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If 2020 had a theme, it would undoubtedly be Pivots and Problem Solving. Whatever plans that were in place, be it personal or professional, were thrown into disarray with the spread of the Coronavirus and the life-changing COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 was challenging in every conceivable and inconceivable way, so much so that it would be easy to say that we're all experts in Pivots and Problem Solving at this point.

With this in mind, it's obvious that most of the vendors and partners that we're highlighting this week played some role in FCP Euro's ability to navigate these challenging times and still provide excellent service to our customers. That said, Pivots and Problem Solving is a very broad term, and numerous factors have been considered when it comes to our nominees and our winner. 

These include but aren't limited to flexibility in communication, logistical and operational support, or simply more flexible financial terms, allowing us to have the stock on hand that we need to honor our commitment of delivering quality products in a timely fashion.

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While all of these partners provided crucial service and support to FCP Euro in 2020, one stands out above all others when it comes to helping us navigate the challenges we all faced - CRP Automotive.

Through their Rein and Pentosin brands, CRP Automotive is a provider of some of the most popular and highest quality parts that FCP Euro sells. As we worked to maintain our level of service and shipping while working with reduced density staffing and split shifts in our distribution center, CRP Automotive stepped up, building out a crucial temporary dropship program when FCP Euro needed it most.

It's difficult to overstate the significance of this, as a business like CRP Automotive that is set up to ship pallets with dozens, hundreds, or thousands of parts at a time, also pivoting to handle drop-shipping individual orders, is a massive undertaking. As a long-valued partner of FCP Euro, CRP Automotive also offered more flexible payment terms, allowing another avenue of flexibility and further opening the doors for mutual success. 

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CRP Automotive's recognition is well-earned, but there are many other partners on which FCP Euro relied to provide the best possible service to our customers in such a turbulent time. 

Turn 14, a partner with whom FCP Euro started working with more closely in 2020, provided critical support and flexibility as the year progressed. Turn 14 allowed us to expand our offerings to include more aftermarket and performance brand options, and our account representative Laura Zimmerman provided us with unparalleled support and communication. Turn 14 and our own Development Department also worked hand in hand to automate crucial information uploads, such as tracking numbers, ensuring that our customers received the info they needed, and helping FCP Euro keep our promises to our customers. 

Meyle, a winner of a 2019 Partner Appreciation Award, also stood out in 2020. Meyle invested in their employees and their future. When the pandemic hit, they loaded up their warehouses and kept their workforce moving. They were one of the few vendors that didn't do a massive pull back, and their foresight has kept their fill rates high, meaning that FCP Euro has Meyle products in stock, on the shelves, and ready to ship out at a moment's notice.

BBR, one of our trusted overseas partners, has been pivotal in ensuring that FCP Euro has a steady and reliable supply of one of our biggest brake brands, Zimmerman. BBR quickly adapted to our shipping mix of both air and sea freight to ensure stable supply and stock on crucial products in a year with significant supply chain problems. Being flexible and working with our talented fulfillment team to manage the complexities of getting these products to FCP Euro in a way that allows us to best serve our customers was invaluable. 

Another standout supplier doesn't offer the same services as the vendors mentioned above but provides FCP Euro operations with crucial support. ABCO Systems, a tri-state based material handling specialist, has been a valued partner ever since they assisted with our first automated conveyance system. ABCO Systems more typically outfits massive warehouses with contracts worth millions of dollars, and while our own needs at the time were small in comparison, they've treated FCP Euro as a valued and important client since day one. 

The level of service and support that ABCO Systems has provided us over the years, and continues to provide, is one of the major reasons we've been able to continue providing outstanding service to our own customers. 

While it goes without saying that there were many other FCP Euro vendors and partners that went above and beyond to help us handle the many twists and turns of 2020, these are the partners that stood out the most for Pivots and Problem Solving. 

Stay tuned tomorrow as we announce the winner and highlighted partners of FCP Euro's 2020 Partner Appreciation Week that showed Continuous Improvement throughout the year. 

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Written by :
Nathan Brown

FCP Euro's Event Director by day, writer and contributor by night, and wanna-be race car driver on the weekends. Nathan has been working in the VW and Audi performance aftermarket for nearly two decades, and dabbled with Porsche and BMW. He also used to write under the pen-name of Alex Rogan for magazines like Eurotuner, Performance VW, Total 911, and European Car. He has a Cornflower Blue Rabbit Edition GTI daily driver which is surprisingly still mostly stock, and a Mk5 GTI track car which is mostly not. ••• Instagram: @njbrown55


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