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    • By Dorman Products
      Builders Series Electrical Accessories | Counterperson Training from Dorman Training Center
    • By Counterman
      Randy Shambro’s love affair with cars began at a young age.
      Shambro recalls gazing longingly at the Dodge Darts in the showroom window when he walked by Mr. Norm’s Grand-Spaulding Dodge on the west side of Chicago. At the time, it was the biggest high-performance Dodge dealership in the country. Co-owner Norm Kraus rose to prominence by squeezing big-block V-8 engines into the Dart (something Chrysler said was impossible), inspiring Chrysler to produce the 383 Dart GTS and the memorable M-Code 440 Dart GTS. Kraus remains a legendary figure among Dodge/Mopar performance enthusiasts (see sidebar for more).
      Growing up in the golden age of muscle cars – near the epicenter of the Dodge/Mopar performance world at the time – was a formative experience for Shambro.
      “I’ve always liked cars, even when I was a kid,” Shambro recalls. “I used to look out the window of my house and I could tell what kind of car was going by. Now you can hardly tell. But back in the day, you could tell by the front end and the bumpers.”
      Shambro, the 2023 Counter Professional of the Year sponsored by WIX Filters, has parlayed his love of muscle/pony cars into a fulfilling career in the automotive aftermarket that has spanned more than 40 years. Today, he is the assistant manager at O’Reilly Auto Parts store 3381 in Chicago. 
      Shambro’s story begins in 1977, when he purchased a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda (which he still owns today). Obsessed with his beloved Barracuda, he made so many trips to Sunnyside Parts Warehouse for replacement parts that the manager eventually asked him if he’d like to work there. Shambro took him up on the offer.
      “I was pretty much an order picker at first,” Shambro recalls. “I was filling orders from dealerships, pulling fenders, tracking down crash parts.”
      The employee discount wasn’t the only part of the job that appealed to him, though. “I liked the job a lot,” Shambro says. “There was a lot of camaraderie with the guys I was working with. It was a lot of fun.”
      link hidden, please login to viewPhoto by Kristen Hudson
      A few years later, Shambro landed a job as a counterman in the parts department of a local Chrysler dealership. Shambro saw it as a great opportunity to leverage his experience with Chrysler parts. Plus, prior to working in the aftermarket, he’d been able to enroll in some classes at a Chrysler technician-training center, thanks to a shop owner who had worked on his Barracuda.
      In the early 1980s, Shambro worked at a mom-and-pop shop called Almor Auto Parts.
      “I was cutting drums and rotors, pressing bearings and U-joints and cutting flywheels,” he recalls.
      Shambro bounced around for a bit, working at independent and franchised parts stores. In some cases, the store closed or couldn’t afford to keep him on the payroll. For several years, when his wife, Ellie, lost her job, Shambro was working two jobs to support his family.
      Through it all, he never questioned his choice of career.
      “I wanted to do parts. That was always my main thing,” he says. “I enjoyed it. Back in the day, I had part numbers memorized, so I could pick them up right off the shelf without looking anything up.”
      Starting in the early 1990s, Shambro spent 15 years selling aftermarket accessories and custom parts. The timing turned out to be fortuitous: When the first “Fast & Furious” movie hit U.S. theaters in 2001, it inspired a new generation of car enthusiasts – and sales of aftermarket accessories exploded.
      “We made a lot of money when ‘Fast & Furious’ came out,” Shambro recalls. “I was selling nitrous kits, body graphics, spoiler kits, spoiler packages. I used to sell LED [exhaust] tips, but those didn’t last long in Chicago because of the salt.”
      O’Reilly: A Great Fit
      Shambro’s career has shifted into high gear since joining O’Reilly Auto Parts in 2009.
      As a member of Team O’Reilly, Shambro has been able to showcase his deep parts knowledge, customer-first sales mentality and roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic. It’s been a great fit. Since he joined O’Reilly, Shambro has progressed from the role of parts specialist to retail service specialist to his current position of assistant store manager.
      O’Reilly has recognized Shambro on multiple occasions for his sales achievements, and he is quick to credit O’Reilly for fostering a supportive culture that has allowed him to thrive. “They take care of you,” Shambro says of O’Reilly. “If there’s anything you need – any questions, any problems – they’re there for you. They always work with me on my schedule. And they have a great culture. We all work together, and we have each other’s back.”
