‘I don’t know if the competition even comes close to doing what we do for our customers’By Pat Lee
Stan boyd and his staff at napa dartmouth were recently doing inventory at the prince albert road parts supplier store, a job that used to take an evening to complete.
Now they set aside a week to do the job. Boyd says that’s just one of the ways the business has evolved since he started with the company in 1980.
“The amount of inventory that we have to keep now is crazy,” he says, noting they used to have about 5,000 products to track, a number that now hits around 20,000.
“There just weren’t as many models of cars when I first started and now it’s 20- fold that.”
Boyd, store manager, says the company, best known as an auto parts supplier, has also gotten into selling more consumer products like Bluetooth speakers, bike racks or tools.
“We never really had that in the past and now it’s all there.”
About 80 per cent of their business remains in the wholesale market.
The Dartmouth store, which opened in the 1970s, used to be on Main Street but moved to Prince Albert Road in 2004.
Being connected to the NAPA Auto Parts network means the business has access to NAPAs many programs and huge inventory of quality auto parts.
The business gets its orders from NAPAs centrally located Moncton, N.B., warehouse on a daily basis, from Monday to Friday.
Boyd, 57, started as a part-timer while still in high school with plans to head to the air force after graduation. But he got offered a full-time sales position after someone left and he’s never looked back.
He says NAPA is constantly looking for new ways to improve.
“We’re always changing so you’re never really bored. It keeps you on your toes,” he says. “There’s a little bit of excitement all of the time.”
He says the auto parts business is highly competitive, noting that in Dartmouth they used to have maybe one direct competitor and now there are about eight others.
And that’s not even counting all the other places you can grab a litre of oil.
“Everybody is selling the mainstream stuff like oil and wipers and bulbs. You can buy them at Superstore now.”
Boyd says NAPA retains its edge by treating its customers well, with many perks and promotions not offered by others.
“We’re really customer oriented. We do special events for customers. I don’t know if the competition even comes close to doing what we do for our customers, like trips and nights out and rewards nights.”
A father of five grown children and two grandchildren, Boyd is also kept busy on his hobby farm in Windsor where he has horses, pigs, chickens and turkeys.
Boyd says he had a high regard for the company when he was hired, a view that hasn’t changed after almost 40 years.
“I’ve always thought we have some pretty high-class people,” he says. “I’d looked at other positions with other companies, but they just didn’t have the same appeal. I always thought we were a pretty class act.”