“You have to keep a level head,” Gray points out. “You have to be able to multi-task. This is customer service – that’s all it is.” If you possess these types of attributes the company’s training programs furnish the necessary knowledge to obtain a steady pattern of on-the-job success, promotions and personal workplace satisfaction.
“It’s amazing,” says Gray, extolling the virtues of the ongoing training she has received. “There’s a wide variety of different categories” of instruction. “It educates you on the value of the different product lines,” which in-turn enhances the ability to confidently discuss the technical aspects of auto repairs with your professional customers – and thus they are inclined to consistently grant your business first-call status.
Filling in the gaps
“If you can get the job done faster, time is money,” asserts Kathy Lee Senft, vice president at A-1 Auto Service in Quincy, Fla. The shop regularly purchases parts from Advance, and the business has increased its profits by taking advantage of Advance’s educational courses.
“We appreciate it very much! It’s not like the fly-by-night training that comes along” from other instructional offerings geared more toward selling products rather than imparting useful repair knowledge.
In addition to her management responsibilities at A-1, “I am a technician first – I’ve worked on cars my entire life,” Senft reports, reflecting on the virtues of Advance’s training: “It’s made me a better technician, it filled in the gaps, and you learn how to run the tests.” The education focuses on clearly explaining “this is why you do what you do. It helps us to explain it more clearly and confidently to the consumer.”
A-1 was so impressed with a particular Advance instructor, the late Steve Evanoff, that he was hired to provide onsite training, delivering the “hands-on with all the toys to do the job with,” says Senft, who is still praising Evanoff’s expertise as a gifted teacher and his lasting contributions to the continued success of the business.