by Amy Antenora
Managing Editor, aftermarketNews.com
LAKEWOOD, CO — Pete Kornafel, vice chairman of CARQUEST, recently wrote and published “Inventory Management and Purchasing — Tales and Techniques from the Automotive Aftermarket,” a practical guide to inventory management for wholesale distributors and stores that supply “hard goods.”
Filled with numerous formulas from IBM, E3 Associates and other inventory management software packages, as well as more than 50 tables and charts, the book covers all areas of inventory management. The book features more than 200 pages of information and real-world anecdotes on inventory management issues such as merchandise, classification and selection, forecasting, safety stocks, replenishment purchasing, promotions, forward buying, stock adjustments and supply chain topics.
Kornafel’s extensive experience in the aftermarket, and distribution in particular, provided him the initiative and background to write his new book.
From 1970 to 1996, Kornafel and his wife Lorraine owned Hatch Grinding Co. in Denver, Colo. The company included two distribution centers supplying auto parts to more than 100 CARQUEST stores, as well as eight company stores. Both Kornafel and his wife have chaired the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), and in 1988 Pete was named AWDA’s Man of the Year. He has also taught The University of the Aftermarket’s Inventory Management Workshop to more than 200 automotive companies.
Kornafel took some time last week to speak with aftermarketNews.com about the inspiration for his new book.
What inspired you to write about this topic?
I’ve been interested in it for the 25 years or so that we owned our own business. It was an essential skill. In the 70s we got to know the guy at IBM who wrote the original [inventory management software] package because we had the biggest database for a long time. He decided ultimately to leave IBM, and my wife and I staked him into business. He created a company called E3 Associates, which is a big-league inventory management software company today. In the automotive world they provide the software for Advance, Pep Boys and CSK. In the rest of the world they provide the software to Ace Hardware and Victoria’s Secret and several of the big drugstore chains.
We were involved with E3 for about two years. He got it going, bought us out and never looked back, which is great. So it’s been a longtime interest and hobby. In the late 70s I volunteered to teach a class for then-AWDA University and I’ve been doing that for 20 years. So I’ve had people tell me things [about inventory management] for 20 years.
It looks like an extraordinary amount of research and background information went in to this book. What can you tell us about this process? How long did it take to write the book?
It’s been a spare time project for almost two years. It was really complete six or eight months ago, and it took several months to get permissions from IBM and E3 to reproduce some of the formulas. It then took a few months to get it published.
You’ve announced that all of the royalties from the book are going to automotive scholarships. Why?
Annie and I don’t have any kids. Twenty years ago all of our friends had kids in college and we woke up to the fact that we should too. So we started the scholarships to honor my parents.
We’ve funded two scholarships for the automotive programs at University of Southern Colorado, now Colorado State, in my parents names, for more than 20 years. We’ve put about a dozen kids through school there. This fall will be the first two Kornafel Scholarships at Northwood University.
I’m also Chairman of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS), and we gave a donation last year to GAAS that bought five more scholarships for them. If the book makes any money, one of those pots will get the money.
Kornafel’s book is available now at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Authorhouse.com.