It all started with a book.
There’s something in NAPA called the Blue Book Directory. This book holds the contact information of all the managers from across the NAPA team, including some vendors. Ronnie Serna saw that book when he was just in his teens, and he quietly made a goal for himself.
“I remember coming across it and seeing the General Manager, the Ops Manager, all the managers, and I knew I was going to put my name in that book.”
And he did! After working in the Stockroom, Ronnie Serna successfully worked his way up to Stockroom Manager of the Houston location. Achieving his goal in such a tactile way spurred Ronnie to expect similar dedication to the rest of his workers.
NAPA is all about making our employees feel welcome as soon as they walk in the door, and we haven’t been racing past our competitors for no reason; we excel because of our people.
“A surprising thing I learned was the dedication NAPA requires. You have to make sure this is for you. There are going to be some days when you’re not really feeling it, and sometimes those are the days that you are busiest. The first of the month is heavy for us but coming to work and getting it done is what sets NAPA apart.”
Ronnie, having worked in both shipping and receiving, is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the auto parts biz. His career has taken him to both sides of the same coin, and his experience is richer because of it.
“I’ve been with NAPA for fifteen years this year. I started working part-time in high school. I would come in and stock, and then they’d call everyone over to load trucks around 6pm. I got involved in ordering. And by working with trucks, I had the knowledge to go, ‘I don’t want to send something down the conveyer line this way because of how the people at the end of the line have to handle it.’ I had that sense of what the end result was while I was in the Distribution Center. My experience on both sides helped me.”
Hands down, the best part of his transition to manager are the people he speaks with.
“The best part of being the Stockroom Manager is all the relationships you’re able to build with people; not just your customers, but the Sales team who you rely on. You rely on them to make sales, but they rely on you to make sure the promotions they’re pushing actually happen. Being Stockroom Manager added to my understanding of how our operation in Houston works, from the Distribution Center to our independent owners, and the relationships you build are the best part.”
With the added responsibility of his higher role, Ronnie is able to see more of how the metaphorical sausage is made. His familiarity with NAPA has grown throughout his long years with the company, but there are always more parts to sell, more cheery faces to see, or, in some cases, more spirits to buck up.
When days like the first of the month come by, teams such as Ronnie’s can feel burdened by work. But NAPA managers, like Ronnie, know that the way to ease the load isn’t by turning away from the team’s challenge, but by embracing the problem along with them.
“The biggest thing you can do in those cases is let them know you’re there with them. I feel the hardest physical job is in the loading dock. I try and stick it out with those guys and work out there with them on those heavy days.”
After all, Ronnie interacts with 45-50 employees in the Stockroom at all times. Stockroom Managers have to be flexible and communicative, and everyone’s day can be smoothed over by clear communication about what needs to be done.
That’s easy enough for the Houston Stockroom; Ronnie speaks highly of his people, saying,
“It’s a super diverse group of people. That speaks volumes for Houston alone; we’re one big melting pot of cultures and diversity. But here, in the Distribution Center and the Stockroom, I can see it firsthand.”
NAPA’s strongly held beliefs in diversity, dedication, and hard work set Ronnie up for success in managing people from all kinds of different backgrounds and upbringings. Like Ronnie says, “the relationships are the best part” of working with NAPA, and we foster a community that facilitates the inclusion and communication that those relationships are founded upon. If you think that sounds like a place where you can find success, apply today to join our NAPA family.