MAY 17, 2022

Burson Auto Parts conducted the Australian company’s largest ever Store Managers Conference from May 2 to 6 in Melbourne.
managers conference overview

The 2022 Burson Auto Parts Managers Conference marked a triumphant return to major team building events for the company, proving to be an outstanding success across its activity packed five day schedule. Conducted throughout under the inspiring theme of “Today’s Actions are Tomorrow’s Legacy”, the 2022 Burson Auto Parts Managers Conference enabled each of the 180 store managers taking part to learn from guest keynote speakers, senior Bapcor management identities and each other in a completely open and friendly environment.

In total, more than 600 people connected, discovered and learned throughout the Burson Store Managers Conference week. Integral to this was a strongly attended store manager exclusive trade show held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday May 4. A total of 70 valued Burson Auto Parts suppliers enthusiastically took part in this expo, providing detailed product and service information, along with a number of fantastic prizes.

Inspiration was found with the conference’s key note speaker, Australian tennis star Jelena Dokic who addressed the store managers on Monday May 2. Her story outlined the sheer strength that can be found against repeated adversity, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and emerging stronger as a result. 

This was a tough and highly emotional story, as Jelena spoke of her father starting her tennis journey at just six years of age, surviving war-torn Yugoslavia and becoming a refugee twice, first in Serbia and then in Australia. All the while continuing to craft her tennis skills that took her all the way to becoming the world number 4, despite suffering from constant mental and physical abuse from her father, who was also her coach. Jelena also spoke of her heartbreaking fall from the top ranks in tennis, with her key message to the Burson store manager team being about kindness, paying attention to people and helping others. She also spoke of speaking up and raising awareness of these kinds of situations. Jelena had created a defiant legacy of strength, whether it is in sport, work or everyday life.

The importance of the “Today’s Actions are Tomorrow’s Legacy”, theme was also outlined by Bapcor Trade Executive General Manager, Steve Drummy during the conference. Steve challenged the entire Burson Auto Parts store manager team to think about what their legacy will be and to share it before the conference ended. All were highly impressed with the responses received, with all of them being a true reflection of the four key Bapcor company values; We give a damn, We are in it together, We get things done and we do the right thing.

All of the store managers were also taken on a guided tour of the new Bapcor Distribution Centre on Thursday May 5, seeing for themselves what 50,000 square metres of state of the art Goods to Person product distribution automation for more than 160,000 SKU’s handled on a daily basis looks like. This was followed by the conference taking over popular Melbourne bowling and entertainment venue, Kingpin, for a series of team building and big fun orientated challenges including bowling, karaoke, arcade games and more.

With an official event to celebrate the Burson Auto Parts 50th Anniversary being delayed by two years due to the pandemic, the evening of Thursday May 5 saw this outstanding milestone finally celebrated in style. The 2022 Burson Auto Parts Managers Conference ventured to Melbourne’s magnificent Crown Palladium Ballroom to celebrate the Australian company’s 50th Anniversary together with the company’s suppliers and their guests. A total of almost 400 guests took part in what was a highly entertaining and enjoyable event. A highlight being the Burson Auto Parts Store of the Year awards and the introduction of the Burson Auto Parts Hall of Fame Award. The inaugural inductees included the company’s longest serving store manager, Rhonda Kelly, along with outstanding staff mentor and dedicated manager, David Lawrence. An almost four decade Burson Auto Parts career saw David Jeffrey honoured, completing the maiden Hall of Fame award recipients.

The final day of the conference saw more inspiration from a number of AFL star guest speakers. These included Max Gawn, Captain of the Melbourne Football Club; Alex Neal-Bullen, Midfielder, Melbourne Football Club and the Essendon Football Club General Manager, Josh Mahoney. These special guests provided a detailed discussion directly relating to the conference’s Legacy theme. They used real life examples of mateship, teamwork and the importance of communicating at all levels or ranks to make any team function at its best.

According to Bapcor Trade Executive General Manager Steve Drummy, the success of the 2022 Burson Auto Parts Managers Conference exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“The sheer enthusiasm, team spirit, camaraderie and eagerness to building their careers with Burson Auto Parts was truly remarkable throughout this managers conference. It had been such a long time since we could all be together in person, sharing ideas and building rapport amongst all during the packed five day conference schedule. 

“Everyone really embraced the conference theme of Today’s actions leading to tomorrow’s Legacy, which was very pleasing to see during each of the presentations and keynote addresses of the event.

“I am also delighted to have had so many of our valued supply partners assist with this conference. They are key contributors to the success of Burson Auto Parts and our customers’ businesses,” Mr Drummy stated.