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Now More than Ever, Speed Matters

By Tom Greco

Over the past several weeks, our customers have relied on their vehicles more than ever to access food, supplies and medical care. Our stores and Team Members play an important role in ensuring these vehicles remain in good working condition, and it’s one of the many reasons we prioritize CARE and SPEED in all we do. Through this blog, I’ve shared several examples of the care we are providing for our Team Members, customers and communities. Today, I’d like to focus on speed.

Countless articles and white papers have been written about the importance of agile teams – how providing customers trusted advice and service with speed helps businesses win in the marketplace. While it’s hard to imagine any article or white paper preparing an organization for the kind of agility needed to navigate a pandemic, nothing educates teams or sharpens focus like the urgent needs of a crisis.

In these difficult times, I’ve seen many examples of our Advance teams coming together to solve challenges in remarkable ways. Even with our corporate office Team Members operating in a largely virtual environment, we’ve in some cases accelerated our speed of execution by prioritizing initiatives, setting clear objectives and collaborating with one another. Here are just a few examples of how this work has delivered for our customers and Team Members.

· As stay-at-home orders were announced across North America, our Carquest Technical Institute and Worldpac Training Institute quickly collaborated to develop virtual instructor-led training courses for repair shop owners and their employees to assist our professional customers. This is a unique offering in our industry and already more than 12,000 people have benefitted from these virtual courses.

· On the DIY side, our teams accelerated existing initiatives and stood up several entirely new initiatives to better serve our customers with speed – whether online or in our stores. We launched a new Mobile App and a suite of services we’ve branded “Advance Same Day,” which includes Advance Same Day In-store Pick Up, Advance Same Day Curbside and Advance Same Day Delivery. “Advance Same Day” came together in a matter of weeks, including a full marketing campaign to let customers know we’re here for them with speed in a time of great need.

· With guidance evolving by the minute, we constantly reviewed and updated our operating procedures to safeguard our Team Members and customers. Our health and safety team acted rapidly to roll out enhanced sanitation practices, social distancing measures and the installation of plexiglass barriers in our stores, each of which was supported by comprehensive training and playbooks developed in parallel. We worked quickly to source much needed supplies, including more than a million face coverings for our Team Members.

These are just a few of many examples of how our teams have come together to act faster than ever before. Our Team Members inspire me every day with the way they’re rapidly responding to the challenges in front of us. And we’re already thinking about how we can capture the learnings from this way of working and continue to benefit from them long after this crisis subsides. By continuing to focus on this level of CARE and SPEED, I am confident we will emerge stronger than before.

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