A Look Back on 2023 – Welcome 2024!

By Ed Eisen – Director of Field Service Operations

Well, 2023 is in the rearview mirror. How did that happen so fast? Probably because we were swamped in 2023 at General Parts Group. We haven’t quite recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but we sure leaped in the right direction.  I would like to take this time to share the highlights of what our team and food service technicians have been working on throughout 2023 and our plans for 2024 to ensure we exceed all of our food service customer’s service expectations.

Our Operations team makes sure our customers are taken care of every day, but I also want to recognize all the “Behind the Scenes” teams that keep our organization running daily. They consist of a large group of hardworking, dedicated, people in many different departments from Finance/Accounting/Collections, Purchasing, Business Development, Distribution, Talent Acquisition, Training & Development, MFG Relations, Billing, IT, and HR. A big shout out to these individuals who help keep us moving forward every day.

Let’s look at what we accomplished in 2023.

  • Safety is always the biggest part of General Parts and our focus. Even though we always try to eliminate any preventable accident or injury, we are happy that we have reduced the overall preventable injuries/accident claims by over 20% from 2022.
  • We expanded our First Time Fix Program to include 20 of our top manufacturer partners improving our overall first-time fix percentage by almost 4% from last year. With the volume of calls for these manufacturers, that is a huge improvement in delivering Service Excellence to our customers and MFG partners.
  • We made internal improvements that have had a positive impact on our customers.
    • We have streamlined our invoicing process so customers receive accurate and timely invoices.
    • We have started an integration process with one of our 3rd party service providers so service requests will populate a service order directly into our system making the process more accurate and time efficient. We hope to expand that with other 3rd party providers in 2024.
    • We have tightened up and streamlined several of our internal processes allowing us to find the very best solutions to support our branch operations teams.

We take our Core Values very seriously – SAFETY – INTEGRITY – TEAMWORK – GROWTH – COMMUNITY. We let them drive our daily decisions. I cannot let the year end without sharing this information about one of our own. We had an associate in one of our branches involved in a terrible car accident this past November. As of now she remains in the hospital and has a very long road of recovery ahead of her. This leads us to a perfect example of COMMUNITY. The local team brainstormed on how they could help their teammate and her family. Having a serious event like this at any time is tough, but right at the holidays just makes it worse. They started collecting money, gift cards, toys, and gifts to make sure her daughter would be visited by Santa. They reached out to other team members from all GP locations and the money, cards, and toys came piling in. Between these donations along with a silent auction they put together, they have collected over $2,700 along with many toys and surprises for her daughter. I couldn’t be prouder of how our GP family stepped up to help one of their own!

What’s planned for 2024?

HIRING AND TRAINING TECHNICIANS! In 2023 we found ourselves hiring people with minimal or no industry experience who were interested in joining our team. We provided them with the training and the tools, they had to bring the desire and commitment. I look at it as an investment in our industry, and it is an investment that has paid off. I’m excited to announce that our Corporate Office in Bloomington, MN will be opening GP’s first Unlimited Training Center in March of 2024. This training is aimed at candidates with little to no industry experience interested in becoming a Food Service technician. A big thank you to David Duckworth, Director of Training & Development for USG, along with Chris Walsh (GP Branch Manager), Mike Andre (GP Associate Branch Manager), and Sean Bailey (GP Bloomington Master Technician) for all of their hard work in getting this training center in place.

GROWING AND EXPANDING! We are going to need these technicians in 2024 because General Parts is going to continue to grow! We are planning on opening a new office in Columbus, OH, and Salt Lake City, UT. We have identified several of our divisions that will be expanding their footprint in their markets to offer our services to even more customers.

STEP-UP SERVICE EXCELLENCE! In 2024 we are more committed than ever to improve the service we provide to our customers, our manufacturers, and our industry partners. We are looking internally to improve our service delivery, our communication, and streamline our processes to make it even easier to do business with General Parts Group.

BE THE PREMIER PLACE TO WORK! General Parts employees are more than that. They make up our GP family. All levels of management are committed to making General Parts THE place to work! In 2024 we will be focused on not only hiring the best but keeping the best!

That’s just the beginning of things to come in 2024 – Keep Watching!

I hope everyone was able to celebrate the end of 2023 and welcome 2024 with a bang!

Happy New Year and stay safe!