Bill Konlup, parts manager of the Canadian Tire Edmonton West location, has been selected as the Jobber News Counterperson of the Year.
A 37 year veteran of the parts counter, Konlup is recognized as a leading parts professional and has become also a resource for Canadian Tire but he had a modest start, installing tires in Saskatoon, Sask, where he hails from.
After five years there, Konlup moved to Edmonton to join the new, expanding franchise there more than 30 years ago. He remembers what it was like on the counter all those years ago.
“What sticks with you is we had to look up every part on a microfiche. Every couple of months you’d get a new update. Things have certainly changed.”
Konlup is the first Canadian Tire counterperson to be named to the honour. His role there has seen him deal primarily with the consumer at large, which has its own challenges, but the keys to success are the same as with many a traditional jobber counterperson who focuses on trade customers.
And, he says, the new cataloguing systems in place are helping keep customers happy.
“Sometimes the biggest thing is a language issue or they’re not quite sure what they’re looking for. You can help them with the new systems because there are a lot of pictures there.”
Over the past few years Konlup has moved progressively into a more a role with more responsibility and now handles the purchasing and inventory management of hard parts for the store.
Konlup gives credit to Canadian Tire franchisee Gerry Feist for allowing him the opportunity. “He values what we do and he treats us all well here,” says Konlup.
“There is no question that Konlup is a stellar parts professional,” says Jobber News publisher and editor Andrew Ross. “There’s more to his story, and we’ll be covering it in December, but Bill is a real example of someone who goes the extra mile for his customers, and doesn’t let the clock stand in the way of providing a solution. It’s also great to see a counterperson grow into an area greater responsibility. I think everyone will enjoy reading his story.”
A full profile of Bill Konlup will appear in the December issue of Jobber News Magazine.
The Jobber News Counterperson of the Year award is formally named the Abe Schwartz Memorial Award in memory of the owner of Toronto jobber British Auto Supply who spent half a century working the counter.
The award is sponsored by Epicor, formerly Activant, a supplier of inventory management systems and cataloguing for the automotive aftermarket.
Jobber News is the only publication in Canada dedicated to serving the distribution segment of the automotive aftermarket. Founded in 1931, it celebrates its 80th anniversary this year. It is published by the Business Information Group, publishers of other leading automotive magazines.
For more information, visit www.autoserviceworld.com.
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