Burson Auto Parts is proud of its ‘trade first’ focus

When Burson Auto Parts General Manager, Frank Petruccelli, joined Bapcor in June of 2019 following two decades with the Blackwoods division of Australian business giant Wesfarmers, he says he was immediately impressed by the business.
“My first impression of Burson Auto Parts was that it was an amazing Australian business,” Frank said.
“The people are fantastic, and they have real passion for their customers. They also have incredible automotive knowledge as so many of them are career car parts professionals.
“I firmly believe that our people truly set us apart from our competitors. It all still seems to run like a family business, despite the company’s impressive growth.
“The customer care that I have seen from our people is at a level that I have never seen before with any company that I have been exposed to in Australia – it is truly extraordinary.
“During my industrial products career, we did next day deliveries and we charged a fee for them as well. I went from that, to watching stores deliver parts to customers within 30 minutes multiple times each and every day and at no extra cost.
“The level of customer service we provide is truly unparalleled compared to any other industry, unless you ordered from Uber Eats every half hour of every day – but you would be paying a heap for that!”
Frank predicts a bright future ahead for Burson Auto Parts and its thousands of trade customers nationwide.

“Our future will find us adopting more best practice business models to further improve our efficiency and customer service, including our ERP systems, B2B Integrations and the constant review of our parts inventory to ensure that our stores always have what our customers need,” Frank said.
“I can easily see another 80 to 100 Burson Auto Parts stores added to our national network over the next three to five years, ensuring we have stores wherever our valued trade customers need us to be.
“One constant will always remain the same regardless of the company’s growth and that is Burson Auto Parts’ total focus on the trade.
“The trade has and will always be our primary focus at Burson Auto Parts. We are fortunate that in being a part of the Bapcor Group, we have retail businesses such as Autobarn and AutoPro to handle that sector of the market; we don’t need to deviate any of our business focus away from the trade.
“This is important as the trade represents the foundation on which Burson Auto Parts was built and subsequently became the trade’s preferred choice for parts, tools and equipment.
“The trade is what our model is based on and we are completely comfortable being the Trade Parts Professionals, we are not trying to be anything other than that.
“As workshops become busier, there is the expectation that Burson Auto Parts will be able to continue meeting their delivery expectations.
“We understand it is critical for every mechanic to get the parts they need in order to get each car off the hoist – and more cars coming off the hoists directly translates to more money they are earning.
“By keeping a vast store inventory of parts with fast delivery times, we reduce the need of our trade customers to spend business capital on having their own stocks of parts.
“It enables them to spend that money on other important things like upgrading equipment, office facilities and technology.
“We take on the responsibility of ensuring our customers have fast access to everything they need to run their service and repair businesses.”

Rather than being based at the Bapcor head office in Melbourne, Frank has elected to have his office based at the Burson Auto Parts Airport West store, where he can talk to staff and customers and see first hand what is happening at the coal face of the business.
He has also placed all his regional managers in offices that are based in Burson Auto Parts stores across the country for the same reason.
“I love being able to step out of the office and see exactly what is happening at the store level, speak to our team members about any issues and gain feedback from our customers,” Frank said.
“This also helps our regional managers to gain a better understanding of our customer, store and product inventory requirements.”
According to the Burson Auto Parts General Manager, another key advantage is the ability to further support trade customers with Burson Equipment and Precision Automotive Equipment teams that fit, sell, service, maintain and repair state of the art Summit, Hunter and Rotary workshop equipment.
Frank states that Burson Auto Parts has also enjoyed very successful long term supplier relationships, something which he believes to be extremely important.
“I come from a career background where the customer comes first and the supplier a close second. At Burson Auto Parts we deal with the big brands for a number of reasons, predominantly being reliability, trade confidence, quality and support,” Frank said.
“Our long-term suppliers treat us as an extended part of their family, so we like to treat our suppliers as important parts of our business, not to deal with them at an arm’s length. We consider this vital to our business success.”

In relation to the future of the general automotive aftermarket industry, Frank has the firm belief that it will continue to grow.
“With the average age of a car in Australia being 11 years and with EVs nudging just one percent of the market and with future technologies also playing their part in mobility, plus so many internal combustion engines still being sold, there are still many years left for service and repair workshops to grow their businesses,” Frank said.
“The media seems to get excited about identities like Elon Musk and the like, but when you compare the numbers, the automotive aftermarket business model remains extremely strong and will continue to be very profitable for many years to come.
“Whatever happens in terms of mobility technology, all of these vehicles will still need to be maintained and we will still be supplying parts for them be it EV, Hybrid, Hydrogen powered or whatever else comes our way.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be part of a great group of people working in a great industry that has a great future ahead. It is incumbent on all of us to preserve our special Burson Auto Parts culture as we open new stores and welcome new people to join our ever-growing and proudly Australian company.”

To learn more about Burson Auto Parts, visit www.burson.com.au