Robert Roos, president of the Pronto Automotive Distribution Network, is proof positive that recruitment and retention work in the aftermarket. As he shared in this AMN Drivetime podcast episode with Bill Babcox, he was recruited right out of high school.
“That is 100% the truth,” Roos said. “I got into this industry almost completely by accident. A buddy of mine right after we had graduated high school, the summer after we graduated, he earned his Eagle scout badge and back in those days in the mid 1980s, social media didn’t exist. You know the way to get the word out and to congratulate somebody was to put their picture in the paper and an entrepreneurial HR director at a local parts warehouse saw his picture called him and asked him if he would like to have a job working in their warehouse. He took it and evidently made a pretty good impression on him after a couple weeks. They’re like, ‘Hey, do you have any friends that might be interested in a job?’ He threw out my name, I got the job and literally have been in this industry ever since.”
Next year will mark Roos’ 40th year in the industry, he said. To evolve and grow from stocking shelves at a parts store out of high school to now leading a national program group, Roos said he’s proud of the journey. “It is very surreal,” he said. “I’m very, very proud of it. I’ve been very lucky in my career in that I have had a wide variety of opportunities within this industry. I’ve been on the WD side, working with independent distributors. I’ve worked with a major chain, a retail chain back in the days, Big A Auto Parts – APS back in those days – and the experiences that I had all along the way. Even eight, nine years ago now coming into program distribution, I’ve just been able to experience so much and be a part of so much of what this great industry has to offer. When you stop and think about it, it’s a pretty incredible journey.”
In this episode of AMN Drivetime, Bill and Robert also dive into the following topics:
0:50 – How Robert was recruited to the aftermarket right out of high school
3:06 – How it feels to go from stocking parts shelves to leading a national program group
5:24 – What Pronto Network members are most focused on today
8:57 – What Roos believes it takes to stay cutting edge and nimble today
12:41 – An update on Supply Chain issues from the distribution perspective
15:24 – For the love of industry trade shows
18:42 – People who have made a difference in his career
25:34 – The value of daily routines
27:12 – Roos’ responses to the ever-popular Lightning Round!
AMN Drivetime is sponsored by Litens.