Servicing Professional Automotive Technicians

“ We are committed to continually building on a tradition of service excellence and meeting the challenges of the future, in the automotive aftermarket parts industry. ”

  • Serving the professional automotive technician, fleets, government and industry with high quality parts, supplies, chemicals, tools and equipment.
  • Featuring experienced and ASE Certified counter personnel, knowledgeable outside sales people, and dedicated owners. We are your supply partner, not your competitor.
  • All locations offer delivery service to the trade. Most locations offer machine shop services. Automotive paint, speed and custom parts, and marine supplies are available from a number of locations. We also carry snow plows and parts, and golf cart parts. Please call your local POJA warehouse for more information.

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POJA Warehouse News

Mike Demers of Son's Auto Supply Attends breakfast seminar with PATA board members at AASP.P Aannual show that POJA supports every year.

Bob Wesolowski of Eand & explains the benefits of buying quality parts from POJA Warehouse to a PGRAmember,POJA supports PGRA.

 

POJA attends the AAPEX show in Vegas every year. Pictured left - right Tom, Lowell, Ben, Andy, Harris

Members in Gabriel Booth at AAPEX show- Steve, Ben, Tom, Andy.

 

POJA members meet every month typically the 2nd wednesday for dinner, discussion, and presentations from industry professionals and vendors.

The General Partners Tom Gallagher, Ben Yelowitz and Harris Steinberg.

Locking out the repair shops

By Harris Steinberg
(Article from August 11, 2009 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer)

Whenever I hear or read about the troubles of the American auto-manufacturing industry these days, I wish there could be some mention of another domestic, auto-related industry that is supporting millions of jobs in spite of its own unique challenges: the automotive aftermarket industry. In layman's terms, that's the auto parts and repair business.

This industry doesn't need a bailout, but it could use help from Congress in fending off a threat to fair competition in the marketplace.

I own and operate a parts store that has been doing business and employing people in Philadelphia since 1922, so I'm a bit of an expert on the industry, its accomplishments, and its struggles.

The aftermarket business is vital to Pennsylvania's economy. It employs almost 75,000 Pennsylvanians repairing and servicing the state's 10.4 million vehicles. That's about 1.3 percent of the state's workforce. Aftermarket sales in Pennsylvania are approximately $11.5 billion.

The industry is also a major contributor to the broader U.S. economy, with annual sales of about $267 billion, or 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product, and 4.5 million employees, or about 2.6 percent of the national workforce.

I'm proud of my industry and its contributions. But I'm also worried that, if Congress does not act quickly, it will be stifled by unfair competition from auto manufacturers who have put technological repair locks on the cars they make.

Read complete article by clicking the link below.

Philadelphia Inquirer Article

Harris Steinberg named the 2006 Counter Professional of the Year by Counterman Magazine

When the residents of North Philadelphia need a reliable part they go to Morris Auto Parts, because like the motto says, “Morris Has It.” Owner Harris Steinberg stands by that motto and that’s one of the many reasons he was named the 2006 Counterman Magazine Counter Professional of the Year, presented by WIX Filters.

On a particularly cold, snowy night in North Philadelphia, Harris Steinberg was at the counter doing what he does best — helping customers. Come first light the following morning, he was opening his doors. He had slept that night at the store, covering himself with his employees’ sweatshirts and flannels to keep warm. He knew that his customers, that day more than most, would need him.

As Steinberg sees it, this kind of dedication just comes with the job. The staff at Counterman sees this dedication worthy of recognition and that’s just one of many reasons why Steinberg was named the 2006 Counter Professional of the Year, presented by WIX Filters. As owner of Morris Auto Parts in Philadelphia, Steinberg possesses all the qualities of an outstanding professional who values his profession and the people who make it all possible — his family, employees and customers.

Founded in 1922 by Steinberg’s uncle, Morris Auto Parts has become a recognizable landmark in the community. Almost 85 years later, it’s still the first source people go to when looking for quality parts. Steinberg has seen first hand how Morris Auto Parts has grown with the times, because he literally grew up with the store. As a boy, Steinberg, along with other family members, helped his father and uncles, run the store.

Read the complete article by clicking the link below.

Aftermarket News Article

 

From Left to Right Tom Gallagher, Harris Steinberg, Mike Demers, Ben Yelowitz From Aftermarket News Staff & Wire Reports

WESTMONT, NJ -- POJA Warehouse, a regional marketing and distribution group with 20 members operating 28 wholesale auto parts distribution points, has elected new officers for 2008.

