#aftermarket – A strategic planning session for the recently formed Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) was held Feb. 9-11 in Costa Rica. The Group was formed through the merger of the Pronto and Federated program groups with a goal to maximize effectiveness through a combination of efforts and resources.
Focused on continued collaboration, the productive session was a joint review of operations and programs. Members from Federated leadership and Pronto staff and board of directors were in attendance. Steve Yanofsky, chairman of Pronto from The Parts Authority, opened the meeting by stating, “We are excited about the opportunity to explore many areas that can be improved for the future and we want to expedite the process wherever possible. It is no longer us and them; it is now just all of us together in The Group.”
During the meeting, the combined group reviewed progress and joint plans in areas including national accounts, training, telematics, IT, marketing, supplier programs and future meeting consolidations. Updates were provided by staff members from both Federated and Pronto on joint projects with objectives, timetables and action plans developed.
“We are better positioned to thrive in this highly competitive landscape as members of The Group,” said Bo Fisher, chairman of Federated from Fisher Auto Parts. “We benefit from the numerous ongoing efforts of constant improvement initiated by The Group and we feel this affiliation is similar to the Disney/Pixar merger where two successful companies came together to significantly improve results.
“We could not be more proud of the positive steps we have taken and the people that we have taken them with. While additional critical achievements are necessary, we are on our way to enhancing line commonality, improving member services and increasing profitable growth.”
Discussions were held on a number of strategic initiatives for the combined membership including: Co-Man warehouse, electronic cataloging, supplier relationships, national accounts, line commonality, data warehouse, customer support and propagation of best practices.
A video conference was held with partners from the 1Parts Global Affiliation to update all participants on the progress of key actions as well as discuss efforts to collaborate on joint initiatives. The Group also reviewed industry trends and discussed innovative approaches to increase mutual success and enhance sales growth with top supplier executives in attendance. Plans were outlined for future work sessions to be held in the coming weeks.