2017 Uni-Select Strategic Summit

Uni-Select management team members from across Canada met with Bumper to Bumper and Auto Parts Plus store representatives. From left to Right: Sandro Verrelli, Raymond Savard, Rod Slater, Nadine Collette, Bill Hay, Linda Donnini, Marc Brazeau, Gary O’Connor, Tim Bruschetto, Brendan O’Brien, Miguel Angers, Michel Charbonneau and Pascal Leduc.

Representatives from 240 stores and vendor partners from all across Canada attended the 2017 Uni-Select Strategic Summit, which was held from May 10th to the 13th at the Château Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City.

The agenda included conferences, open-mike sessions with Uni-Select officials and many networking opportunities with key suppliers. For Bumper to Bumper and Auto Parts Plus store representatives, this conference was extremely important, as Uni-Select is currently undergoing a very active strategic development phase. The opportunity to bring together businesspeople, who are engaged in developing their stores, along with top network officials, and having them participate in a combined strategic event, was a great way to drive clarity and cohesion on the important issues facing the network.

From Across Canada

“We have stakeholders from major stores across Canada representing a very large percentage of our total sales volume,” explained Uni-Select Vice President Sales & Marketing Canada, Marc Brazeau, to the Car Care Business journalist present. “We invited them here for three reasons. First, we wanted to share information regarding our business development. Next, encourage networking and finally, give them an opportunity to meet with vendors.”

The information wasn’t flowing only in one direction, as Uni-Select officials were on hand to hear what store managers had to say. A good example of this openness was the fact that Uni-Select President and Chief Operating Officer, Automotive Canada, Gary O’Connor, was an active participant in the Q and A session with the audience. “We’ve always been close to our members, continued Marc Brazeau. We listen to what they have to say and they express their opinions freely. It was important for us to explain that whether corporate or associate store, we all share the same objectives of excellent customer service and growth.”

A Wealth of Information

During the course of the Summit, a series of presentations covered the latest network innovations in the field of parts procurement, management and a session on how to make the best use of social media.

The appearance of the Grey Cup made quite a stir among the conference goers, the fact that Bumper to Bumper is a Canadian Football League sponsor made this possible. Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest made a very interesting keynote address as he reviewed key elements and forces on both the economical and political fronts that are impacting the global economy, as well as their effects on the automotive aftermarket.

Vendor Relations

Roundtable sessions were also planned to allow store officials from every region of Canada to ask questions and discuss topics that are important to them. These sessions concluded with a very inspiring speaker, Caroline Ouellette, a four-time Olympic medalist who had to overcome many obstacles before climbing on the highest step of the podium.

A significant part of the program was reserved for individual meetings between vendors and store owners. This was a dynamic way to gather information regarding the various new products, programs and services that these vendor partners offer.

Élisabeth Lambert, from Pièces d’auto Joliette accompanied by Jan Bernie and Sylvain Lacroix from the Lacroix Group and Bernard Roy and Denise Brisson from Pièces d’auto J.P. Côté.
Miguel Angers, Uni-Select Vice-President Product, Procurement and e-business solutions, accompanied by Michel Beaunoyer, Editor-in -Chief, Le Garagiste.
Lyne Beaudoin and Alberto Da Silva, from Performance Plus, chatting with Luc Milburn and Johanne Brunet, from Pièces d’auto Duvernay.
Monica Parent, Joanie Blouin, Richard Bureau and Mario Comtois, from Uni-Select, accompanied by Louis Motet, from Fram.
Scott Cléroux, Spectra Premium; Patrick Deschamps and Dominic Labrèche, Uni-Select; Martin Boissonneault, Spectra Premium; Gilles Lecompte, Federal Mogul; Monica Parent, Uni-Select and Jacques Sigouin from Lucas Oil.
Michel Labonté, from Service outillages Normandin, accompanied by Nadine Collette from Uni-Select and Sandra McNicoll, also from Service outillages Normandin.
Gilles Lecompte, Federal Mogul, chatting with Ben Michaud from Recochem and Martin Pelletier, from Uni-Select.
Marc Brazeau from Uni-Select spent a few moments with Franck Bagouet from Total Canada.
During his opening address, Uni-Select Vice President Sales & Marketing Canada, Marc Brazeau, explained to those attending that his objective was to have open dialogue on relevant and important issues.
Conference attendees had an opportunity to check out Kevin Lacroix’s Bumper to Bumper race car. Race crew mechanic Adam Manchitto was on hand to explain its unique features.
While roundtable discussions provided store members with an opportunity to voice their opinions, it also offered a great setting to exchange information with colleagues from all across Canada.
Uni-Select Vice-President of National Business Solutions, Linda Donnini, explained to the participants how they can leverage tools like the Internet and social media to enhance customer relation initiatives.
The Grey Cup, which was duly escorted, made a splashy entrance. Conference goers were eager to get their pictures taken alongside it.
An innovative formula allowed store personnel to network directly with suppliers.
Jean Charest, now associated with the firm McCarthy Tétrault, delivered a very relevant and much-appreciated keynote speech regarding major issues impacting the world economy.
Uni-Select President and Chief Operating Officer, Automotive Canada, Gary O’Connor, accompanied by Uni-Select Vice President Sales & Marketing Canada, Marc Brazeau , moments before the question and answer period.
Professional hockey player and guest speaker, Caroline Ouellette, talked about personal achievement and going above and beyond, which closed the conference on a very high note.
A gala dinner closed the event.

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