      That support system starts with his district Manager, Fred Perez, who accompanied Shambro to AAPEX in Las Vegas, where Babcox Media (publisher of AMN/Counterman) and WIX Filters formally presented the 2023 Counter Professional of the Year award to Shambro.
      Perez agrees that O’Reilly has been an outstanding fit for Shambro, and vice-versa.
      “He still has that enthusiasm for O’Reilly,” Perez adds. “Randy lives by our cultural values. He believes in them and he talks about them all the time.”
      link hidden, please login to viewRandy Shambro and Fred Perez at AAPEX in Las Vegas O’Reilly store 3381 is located at 7250 West Foster Ave. in Chicago. A lifelong Chicagoan, Shambro has been selling parts in that neighborhood since the early 1980s. He’s known some of his current customers for 30-plus years.
      Over the years, parts stores have come and gone, and vehicle technology has taken a quantum leap. But Shambro’s approach to customer service is timeless. 
      “It’s about putting in the time, getting to know the customers and building those relationships,” he explains. “You take care of the customer, answer whatever questions they have and make sure you get them the right stuff at the right time so they don’t have to make another trip back to the store. You go out to their car if they want to show you something or if they need something. You go the extra mile. And after a while, they start asking for you.
      “It’s about taking care of the customers. That’s pretty much all I do.”
      When it comes to taking care of customers – making sure they have what they need to complete the job the first time – Shambro sets the standard within the store and throughout the district, according to Perez.
      “Let’s say a customer is looking for a new battery,” Perez explains. “Before selling them a brand-new battery, he’s going to ask some questions, and he’ll probably go out and test the battery, the alternator or the starter. Before he sells anything, he’ll try to diagnose the problem to make sure they have the part they need to do the job right. No sense selling a battery if it’s going to come back.”
      link hidden, please login to viewFrom left: Kurk Wilks, president and CEO of MANN+HUMMEL; Randy Shambro; and Brad Beckham, co-president and incoming CEO of O’Reilly Auto Parts
      One of the hallmarks of a Counter Professional of the Year is consistently going above and beyond for the customer. That’s standard practice for Shambro, who often visits customers after clocking out. Mike Ignoffo, owner of Iggy’s Muffler in Norridge, Illinois, has been a beneficiary of Shambro’s willingness to go the extra mile when needed.
      “He does it all the time, to be honest with you,” Ignoffo says. “If he doesn’t have a part on hand, he says, ‘Let me see who has it.’ He finds it as fast as he can and he gets it here.”
      Ignoffo is one of those customers in the neighborhood who has known Shambro for decades.
      “I trust him,” Ignoffo says. “A lot of times I’ll ask him [about a part] and he’ll say, ‘This works fine. We’ve been using it a long time; I’ve tried it and it always works out.’”
      Always Learning
      With more than 40 years of experience in the parts business, it might be tempting for Shambro to rest on his laurels, especially when it comes to training and education. However, that’s not the case. “It seems like his motto is to try to learn something new everyday,” says Perez.
      To stay current with the latest automotive technology, Shambro maintains his ASE P2 certification and his O’Reilly CPP (Certified Parts Professional) designation. 
      Perez emphasizes that Shambro is always eager to share that knowledge and expertise with other employees. 
      “Randy is a great mentor,” Perez says. “He coaches all the new team members who come aboard, and he leads by example.”
      The qualities that make Shambro a model co-worker are the same ones that drive him to provide outstanding customer service on a day-to-day basis, according to Perez.
      link hidden, please login to viewShambro and Norm Kraus “He doesn’t just care about the customers – he cares about everybody in general,” Perez explains. “He wants to help anybody in any way that he possibly can. He’s the kind of guy who sacrifices a lot. He’s willing to change schedules for somebody who needs to have a certain day off. He not only helps out at this store when we’re shorthanded, but he’ll help out other stores that need help if somebody calls off. It’s the way he is. It’s in his heart. It’s the way he was built, in a manner of speaking.”
      It also helps that Shambro has found his calling. There’s a well-worn Chinese proverb – attributed to Confucius – that goes like this: “Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” That certainly applies to Shambro.
      “I love what I do,” he declares. “I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I love taking care of customers.”
      So what’s next for Randy Shambro?
