Kevin Chapman, counterperson at auto parts wholesaler Auto Machinery & General Supply in Fredericton, N.B., has been named the 2009 Jobber News Counterperson of the Year.
“I am ecstatic. I never thought I would get it. I’m almost speechless,” says Chapman.
“He’s really the perfect counterperson,” says David Vaughan, sales and marketing manager of Eastern Automotive Warehousing, which operates the Auto Machinery business. “He goes completely out of his way for customers. If I’m on the road I can count on him to get things done. He really enjoys his job and is always eager to help people.”
The Jobber News Counterperson of the Year Award, sponsored by computer solutions supplier Activant, is formally named in honour of the Abe Schwarz who worked behind the counter at Toronto jobber British Auto Supply for half a century.
Chapman gives credit to the team of veteran counterpeople he works alongside for helping him learn during his 12 years on the counter.
“You can’t do anything unless you have the old school knowledge. Your computer system can do wonders and the Internet can do wonders, but it’s hard to do this job without that older knowledge. I ask them questions every day. You can’t really do this job right if you don’t.”
Vaughan says that Chapman has really embraced the technology though.
“He definitely takes our computer system and pushes it. He’s the guy always asking for more and uses every IT advantage we can give him.”
“His ability to extend the role of the counterperson from just working on the counter to helping to hone the tools he and the rest of the team have to work with provides a strong message for counterpeople going forward of the ever increasing importance of the counterperson in making a business successful,” says Jobber News publisher Andrew Ross. “If Kevin is any indication of the calibre of counterperson working today, there should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the counterperson will continue to be a crucial part of the aftermarket for the foreseeable future.”
Vaughan goes as far as to say that he is a driving force within the company.
“Every jobber is going through changes and he is one who is driving change,” he says. “It’s a great honour to have the Counterperson of the Year here, but it’s not really a shock to me because he does such an incredible job.”
Kevin Chapman will be the subject of a cover profile in the December issue of Jobber News Magazine.