POJA Warehouse was founded in 1995 by a group of family owned auto parts wholesalers. Its members serve professional automotive technicians in the New Jersey, Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania markets. The newly elected officers are:

President - Harris Steinberg , owner of Morris Auto Parts; Vice President - Tom Gallagher of ETG Auto Parts; Treasurer - Ben Yelowitz of Crest Auto Stores; and Secretary - Mike Demers of Son’s Auto Supply

POJA Warehouse is active in promoting the ASE Blue Seal Program, PATA (www.pata.us) and extensive training for staff and customers.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE?

By Mike Demers

Recently I have been confounded by the different meanings of customer service between 40-plus year olds and those aged 25 and under.

My first tale involves a young 20-something travel agent going to Spain for the first time. In the States, she uses her debit card, so why not in Spain? She called her bank twice to confirm that her card would be accepted during her trip. The bank said she’d have no problem using the card. Well, when she got to Spain she couldn’t use it. She had to borrow cash from everyone else on the trip. She was so upset she called her bank from Spain. The bank replied, “Oh, I’m sorry. You can’t use a debit card in Spain.”

Upon return to the States, the upset customer went to the bank to close account. The 20-something teller asked why the customer was closing the account. After hearing the explanation, the teller agreed with the customer that she should do business with another bank! Wait a minute, here’s two people involved with customer service — a travel agent and a bank teller — and they both shrug off the experience? An older customer surely would have asked to talk to a manager to discuss the problem. A Boomer teller would have tried to save the customer. But these two 20-somethings thought this was the way the situation should have been handled. They weren’t thinking about the next person who may have the same bad experience because no one wanted to get involved. The same misinformation will again be spread. Since when is a lost customer not considered a big deal? Is poor company performance expected in this day-and-age? Who’s leading these young people?

My neighbor, we’ll call him ‘Mr. Computer Head,’ ordered a game cartridge online from a local big-box electronics store. He didn’t pay for the game online, he only placed an order for quick pick-up at the store. The Sunday newspaper had a 10 percent discount coupon, which Mr. Computer Head clipped and brought to the store. At the pick-up counter he met ‘Ms. Store Policy.’ Ms. Policy stated that he couldn’t use the coupon because he ordered the product online. He explained that, yes, he did order on the Web, but he didn’t pay online. Ms. Policy replied, “You know you are wrong, do you want the manager?” Mr. Computer Head replied, “No, I don’t need the manager, I’ll just go onto the floor, pick the same game off the shelf, take it to the register with my coupon and get my 10 percent discount. And I will never spend another dime in any of your stores.” Ms. Policy gave the perfunctory “whatever,” and moved on to the next victim. Now the store keeps emailing Mr. Computer Head to come in and pick-up his game. Duh.

Now, that store has another lost customer, complete with 50 retellings of his shopping experience to all his friends. All courtesy of a 20-year old’s view of store policy.

Ah, then there’s me versus the phone store. Send the bail bondsmen. I needed to get a phone fixed. Like most auto parts distributors, I use a two-way radio/phone to communicate with delivery staff. Walking into the phone store, I am already out of place. I am missing the following options from my phone: surround sound, American Idol Quick Vote, a latte warmer, a rear projection movie viewing screen and storage for 23,000 of my favorite songs. Yes, I’m out of touch. Three trips and five hours invested to get the simple phone fixed and I get a difficult attitude and a map to a different store for the next time I need a phone repair. Customer service? Sorry, not spoken at this phone store.

Since when is it acceptable for the cashier to make me wait as she text messages someone from her cell phone? Of course, I’m just a customer. It is crazy for me to think I come before the friends of the cashier. Now that she is finished text messaging, she proceeds to show the phone tech the newest photos she took with her phone. Yes, Mr. Customer, you may wait while we discuss the photos. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside and can’t wait to tell all my business friends about the great disservice I just received.

You may just think this is considered normal customer service these days. But look around, these people are also working for you. We must train young professionals and explain what customer service really is. We old guys may take for granted that our younger associates know the true meaning. Our generation has very different expectations; your version of customer service may not match that of a 25 year old. If all of your customers are 25, maybe your store can get away with the updated version. If you customers are from all age groups, some training will be needed. Training — not an explanation of the store’s policy. Training on the proper way to serve your customers and training on what to expect as a customer.

Mike Demers owns and operates Son’s Auto Supply, an ASE Blue Seal Certified distributor, in Westmont, NJ.

NITROGEN TIRE INFLATION: A LOT OF HOT AIR?

By Mike Demers

Nitrogen-inflated tires: Are they the newest “snake oil” on the block? Is there a real benefit for distributors? What about motorists? Your customers and neighbors are probably already — or will be soon — asking you about nitrogen as a tire inflation media. As a parts pro, you may need some information on this subject.

