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WORLDPAC Hosts Third Supplier & Training EXPO

Fulfills mission of “Leading Through Education.”

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Mary is the editor of ImportCar and Shop Owner magazines. She has been employed at Babcox for more than 26 years, and has 29 years of automotive aftermarket magazine publishing experience. In 2009, Mary was bestowed the Barry Breslow AIA Person of the Year award, presented by the Auto International Association, for which she serves on the board of directors.

With a sharp focus on supporting its customers through specialized training, WORLDPAC held its third Supplier & Training EXPO May 15-18 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla. Fulfilling the theme, "Leading Through Education," more than 500 hours of training were conducted over the three-day event.

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Business owners and technicians numbering 1,400 traveled from near and far – from 45 states, Canada and even Puerto Rico – to partake in the world-class training for which WORLDPAC is known. That number is up from 1,000 attendees at its second event in 2012. A customized lineup of 120 instructor-led technical training sessions and business management classes were offered, also significantly up from 75 classes in 2012.

With technology accelerating at every turn, so too has the need for advanced technical training so business owners can meet the service and repair challenges on an increasingly sophisticated vehicle fleet. That’s why many WORLDPAC customers closed their businesses on Friday to attend the event, realizing the value of being a part of something bigger that will pay dividends in shop productivity and profitability. Two-thirds of the owners and techs were first-time attendees, and the overall sentiment was “how could they afford not to be there.”

“Many business owners said ‘how fantastic it is that WORLDPAC would do this for us,’ said Mario Recchia, WORLDPAC’s senior vice president – marketing, who added, “We believe in education, but if they don’t come, the event won’t happen. They’re making an investment in their time.

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“Focusing on the customer is an overused phrase, but it’s really evident here from the top down … all of our senior management is here,” continued Recchia.

WORLDPAC customizes topics that are most suited to its customers’ needs, aimed at helping them better diagnose and service late-model vehicles, more of which they are adding to their broadening service portfolio. Serious about the high-level of training offered, the classes are conducted by some of the industry’s most respected instructors, some traveling from Germany and the U.K., and includes many from the WORLDPAC Training Institute (WTI) and its supplier community, as well as OEM suppliers like ZF, DENSO, Bosch and Delphi.

The vehicle-specific training, including classes on hybrids, is complemented by business-management courses, which are often the first to sell out.  “Training and hiring are our customers’ two most pressing challenges,” explained Recchia, “so our business-related classes are very popular.” WORLDPAC is also first-to-market with training on newer models, like Fiat.

Beyond the wealth of knowledge acquired from the wide array of training classes, owners and techs benefit from time spent networking and sharing best practices with their peers from all across North America. “The business owners’ world is five to 10 miles from their place of business,” explained Recchia. “Here, you can build relationships with owners from 45 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.”
And that they did, especially during the heavily trafficked Supplier EXPO, held Friday and Saturday evening, featuring more than 100 international suppliers (up from 80 in 2012).

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Realizing that training is pivotal to their success, owners and technicians welcome educational venues of this caliber with open arms. All the while listening to its customers’ concerns, WORLDPAC says it is committed to over-delivering on the training and education front.

All of this fits within the realm of WORLDPAC’s value-proposition that focuses on delivering the “Right Part at the Right Time,” an ease of doing business spirit, listening to its customers, having a vested interest in their success, paying attention to the details and never resting on its laurels. Bottom line for WORLDPAC: It’s all about the customer.

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