Advance Auto Parts
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. – North Tazewell, VA
• Store Cleanliness including floors, bathrooms, facing, dusting, parking lot • General stocking including truck stocking and back stock Success… Snagajob
Advance Auto Parts, Inc. – North Tazewell, VA
• Provide GAS2 selling experience for DIY customer visits and phone calls • Achieve personal sales goal and help store achieve its sales goals… Snagajob
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at Advance Auto Parts full-time (more than 3 years)Pros
I have read all of the reviews. Some of them are fair criticism, some are not. This site is designed to give potential employees a snapshot of what to expect. Here is my honest experience with AAP.
The benefits are on pace with most other retailers.
Paid time off programs are fantastic.
The pay is in line with the industry average for salaried team members.
The new start rates for most hourly positions are fair if compared against our competitors and other sectors of the retail industry.
The new Automotive Systems Training (AST) and GM training programs are probably second to no one.
We are leading the way in the industry in a lot of areas that are going to be critical to becoming the best and staying the best.
At some point, someone, somewhere, has learned that it is not an abomination to admit when they are wrong. Advance is all about trying something new. I love that. If someone has a great idea, let's do it. We have tried several different new programs and techniques to maximize sales while minimizing financial investment. Some of these programs have had tremendous results, while some have not been beneficial at all; with some possibly damaging relationships and negatively impacting revenue. More and more programs and ideas that simply do not work are being scrapped or modified to make sense. There has been a very noticeable change in the corporate atmosphere in regards to coming to terms with a program or idea that isn't gaining traction. Someone is listening to the feedback that they are receiving and making appropriate changes to keep expectations and reality in the same zip code.
The recent change in labor management is simply the greatest thing that ever could have happened. Allowing GM's to manage their labor based on a model that establishes clear standards for results vs forecast and real time labor management over a 4 week spread is genius. Not only does it give GM's the opportunity to feel like a manager, it actually forces us to utilize critical thinking, arithmetic, and business planning.
People are being removed. People who make the lives of their direct reports miserable are being removed. Constant micromanaging and accountability to standards that can be unrealistic are starting to become things of the past. I realize that this won't be a consistent experience across the chain; but in my experience, intelligent people are being put into place. By intelligent, I mean people who can look at the big picture and understand that priorities change month to month, week to week, day to day, hour to hour. Being a manager is about managing situations as they occur and shaping actions and responses that will have the most positive impact on sales and corporate image. By putting Field Leaders into place that can manage the moment and use reason, logic, and big picture thought processes to manage their business and people, lives are changing. This single change is having a huge positive impact on revenue in my market.
There is a new training program that is rolling out for hiring and recruiting employees that will standardize the interview and selection process. Team Members who are not trained and certified will not be able to hire new employees. The impact that this will have on the quality of new hires remains to be seen, but how could it not have an immeasurable positive impact? This is another shining example of someone, somewhere, listening to feedback, identifying problems or opportunities, and making appropriate changes.
A new program was rolled out a few months ago that involved simplifying processes and reporting. This process has had unbelievable success and consolidated all of the tools that GM's need to run their business into a single place (for the most part).Cons
GM's who were put in place before the new onboard training course was implemented are not receiving that training.
GM's have zero ability to reward long term and consistent above standard performance with merit increases.
Hourly team Members who have been in place for 1 to 5 years are sometimes making less than new hires because of the new start rate guidelines. Annual increases are rare in most cases and tied to sales performance. Sales performance is tied to a sales goal. Sales goals are sometimes tied to unrealistic expectations that have not taken new competition, existing competition's new programs, and other uncontrollable market forces into account.
Disciplinary processes are a bit dated. The discipline process for any infraction that is not related to missing sales expectations are completed on paper instead of online.
We take a cookie cutter style approach on some things that we should not. Certain things are clearly not compatible with this type of management approach.
There is no channel to challenge goals or standards. There is not a way to offer suggestions to improve the business or to request that a specific situation be evaluated with an open mind. Using the Open Door Policy or channeling that type of information through supervision would be met with defensive resistance and is avoided for fear of retaliation.
