Semester Project Proposal
Business organizations implement superior models to deliver finished products, accessories, or goods to customers and eventually record increased profits. The selected company for this discussion and analysis is Advance Auto Parts Inc (simply Advance). It operates in the automotive industry by marketing a wide range of spare parts that customers can install or seek the services of professionals.
It operates in North America and has Carquest branded outlets in different countries, including the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Mexico (Cocco). In terms of size, this company has over 4,900 stores and around 150 Worldpac outlets. It operates a total of 1250 Carquest stores in different regions (“Advance Auto Parts Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results”). In 2018, this organization had over 70,000 skilled employees (Cocco). Advance is a private company that examines the changing needs of car and truck owners in order to meet their demands. The current strategy has made this organization profitable and capable of transforming the targeted clients’ experiences.
The existing relationship with this company is that of a business-to-customer. I have purchased several items from this organization for servicing different vehicles. This scenario explains why and how it has been easier to identify certain challenges and gaps that might be affecting this company’s growth and performance. Within the past decade, the company’s social media FunPages have had numerous complaints regarding unaddressed issues or defective parts (Cocco). The leaders at the company fail to offer the relevant support or guidance for problem escalation or resolution. These gaps could signal the presence of a managerial gap.
A detailed analysis from the company’s annual reports and studies focusing on the leadership and business model will offer the required information to complete this research project in a professional and timely manner.
Advance is currently one of the leading marketers of automotive spare parts in North America. This organization collaborates with different manufacturers to understand the servicing needs for various cars and trucks. This model makes it easier for the employees to predict the future expectations of different customers. It has been in the automotive aftermarket sector for the last 88 years since Arthur Taubman started the business in 1932 (Cocco). These attributes make this organization competitive and reputable in the identified segments. Advance’s expansion and dominance in the surrounding countries is a clear indication that it will remain profitable in the future.
The establishment of a superior culture at Advance is a strategy that continues to improve organizational performance. Some of the shared values at this company include integrity, trust, and honesty (Cocco). The focus on such attributes encourages individuals to work hard and consider additional ways to address the demands of more customers. The organization has several shared assumptions that influence workers’ actions and goals.
For example, there is a code of conduct that ensures that all individuals are willing to respect each other and put the client’s needs into consideration. Workers are convinced that the needs of all customers should always be pursued and understood diligently (Zhang et al. 498). The major artifacts include the manner in which shops and outlets are branded and the company’s logo. The legendary achievements of Taubman are encouraged or reexamined to ensure that all participants are willing to deliver positive results. These attributes have resulted in the development of an admirable culture at Advance.
Within the past decade, various changes and developments have emerged that are capable of impacting performance. For instance, this organization has considered the importance of introducing modern technologies as a way of streaming operations and addressing the complaints different customers and employees present in a timely manner. This aspect has managed to deliver additional gains or performance (Zhang et al. 501). In terms of location, this company has considered the importance of expanding its operations by targeting new countries in North America and Latin America. Such approaches have resulted in vertical growth or expansion, thereby attracting additional customers.
With these changes, the current number of workers has been unable to meet such demands from different clients. The performance expectations have also continued to decline due to the nature of these issues (Cocco). The most prominent aspect that can result in additional challenges is the current gap in the manner in which this organization tries to identify, appreciate, and resolve most of the issues customers present.
The essence of management is to plan, staff, coordinate, and organize to ensure that all actions and activities being undertaken can transform the experiences of the workers, thereby setting the right stage for meeting the emerging demands of all the identified customers and other key stakeholders. The consideration of such a practice can present additional approaches to solve the identified issues and improve the level of performance.
The current area of reduced customer satisfaction is important for this case since it can guide all partners to engage in constant evaluation and identify new ways for transforming the situation.
The consulted materials and publications have identified Advance as a successful competitor in the automotive aftermarket segment. It has a superior model that resonates with the trends recorded in the regional sector. However, there are specific gaps that have the potential to disorient future performance and minimize the recorded profits. For instance, there is a huge gap between managerial activities and the specific responsibilities of those at the bottom of the organizational structure (“Advance Auto Parts: Human Capital Management Disclosures”). Such an obstacle reduced the level of motivation and the workers’ ability to focus on the unique challenges different customers present. The individuals were finding it hard to provide personalized services and increase the level of satisfaction.
While the established culture was effective and capable of improving the company’s profitability, the managers had failed to sport most of the Worldpac and Carquest outlets to borrow or implement the original company’s model. Consequently, such shops were pursuing a diverse approach to offer the intended services to the customers. Some of the employees in such outlets lacked additional competencies that could make it easier for them to offer technical repairs and fittings depending on the needs of the customers.
