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I have been a mechanic for many years. I used to buy Napa Auto Parts almost always. I felt the parts were good quality, although more expensive than others. It does not pay to install poor quality parts on a car, they come back, and bite you! Unfortunately, a few years ago it seems Napa changed their policy on quality. This happened around the time they totally changed the on-line site. Around the same time, I started looking at Rock Auto on-line. Rock Auto offers each part by a few different manufacturers, quality levels, and prices. I started noticing that despite Napa still charging higher prices, they were now supplying the cheapest, lowest quality parts instead of the better quality they were known for. Given that, why would a person order from Napa, when Rock Auto is surprisingly lower priced, and you have a quality level choice . Napa seems to be riding on their previous well known name, while keeping the prices artificially high. Some prime examples of this is, I purchased a starter solenoid, (eckland, Napa's electrical brand), as a preventative measure. The third start-up, after installing, the solenoid froze in the on position, with key off, and kept the starter spinning and engaged until I could unhook one battery terminal. Burned up the relay, starter, and a couple wires. I purchased a rebuilt alternator, took it from the box, and turned it, it felt rough turning, as if there was dirt in the bearing race or defective bearing components. I purchased Napa's best fuel pump, and it was very noisy from day one. I purchased a set of Napa Branded, 2 ton each, jack stands. One of them had a defective casting that would not allow the stop to lock in place. Although it seemed it locked, when weight was applied, it fell. I purchased rebuilt Ford Front calipers from Napa, and with in one year, the unplated soft steel bleeder screws has rusted solid to the caliper! Are other people seeing this too??
A six-year old startup has gotten the attention of a 93-year old industry stalwart. PartTech has announced that it is partnering with NAPA Auto Parts, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Genuine Parts Company (NYSE: GPC), to open e-commerce sales distribution channels to an industry that is heavily reliant on retail location, aftermarket shops, and dealership sales. Led by co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Erik St. Pierre, PartsTech is taking head-on the complexity of selling auto parts and making waves in the $73 billion-per-year wholesale auto parts industry. While most anything can be purchased online these days, online automotive parts sales have been only started gaining traction in recent years. St. Pierre attributes that to the complexity of the business. “Unlike most product categories that are relatively simple to describe and display online, auto parts are unique due to their complex relationships to particular vehicles, and often to other parts," St. Pierre said. "For example, a brake rotor may only fit your Jetta if the car had been manufactured in a certain date range and came with the sport package. Auto parts sales are esoteric enough that even online-retail giants have struggled, and continue to struggle, with automotive parts." According to PartsTech, 75 percent of commercial parts orders are still placed over the phone. PartsTech allows buyers to log in and search for needed auto parts and find which stores closest to them have the part in stock and, if possible, can deliver it to their location. Using PartsTech’s search functionality speeds up the process because one search replaces many phone calls. PartsTech isn’t the fronting page most consumers will see when they access NAPA’s online shopping site. Instead, PartsTech works like a site that aggregates travel deals, but for auto parts, connecting repair shops and parts suppliers to the parts they need in their local area. “In the same way that Expedia acts as an aggregation platform that brings together providers like Delta or American Airlines so that you don't have to waste time visiting 10 airline websites to book a trip, we help aggregate over 20,000 parts stores across the U.S. so that repair shops can search once, and find the parts they need to repair your car,” explained St. Pierre. There are 160,000 repair shops in the U.S. Since PartsTech's 2012 founding they have added 55 percent of those stores to their parts catalogue. Their technology also has integrated their parts ordered system within 25 shop management systems, allowing for parts to be purchased using existing work orders. PartsTech’s data shows that users who are integrated via SMS order 64 percent more parts than those working only with PartsTech.com. With its NAPA Auto Parts and Advance Auto Parts partnership among others, PartsTech aims to help vehicle owners get back out on the road sooner. “We originally built the PartsTech system for professional repair shops, but professionals and enthusiasts share a common pain point: not having a central source to track a particular car part, which is often identified while the car is torn apart," St. Pierre said. "To get cars back on the road, time is of the essence." PartsTech estimates that most parts stores deliver parts to their commercial customers in 30 to 45 minutes. As generational turnover of auto repair shops continues to evolve the industry, PartsTech sees room for expansion. Additional partners will be announced in 2019. Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2018/12/13/automotive-minute-napa-auto-parts-partners-with.html