I think it's safe to say the pickle represents a time, or shall we say, the "climax" of the post Taubman leadership. All, or at least most of the ideas and changes leading up to the grand pickle display (on the candy rack of all places) took us away from the roots of this great company..... and led us to the current 3 year long stagnation of the stock price. Now we are on the downhill slide of the pickle climax and getting back to some of the old ways.
I do agree with some of the current ideas from the Jackson crew (some of which are revamped ideas from the Taubman years). Nevertheless, any idea is better than the pickle, except adding a "delivery" fee of course. Just invest in your people AAP and keep to bureaucracy to a minimum or nil.... Our best part really should be our people.
RAT, I agree, our industry considers the delivery charge as a death charge. While operating an automotive machine shop for over two decades, we once tried to implement such a charge mainly because we witnessed an erosion in our ticket amount. There was once a time when a loyal customer would order his head gasket set from the same machine shop that was reconditioning his engine head. It was more efficient because the shop needed the valve stem seals to complete the job which it normally kept in stock. Also, the larger ticket margins justified a free pick up and delivery. Unfortunately, the low priority commercial customer, who we would describe as a mechanical wizzard but borderline unethical, was obsessed with the idea that he could purchase his own gasket set cheaper from a parts house, which meant we had to wait for him to receive it, make a special trip to retrieve the seals (hopefully he ordered the right set), finish the reconditioning process, then deliver it with his not so welcoming comment....."why did it take so long?" Our delivery charge policy only lasted 3 months before we had to stop it due to the exodus of our bottom tier accounts to the competition. Some business was better than no business we thought. However months later, we regained just about all the previously lost accounts. In order to preserve our own self respect and knew the quality of our workmanship was never in question, we elected to embed a "FU" charge on these accounts thinking they would get discouraged; again we were wrong becaused they stayed with us from that point on. Quality and service still accounts for somethings. Bottom line: It's a fact ..... we have a few really stupid people in this industry who create 99% of the daily frustration & waste, and are willing to go out of their way to bad mouth those who are perceived as charging them something extra. My advice ......Don't highlight anything extra as a separate item on an invoice because some of these guys can actually read! Riggy
By saying that other companies are doing it, does not make me receptive to the idea. It's a stupid idea. Where and how you draw your conclusions is beyond me.
Coppola is gone....you won't see many pickles coming from this new group. They are doing it right.
BP, the question was asked by ritzy and we answered. What's the problem with that? You seemed quite receptive to the idea by saying other national chains and independents are already charging a delivery fee. We are all still waiting for you to tell us who's charging this fee.
Who's complaining? The only thing we've done is compared the added delivery fee idea to the pickle.
AZO tried to institute a delivery charge 2 or 3 years ago, it was however discretionary for the parts pro to put it on. So, if he had a pain in the arse customer or one who historically had a high return percentage he could slap it on, problem is when you are fighting for every ticket it is impossible to make it stick unless everybody else is doing it.. putting it on an invoice to the installer is suicide, they are a fiery bunch who will refuse to pay it,, also, they will figure it out eventually if it is embedded. I agree with the previous message, 45-50% GP should be enough to eat delivery or fuel surcharges.
In case you haven't noticed the only one talking about a delivery charge are YOU guys. I haven't hear word one about it and nor do I expect to.
I guess we were running low on things to complain about so we decided to make a few up.
I don't get it.
That's correct, but the installer/dealer would never know those fees were embedded. That's the difference! You've just added a few bucks to your bottom line while boasting about no additional delivery charges.... and probably charge about the same (or less) for the part.
For returns, you refund the entire amount or else the installer will discover the embedded delivery fee. I guess you could charge a restocking fee but that would equal suicide as well.
What many people don't realize is that the $20 you pay for a set of brake pads actually cost AAP $5, maybe $8 at the most... or the $49.99 alternator actually costs AAP about $25-$26. Remember these companies are averaging between 45-55% GMU (it's in their quarterly reports).... GMU is calculated by the cost paid by AAP divided by the price paid by the garage... yes, 50% = actually means double the price... very simple. That's why I find it difficult to believe AAP would start adding on a delivery fee unless a garage calls every hour to deliver a $3 part. Yes, AAP gets killed on stuff like oil, spark plugs, and antifreeze... they might make 5% on those items. But they have to stock it to draw you into buying the profitable items.
When I was a store manager I had some garages purchasing thousands of dollars worth of parts from me a week. Why would I be a fool and charge them a delivery fee when they are 10-15% of my weekly business. That's a risk I would not take.
My 2 cents...