GM's are held accountable to meeting a minimum performance standard. The standard is that you must be within a 15% margin of meeting your sales target. If you are not within that margin, you are formally disciplined up to and including termination. The problem with this process is that the goals are set by people. People can do things that are not ethical. For example, a District Leader (DL) can adjust a target from one store to another. If the DL is unethical, the DL can give preferential treatment to stores within their purview and assign punitive or unrealistic goals to other stores. A DL can have one store's goals set up to be a -5% comp on prior years sales results and set another store up to have a goal that is 2 or 3% higher than the prior year's sales results. This can lead to a store missing their sales target by a wide margin and being at or near a positive year over year sales comp result, with the other store having a high negative comp result for year over year sales results and being close to or making their sales target. While there are certain situations that this may be appropriate (new competition, leadership changes, etc), the potential for misuse exists with no means of remedy. This is a very flawed system.
There is very little financial incentive for exceptional or above standard sales or operational performance for non management employees.
Labor is not allocated to complete some mandatory tasks that are critical to running an effective operation. This can have a tendency to lead to GM's putting in well over their 50 hour work week to achieve acceptable operational standards.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Mid level management that micromanages or manages their people without a commitment of being firm, fair, and consistent are having a very negative impact on GM's and store teams. They need to be eliminated or considered for a position that matches their management style and personality.
Having GM's with parts knowledge can have clear benefits for a store. However, it seems that in a lot of situations where "Car Guys" are running a store, there is a lack of basic employee accountability, operational standards are lacking at best, inventory accuracy is poor, and asking some of these individuals to dissect and analyze reports equates to having a conversation with a mailbox. It seems as if it would be much easier to teach a person who has solid operational performance and people management skills how to sell parts than it would be teaching a parts guy how to run a business.
Why not create a system similar to TM calibration that is not 'score' based and is not an annual or semi annual event. Have a system similar to the customer traction system that provides TM's a place to go for anonymous feedback. Couldn't we have a system in place that evaluates feedback and compiles data based on negative and positive feedback? A system that identifies patterns of behavior based on feedback and provides real time data for analyzing organizational strength in markets or identifying markets that have inconsistent or possibly bad leadership would be a very effective tool for removing or retraining leaders who are not managing people to the standard that the company has set.
I understand that any corporate entity is going to measure the success of the company on meeting profit expectations. I understand that the company's leadership is held to the standards set by the shareholders and I do not disagree with any of it. However, one thing that we have an opportunity to improve is our philosophy on people. This does not exclusively apply to AAP. It applies to our society and the retail industry collectively. People are people. People have families, financial problems, hobbies, interests, etc. What if Advance were to take a stand on the corporate perception of their employees from top to bottom? The landscape is changing at a rapid pace. I have enough foresight to know that we have people in Roanoke that can see that. Take a look at the company that sets the standard for most retailers... They can see it. They are slowly changing their strategy and playing defense at every turn. What if we went on offense and made an investment in people? Our quest is to be the best and I could not agree more that we have the ship aimed in the right direction. But what if we made working at Advance at any level in the organization a job that someone could support a family with? If we took the lead and decided that we are going to be the best by recruiting the best, what kind of benefit would that bring with it? If every customer that came into one of our facilities or received a delivery from us had a world class experience because we were able to only hire world class employees, would that impact offset the investment, or possibly produce a return? Our pay standards for hourly employees have drastically improved and I am very appreciative for that. But is $1.25 per hour above minimum wage going to give us the leverage that it would take to recruit the most talented job seekers? Advance has an opportunity to get in front of the change that is occurring and be proactive instead of reactive.
I am not a market analyst, risk analyst, cost/benefit analyst, or an expert on macro level financials or economics, nor will I pretend to be. I would ask though, is making maximized profit a priority over maximizing the employee standard of living the right long term business plan for any company? Employees that have high regard for their employer and their job tend to be highly productive, have a better attitude, and the fear of losing their job because of fearing unemployment transforms into the hope that they perform well enough to keep their job because of genuine satisfaction for that job.
I do not know what has happened or at what level of leadership that it has occurred, but someone does. Whoever is responsible for these common sense changes needs to keep on driving on.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO