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. (Funding Universe, 2005) Initially, Circuit City Stores would
fund the startup, but that’s where it ended. They soon found it would be a long
road to travel, learning and evolving along the way but eventually they ended
up at the top as the nation’s largest retailer of used cars.
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”. As
of January 2018, CarMax has more than 185 locations in 40 states. At each of
the used car superstores, you should expect to see roughly 500 vehicles that
have undergone strict inspections and have less than than 70,000 miles at no
more than six model years old. They also have new car franchise locations. The
difference between CarMax and the competition is honest transparent pricing all
on the vehicles. Not having to “haggle” the price has helped 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 and maintain uniformity
between locations and over 22,000 total employees are no easy task. Uniform training
is key in a company of this magnitude and the services offered at KMX
University, their training program, is equally outstanding and they 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, 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 personalized
job development curriculum that will include both online and facilitated
training. They also added in 2008, the CarMax Management Assessment Program (MEP)
which was designed to deliver accurate an accurate assessment of success at the
next level. This program has strengthened the organizations ability to build a
The Relationship Between Training and the Company’s
Business Goals and Strategy
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. At KMX
University, 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
Why do you believe
the organization was ranked in the Top 125?
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 (Fortune,
Offering above average salaries and benefits 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.
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.
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.