First off, no, nitrogen will not blow up. That was hydrogen in the Hindenburg. Nitrogen is used in tires on the Space Shuttle, every commercial airliner, Tour de France bicycles and most race cars. Nitrogen is not flammable.

We all know the benefits of having proper tire inflation pressure. Properly inflated tires will run cooler and last up to 30 percent longer, and that’s good, especially for those of us running deliveries all day. A vehicle with properly inflated tires will handle and brake as designed. Properly inflated tires have less rolling resistance, thus better fuel mileage.

If you check your delivery truck tires at the same temperature every week and fill them only with true dry, compressed air, you don’t need nitrogen for tire inflation. And by “dry,” I mean using a refrigerated or membrane drier on your compressed air source. For the remainder of us, there’s nitrogen. Nitrogen has two main benefits. First, it leaks much less than compressed air. Second, it’s “dry” and therefore is better for the lifespan of the tire.

In order to get the benefits of nitrogen, there are some basic quality requirements. The inflated tire must have at least a 95 percent concentration of nitrogen. Not 94.5 percent — at least 95 percent. Why is this a problem? Some equipment and procedures are not capable of delivering this needed purity level. Without the needed purity level, you’re not getting the full benefit.

Let’s talk about pressure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the pressure loss from an air-inflated tire may be up to 5 percent per month. That means in the usual three months between vehicle services, there will be a 15 percent drop in inflation pressure. Yes, the owners’ manual in the glove box recommends that pressure checks be performed monthly. Is the average driver following these recommendations? Do your delivery drivers? Probably not.

Bridgestone’s Real Answers newsletter says that nitrogen leaks at approximately 1/6 the rate of compressed air. So, the same tire, filled with 95+ percent nitrogen will lose one psi per month under the same conditions. Note that monthly pressure checks are still required, as per the manufacturer.

Wait a minute, what about the new Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) on newer cars? Do you still need to check air pressure? Yes, because the system only sets a warning light when the tire is 25 percent under or over inflated. A tire 25 percent low will cause wasted fuel and poor handling and may fail because of extreme heat.

This discussion of TPMS leads to the other advantage of nitrogen. Nitrogen is dry; there’s no water vapor or oxygen. The TPMS sensors have small holes that the inflation media must pass through. Any dirt or water may clog or rust the hole, rendering the sensor useless. The water vapor also corrodes the valve core.

Water vapor is the culprit responsible for the large temperature-related pressure changes. A tire inflated with compressed air may contain enough water vapor to condense into liquid at low temperature conditions. This will cause a drop in pressure. The water vapor may also turn into steam at high speeds, causing an over inflation problem. Over time, water vapor also attacks alloy wheels, valve stems and cores and the steel belts in the tire.

What about oxygen? Oxygen is an oxidizer, and is the cause of sidewall “dry rot.” This is the reason Ford recommends that tires be replaced every six years, regardless of tread depth.

OK, what do the car and tire manufacturers say about nitrogen? Well Acura and Honda say ‘no!’ GM puts limits on the recommendation. Why? While both GM and Honda recognize the benefits of quality nitrogen inflation, they have a problem, as they should, with providers that can’t meet the necessary quality criteria. Remember, you need at least 95 percent purity in the inflated tire. Both of these OEMs warn about reduced effects from poor-quality nitrogen providers and/or topping off with regular compressed air.

Michelin, Goodyear and Bridgestone/Firestone recognize that nitrogen leaks less than compressed air. These companies also stress the need for monthly pressure checks.

Finally, nitrogen tire inflation has caused some semi-religious experiences for some users. I have heard of huge mileage increases, ride quality improvement, reduced back shifting out of overdrive while climbing hills, increased stability while hauling heavy loads and on and on. If any of these happen to you, you may use them in your discussions, but use the disclaimer “your results may vary.”

Need another reason? The U.S. Department of Energy says that this country is wasting more than million gallons of gas a day because of incorrectly inflated tires.

Sources of Information on Nitrogen:

  • www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12517107
  • www.goodyear.com/media/pr/pr 2003/22775ti.html
  • Bridgestone Real Answers Volume 8, Issue 3
  • The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company PSB #2004-09
  • Michelin North America PM-03-05
  • Tech-Tip_0106 Tires + Nitrogen Gas (GM Fleet and Commercial)
  • Passenger tires inflated with nitrogen age slower: Part 2 of 2. Author: John M Baldwin, David R. Bauer, Kevin R. Ellwood, Ford Motor Co. September 20, 2004
  • EPA 4250-K-93-001 Your Car and the Environment
  • www.whynitrofill.com
  • www.nitrofillnow.com
  • Acura Tech Line Summary Article BTS060804