Like many other NAPA dealers in the Atlantic region, Chad Murray of Moncton can trace his interest in the automotive sector to family roots.
“I have been in the automotive industry for my entire career, right out of high school,” says Murray, who is a NAPA corporate store manager.
“It’s been my whole life, my father is a technician, my grandfather was in sales, so it’s just in my blood – the automotive market – from a very early age.”
The Moncton corporate store, at 335 Edinburgh Dr., is connected directly to the automotive supply chain’s regional distribution centre. It makes for a busy workplace.
“We’re a retail and wholesale company. We provide delivery service to our wholesale clients around the Moncton area,” says Murray.
“My store is hooked right to the distribution centre. It’s the main counter store here in Moncton.” The 3,500 square foot facility has 14 employees.
The distribution centre has its own staff that process the orders, packing and sending them out for delivery.
Murray, 40, has headed up the Moncton operation for the past five years. He grew up in nearby Sackville, N.B.,
The store provides a wide range of top quality NAPA products and equipment to businesses which serve the region’s construction, industrial, logging, fishing and mining sectors.
Hydraulic fluid, gear fluid, all different types of greases, heavy duty cleaner, brake cleaner, electrical cleaner, brake pads and rotors are some of the NAPA products supplied by the store, Murray says.
The streamlined access to the NAPA line provides quick and efficient service to corporate and retail customers as well as other NAPA stores in the region.
“The distribution inventory is my inventory. I have access to all the inventory at any point in time during any day,” Murray says.
“Basically if any store or any customer, whatever they need during the day, they order right through me, and I can provide that to them.”
It takes only minutes to process the order for the customer, who can either access it right at the Moncton store, or it is shipped to the site where the order was placed.
Specialized training sessions are another unique feature of the Moncton operation.
“We host six clinics a year. They are held at NBCC [New Brunswick Community College] here in Moncton.
They are put on by specialized trainers … for technicians as well as owners on different products that we sell and any new and upcoming vehicles that are coming out on the market,” he says.
“We bring technicians up to speed on any new equipment they may need to properly service any new vehicles that may be coming into their base. This training we provide is exclusive to NAPA.”
NBCC , with its automotive programs and close proximity, also makes it a resource for supplying trained workers.
“We do reach out time to time to the automotive sector of the community college and once in awhile, we are able to get people to come to fill in gaps at the store and different stores, Murray says.
“What we are also able to do, by doing that, is to help our customers. To help automotive service providers out in the area get new tecnhicians hired from the community college. We are able to place some of these young people into the market through our network.
“So all of these owners who are going to these training programs, they are getting to see some of these young kids in there, too. So we are able to get some of these young kids place into jobs a little easier. All around it helps bring us together. “
The store also supplies an extensive line of NAPA products, equipment and expertise to its retail customers.
NAPA has a flyer program six times per year, Murray says.
“We also do two retail sales events throughout the year, one in the spring-summer, one in the fall-winter, which is a customer appreciation day. There’s a barbecue and discounted items throughout the store with giveaways and that kind of stuff. It’s to draw in customers and to let them know we appreciate them coming by.”
Murray envisions purchasing NAPA stores in the future, venturing out into a larger operation. He said the NAPA group is like family.
“It is a very welcoming family. If someone is looking for a career path, this is a great family to work for.”