      At 66, Shambro says he isn’t quite ready to retire just yet, although he considers the Counter Professional of the Year award to be the crowning achievement of a long and rewarding career.
      Recently, someone asked him if he planned to ease into retirement, perhaps as a part-time delivery driver. It’s fairly common to see older, semi-retired parts pros take part-time jobs as delivery drivers. But Shambro doesn’t see that as a viable option. “I’m a counter guy – I’m not a driver,” Shambro says. “I’ll do this until I can’t do it anymore. That’s how much I enjoy it.”
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    • By Counterman
      O’Reilly Automotive recently introduced a new line of private-label brake pads and rotors.
      Designed for newer-model domestic vehicles, BrakeBest Select Pro brake pads and rotors are “engineered with input from professional technicians to offer a quiet stop, easy break-in and complete corrosion resistance,” according to the company.
      “Our BrakeBest Select Pro lineup is carefully designed to meet the highest standards,” said David Wilbanks, O’Reilly senior vice president of merchandise. “We worked with our world-class, ISO-certified factory partners to design and deliver a solution that professional technicians will be confident to use every day on domestic vehicles.”
      The pads contain five layers of noise-canceling shims, ensuring quiet, safe stops. “The rotors are precision machined and balanced to a higher tolerance than others and will perform longer due to the corrosion-resistant coating that covers the entire surface,” O’Reilly added.
      The signature blue break-in coating not only reduces break-in time, but it also prevents future pulsation or vibration, according to the company.
      BrakeBest Select Pro pads and rotors are available
      link hidden, please login to view and in O’Reilly Auto Parts stores nationwide, including Puerto Rico. The post
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    • By abenleulmi
      Description: The program is designed to receive and display diagnostic information about engine operation via the OBD-II interface.
      To connect, you need an OBD-II bluetooth adapter.
      The program itself is able to receive all the information via the OBD2 interface.
      There are 15 customizable screens. You can display information in the form of graphs, digital values, dial. There are several predefined widgets, you can create your own.
      The program is able to display the current parameters of the engine, display and decode error codes, erase errors from the car's ECU (turn off the check engine light on the dashboard).
      a detailed description of the standard parameters is available on the OBD-II_PIDs wikipedia.
      You can set alarms for various sensor values, for example, coolant temperature, engine speed, speed.
      You can download or customize the extended set of OBD2_PIDs defined by the car manufacturer.
      The program can automatically send logs of sensor values to the web server and then you can see the route and sensor values at different times.
      Some of the program's features:
      • Measurement of torque.
      • Reading and display of information about the temperature of the engine and passenger compartment.
      • Customizable panels.
      • Determination of speed and location using a GPS tracker.
      • Sending your routes by email or social network.
      • Reading and display of vehicle errors, as well as their reset.
      • Resetting the Check-Engine.
      • Various plugins for Torque Pro.
      • Lots of different themes.
      • Compass with GPS support.
      • Connections of third-party applications, simple interface.
      What's new:
      A small update before the next update cycle starts:
      * Adjustment of a timer to fix a small startup issue on some obscure android devices
      Type: Modification
      Version: 1.12.100
      Download Link: 
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    • A-premium Auto Parts:5% OFF with Code GM5.
    • By Counterman
      KYB has announced a newly updated video training series.
      The 2023 Service Professional Video Training Series provides technicians, shop owners and service providers detailed information to help increase shock sales and better maintain their customers’ vehicles.
      “In our efforts to provide service professionals with the best training in the aftermarket, we are excited to announce the release our new service professional online training course,” KYB National Training Manager Erick Kinnunen said. “This course is designed to show the value in maintaining shocks and struts, and the importance of restoring or improving a vehicle’s original-designed handling and control by using the correct KYB part.”  
      The KYB Service Professional Video Training Series consists of six short videos, each being followed by a short quiz. Professionals will learn the importance of including shocks and struts in regular vehicle maintenance, how shocks work and wear, identifying worn shocks, making the proper recommendations and installing the correct part.
      Each user who completes the video training series will receive a newly designed KYB Training short-sleeved t-shirt. Service professionals who completed the original version of the KYB Video Training Series are still eligible, can use their previous sign-in and receive the new T-shirt as well.
      The interactive, self-paced KYB Video Training Series can be found at 
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