The concept of CarMax was born 1991 from the corporate entity behind Circuit City Stores. It was the work of Richard Sharp which led the Circuit City Stores and W. Austin Ligon who worked under sharp serving as the senior vice-president of corporate planning. They asked the people who bought new and used vehicles about their car buying experience,” Sharp explained in an October 23, 1995 interview with Forbes. “Not surprisingly, there were more dislikes than likes.” Sharp looked at the $150 billion used car market and saw qualities that convinced him the Circuit City approach to retailing could be grafted onto the used car market.
Products and Services
By now, CarMax can be described as a chain of new car franchises and used car lots. The used car portion is modeled after its former parent company Circuit City which was a home electronics “superstore”. At each of the 37 used car superstores, you should expect to see roughly 500 vehicles at no more than six years old. They also have 17 new car franchise locations. The difference between them and the competition is fixed pricing all on the vehicles. This helps to create a more relaxed car buying experience.
Training Services and Setup of Training Department
Since they have gained traction in the market, the rate of expansion across the country is at an exciting pace. The training and development services they offer at KMX University equally outstanding and are anything but “one size fits all”. They cover various learning types and methods from one on one mentoring, to classroom training, to online courses using their online management training system, KMX University and more. Some of the program offerings include, an online video training library, clear growth paths, workshops, virtual classrooms and 3D Virtual Environments. They can also provide their team members with a position specific plan or a job development curriculum that will include both online and facilitated training.
The Relationship Between Training and the Company’s Business Goals and Strategy
Before you can setup training, confirm it aligns with the company’s goals and strategy. In other words, you need to know what the company wants to achieve. CarMax has gained numerous competitive advantages which increase profitability from learning how to use development and training programs to support their business. Development and training has affected their business strategy by promoting specific skills. Everyone is different. That’s why their training is so valuable. They also develop a plan for the team member and their immediate manager which is another way to acquire the skills needed to prepare for career growth.
Why do you believe the organization was ranked in the Top 125?
For the past 13 years, CarMax has been on Fortune’s Top 100 list of “Best Companies to Work For” and has an employee rating of 4 stars. This tells me they’ve made the company successful by taking employee success seriously. The more than 40 average annual hours of training even includes a mentor for each new member to create a “nurturing” work environment. This has been a great recipe to produce efficient employees.
For a company to stay on top in an ever-changing environment. It must constantly fine tune every angle of the market and that takes a knowledgeable staff. A staff that is proud of who they are and will put forth the effort to stay above the competition. This is a testament to great leadership. I have heard great bosses are hard to find and from the other side saying great employees are hard to find. But every so often you see a company with both and you may think, it’s a coincidence. I can assure you, most times, it isn’t. What you see is a house that was built by starting with a clear and defined plan.
The roof that shelters the house from storms can only do its job if the walls are strong enough to hold it in place. And if the walls aren’t supported by a firm foundation, the house crumbles. Likewise, for a company to stand tall and weather the storms, each part must do its job to the best of its ability. By implementing proper training, everyone understands how their role affects the house. They also see the benefits of a strong house.