As a former AAP team member...a TM who received the highest awards and recognitions....I can submit my observations about the continued woes at AAP. Press releases, new titles or even new programs can not replace what truths everyone has posted on here about conducting business..I applaud everyone for seeing the issues that plague this group...however it is much simplier than all that.....
AAP Needs To Revisit....
1. Serve Customers Better Than Anyone Else...This has been forgotten, lost and diluted in the last 2-4 years. The really sincere customer service motivators have been fired in place of task driven, anal retentive auditors for DMS and unprofessional leaders who could not sell if life itself was predicated upon it. Problem is ...life in retail is sustained or lost by sales...
2. Treat TMs like family or at least with dignity/respect. Anyone interviewed any one from AAP lately thats happy or satisfied with the direction? The wake up call should be the thousands of GREAT TMs terminated unfairly and the lack of exit interviews, follow-up of allegations and underhanded serverance agreements to cover the tracks. Sow a seed of ill-will...grow the plants of discontentness/ high turnover and poor results.
3. Listening skills...how many folks formerly from Advance had this on their performance review as poor but then worked for supervisors who shut you down when you addressed issues and these people are still in the leadership roles today?
I'll make it simple in closing....until the Executive Committee and newer Leadership step in and agree to make the past "Right"" and resolve old grieviences fairly and equitably....the results will stay average at best. When AAP rights the wrongs...maybe the process of sowing and reaping will favorably shine down on them again. Its an age-less principal founded long ago but still alive today. You reap what you sow!
PM, Well stated, but I think Jackson is getting better educated with the task in hand. At Best Buy, the task was much more user friendly...... you sold pleasure products with an apparent wow factor. "Isn't this neat", "It can also do this" etc. The customer experienced a sense of excitement as he enters the store. The employees were often young,up beat and armed with product knowledge. The atmosphere had a notion of futurism. On the other hand, its competitor, Circuit City missed the "wow" concept completely, then proceeds to fall on its sword by announcing the punishment of its 3500 employees thinking the shareholders will applaud. Wrong! That action outraged the buying public..... many of us will never shop there again. I don't think that company will ever recover while that CEO remains in control. Bottom line: Jackson knows auto parts are not and never will be "wow" products and the average customer will most often enter the store because of a non-elective procurement. One can not create "Wow" but it can offer more "Right" as far as auto parts and his mention of a realigment in compensation among the rank and file tells me this is going to be a well thought out implementation; but it's going to take some time. It would be nice to think that all the bloggers were instrumental in bringing about such change. Riggy
Not exactly. Think about it ! Some people are "LOWES" shoppers while others are "Home Depot" shoppers. Same with Best Buy & Circuit. Circuit has a very devoted clientelle as does Best Buy. Myself I am Lowes & Circuit----Just had better luck in those I guess. But here's the Punch line: It takes years of performing a talent required business M-O to develop that following and weather you are first or third you can make money by maintaining and growing your following. Retail history has shown that a companies sucesses are more important than a competitors failures. The demise of Montgomery ward did not greatly help sears or walmart. Sucesses speak for themselves. Thats whay Arthur & Nick went from 3 stores to thousands and until the PA merger went from 1932 for around 70 years of making a profit every year including the depression years. Arthur is dead--Nick is gone but there should be someone out there who can turn this mess into a profitable success again. Unfortunatly IMO it won't be anyone whose last name starts with W that is currently with AAP ( and I think Jackson also starts with a W--but I never won a spelling bee)
while I do agree with the spirit of the post I do not agree with the entire message. From a current TM at AAP I see changes that are positive, some I disagree with and others that do address the very issues many of you have shared here.
DJ is doing a good job BUT IMHO he needs to throw a dart at a map or list of stores and go there and WORK in the trenches for a few days without any RVP's, DM's or anyone else above the store level there. He also needs to increase payroll % to allow the stores to serve customers needs. Lastly on my list he needs to get out and meet and motivate the troops.
Many think AAP is going down hill truth is it's not but it needs refocus several items to allow TM's to do their jobs.
GUY, I am glad to hear you are detecting some positive changes on the store front. It's normal for the troops to perceive the commanding general hiding out in some safe bunker away from enemy fire while pondering over terrain maps and asking why we haven't ...... advanced yet? The new ad campaign "Keep the wheels turning" was a flare gun shot in the sky just to let the enemy know something was coming over the ridge. The objective is clear. The task is how one deploys the troops and materials. History tells us there were many assults to take the hill lead by courageous officers that often ended in unjustified casualties. Hopefully when DJ does poke his head out of the bunker after developing and executing a successful plan, he will be met with applause from his troops. If not successful, it won't be the first time a leader had to fear one of his subordinate's own fragment grenades. Right now Advance needs to get something consistently RIGHT with the operative word being "consistent". DJ can elect to go around and shake hands with the TMs and .....campaign; or concentrate on implementing a plan. This is no small task given Advance's past two years of so so performance. Bottom line- DJ " Acta Non Verba " Riggy
Love the comments by BMP. Makes me remember why I've dumped most of this albatross. His attitude is the epitome of the attitude of most upper mgmt in this company. Holier than thou, condescending, but if he had to go mano-a-mano with some of you guys in the trenches, it would be no contest. It is the collective expertise of the store level TM's that keep the company where it is because they want to succeed at what they do. Coincidentally they line the pockets of the superior layer which goes with the territory. You guys talk and the TM's "do". Sad thing is, if you would stop looking at your reflections in the pond and forcing the people who do sell and provide customer service, to participate in your own narcissism, maybe we could all make some money.
George Bush has been a politician for 20 years too. Look how good of a job he's doing.
If you are a master tech then a project pack probably doesn't float your boat but if you're a DIY'er that does a brake job once every 5 years then they fit the bill nicely.
I would never make it in the parts business. I'd give the 5 cent packs of grease away with the pads. But then, my bills never include "shop supplies," "environmental fees," etc. If it's part of doing it right I JUST DO IT........ And AGS Brake Grease is not free to me, but it is to my customer.
Oh yeah, I voted for Bush............ Sometimes we must settle for what is available.