ANAHEIM, Calif. — Demonstrating its passion for customer training, WORLDPAC held its second Supplier & Training EXPO (STX) 2012 at the Marriott Anaheim Hotel in California. With a vested interest in its customers’ success, WORLDPAC continues to raise the bar for training, doubling the turnout of its first-ever such event in 2009. (Editor’s note: images from this year’s event can be found in the slide show at the end of this article.)
More than 1,000 shop owners and technicians from the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico attended the 4-day event that provided a customized lineup of “All Makes All Models” technical training sessions and business-management classes, conducted by some of the industry’s most respected training instructors, including many from the WORLDPAC Training Institute (WTI).
A key component in WORLDPAC’s customer value proposition, this highly specialized training opens customers’ eyes to the fact that training and education are pivotal to the success of their business, and it pays dividends in customer trust and loyalty.
“We’re passionate about training as a company,” says Mario Recchia, WORLDPAC’s senior vice president marketing. “It’s an investment in our customers’ future; it’s an investment in our future.”
Attendee feedback at the event was very positive, as customers realize the importance of partnering with suppliers who can help them overcome the technology challenges of servicing an expanding and sophisticated import and domestic vehicle population.
“WORLDPAC is doing everything right,” said Dave Harders of Tony’s Auto Repair. “We’re meeting their vendors, they’re putting on training to give us the expertise to do the job right, and giving us the right products to keep our customers happy and keep us successful. WORLDPAC is helping us do our jobs better and more efficiently in more ways than one.”
Nate Smith of Nate Smith Optimal Auto Care, Inc. BMW, Mini Cooper, Audi Service, had similar sentiments. “Astonishing to see so many of the best trainers in America in one place at one time,” he said. “It was an excellent event, and one we’ll certainly return to. Thanks for all the hard work. That event is great asset to the automotive industry!”
The Supplier & Training EXPO is an extension of WORLDPAC’s ongoing commitment to increase its customers’ vehicle system knowledge and diagnostic prowess, explains Recchia, to fill in the vehicle education gaps for independent service technicians who really don’t have anyone helping them, unlike in a dealership setting. And, because WORLDPAC works closely with the OEMs, its training material is of a higher caliber than what’s offered in the marketplace; it’s very car-line specific, and it helps customers to diagnose and service complex vehicles including hybrids and diesels in today’s marketplace, making a positive impact on their shop’s profitability.
“An educated customer is our best customer. We challenge our customers as much as they challenge us everyday. We’re as good as our last delivery, or service to them,” Recchia continues. “We ask our customers for feedback class development comes from them. They are a part of the process, part of the team.
“We have some shop owners who have closed their businesses during the Expo and felt it was important enough to send up to six technicians and service advisors. But the challenge is how do we get customers here who don’t think they need training?”
Extending WORLDPAC’s value proposition even further is the company’s new Tool & Equipment Division, started about three years ago as a result of customers expressing the need for the proper tools to repair vehicles efficiently and effectively. Those diagnostic tool and equipment partners, and their niche products that fit its customers’ profiles, were very visible in the heavily trafficked Supplier Expo, held Friday and Saturday evening, featuring over 80 of WORLDPAC’s international premier suppliers including Bosch, Denso and many from overseas.
In the spirit of not resting on its laurels, WORLDPAC team members are ready to build upon this successful event. And, with a sharp focus on its customers, it’s easy to see why exceeding expectations pays dividends in sales growth for WORLDPAC and all of its business partners.