The outcome was that the organization was operating as if it was comprised of different entities with their unique goals and expectations (“Advance Auto Parts: Human Capital Management Disclosures”). Such a model was also affecting the speed at which emerging issues or complaints had to be identified or addressed and guide more customers to achieve their goals. If the leaders at this organization fail to consider the validity and potential implications of these issues on future performance, chances are high that Advance might record reduced profits and suffer the increasing level of competition from different companies, such as Bosch and AutoZone.
Advance is expanding its operations in North America by identifying underserved regions and competing directly with the leading players in the automotive aftermarket sector. In 2018, this organization managed to earn profits amounting to around 424 million US dollars (“Advance Auto Parts Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results”). The current complaints from different business partners and stakeholders can affect the level of business performance if superior strategies are not put in place. The managers will need to pursue or implement evidence-based initiatives that can tackle the issue immediately and make it possible for the organization to continue increasing its profitability while improving the experiences and satisfaction of its customers.
The first recommendation for this company is for those in topmost positions to consider the importance of introducing a new strategy to align all the segments and outlets. As observed from the above findings, it is evident that the company lacks a uniform model for meeting the demands of the customers and ensuring that the experience remains unchanged. The decision to allow different outlets to work independently and provide their unique services to different clients has contributed to increased revenues. However, this move has made it impossible for the managers to understand how different workers apply the relevant values and guidelines to meet the changing demands of the targeted customers (“Advance Auto Parts: Sustainability Reporting”).
The approach has become troublesome since some of the complaints might take longer to address. The proposed or streamlined initiative will make it possible for the current leaders to oversee and predict the actions associated with all Carquest branded outlets and Wordpac branches. The customer will become more convinced and willing to seek additional services from the organization in the future.
The second approach or consideration for improving the nature of operations and overcoming the above challenges is the implementation of a superior employee motivation program. One of the outstanding roles and responsibilities of management is to plan and ensure that all workers are aware of their specific duties. However, the absence of proper guidelines and resources will make such individuals less motivated and unwilling to achieve the outlined business goals. They might be unhappy with the working conditions, available personal protective equipment (PPE), and incapable of meeting the unique demands of the customers.
The leaders at Advance Auto Parts, Inc. will have to consider some of the best approaches to maximize the experiences of all workers and eventually support the delivery of desirable results (“Advance Auto Parts: Sustainability Reporting”). For example, the company can standardize all working environments, train the majority of the workers, and introduce new approaches for completing tasks. Modern technologies should become part of every outlet to handle complaints in a professional manner and escalate them accordingly. Better salaries can ensure that majority of the employees are willing to deliver positive results.
The third initiative that Advance needs to consider is the importance of taking staffing to the next level. The managers will apply their experiences to ensure that the targeted tasks or duties are matched with people who have the right skills. Although this happens to be the case in the majority of the stores, there are specific ones that focus on ways through which the customer can fit some of the spares without help. A new staffing model guided by the expectations and demands in different regions across the United States will minimize most of the complaints and eventually improve client satisfaction.
The majority of the workers will develop a positive attitude and engage their colleagues to add value to the company (“Advance Auto Parts: Human Capital Management Disclosures”). The recommendation will also encourage more managers of different operations to be involved and match customers’ needs with the supply chain process. The targeted car users will experience the best support and eventually become repeat clients. These gains will make it easier for Advance to maximize its gains in its industry.
From the nature of these recommendations, it is notable that the targeted company can implement them successfully without experiencing any challenges. They are capable of addressing the outlined problem within a short period. The organization will find it easier to identify new areas for continuous improvement and eventually maximize profitability. The involvement of all key partners and stakeholders will support the entire process and eventually make Advance more profitable (Zhang et al. 501). Additionally, these suggestions are implementable without attracting opposition from the stakeholders. Chances are high that the majority of the workers will support them since they have the potential to transform their experiences.
In conclusion, the implementation of these suggestions will make Advance one of the best organizations work for in North America. The strategies will minimize the above issues that continue to disorient performance. Consequently, the majority of the employees will become involved, offer personalized customer support, identify new ways of solving or escalating problems, and eventually attract more clients (Zhang et al. 509). The introduced aspects will become powerful guidelines for improving operations and practices at this company continuously. The organization will maximize its competitiveness and become a leading player in the regions’ automotive aftermarket sector.
- “Advance Auto Parts Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results”. Business Wire. 2019. Web.
- “Advance Auto Parts: Human Capital Management Disclosures”. As You Sow. 2020. Web.
- “Advance Auto Parts: Sustainability Reporting”. As You Sow. 2018. Web.
- Cocco, Federica. “Walmart and Advance Auto Parts Forge Online Partnership.” Financial Times, 2018. Web.
- Zhang, Yongan, et al. “The Influence of Management Innovation and Technological Innovation on Organization Performance. A Mediating Role of Sustainability.” Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 2, 2019, pp. 495-515.