Archive | Greg Whitaker’s diary

HOSTED GARAGE PROGRAMME SET FOR SUCCESS

PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

Motor factors take lead in bringing garages to the event

Motor factors that bring their garage customers to Automechanika Birmingham 2019 will benefit from an exclusive VIP area, enjoy fast track access into the event and support with their travel arrangements.

Automechanika Birmingham 2019 is designed to bring the entire automotive industry together and with the Hosted Garage Programme, the event is doing that literally by assisting motor factors with bringing their customers to the event.

All motor factors have to do is simply invite, register and bring five or more garage customers to the event to receive free parking and free breakfast too.

The Hosted Garage programme is a great opportunity for motor factors to introduce garages and technicians to their supplier base. What’s more, garages that take up the offer of attending with their motor factor will visit The Big UK Garage Event, where they will access hundreds of suppliers and brands from across the industry covering areas such as accessories, components, tools and garage equipment. There will also be CPD accredited training taking place and demos from the industry’s top speakers including Frank Massey, Andy Crook and James Dillon, the Training & Skills Village and the returning Workshop Training Hub.

Exhibitors will also be providing a raft of exclusive show offers and giveaways for garages at this year’s event.

One motor factor bringing garages to the Automechanika Birmingham is Midwest Motor Factors of Walsall. Group Factor manager, Craig McCracken, said: “This is a fantastic idea and really ties in everybody in the automotive industry. Much of the event’s content is geared towards independent garages and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us as their local motor factor to bring them to an event that will ultimately benefit their business.

This was echoed by Autosupplies managing director, David Clarke, who said: “Each year we bring garages to the event and this year we’ve been inundated with requests to join our team at the event. As a motor factor, we have a responsibility to support our suppliers exhibiting at the event and bring garages to them. Such dialogue and feedback helps all in the supply chain and so we’re delighted to be bringing more garages than ever before to Automechanika Birmingham as part of the Hosted Garage Programme.”

There is still time for motor factors to sign up to the Hosted Garage Programme and they can do so by emailing info@automechanika-birmingham.com

Major aftermarket names committed to the 2019 event include: Schaeffler, ZF, DENSO, MAHLE Aftermarket, Delphi Technologies, Valeo, Bosch, Hella, Bilstein Group, MANN + HUMMEL, NGK, Yuasa, Apec Braking Ltd, BM Catalysts, Draper Tools, GROUPAUTO, Launch Tech UK, Liqui Moly, MAM Software, Marathon Warehouse Distribution, Morris Lubricants, OESSA, Texa UK and Total UK.

Registration is now open and visitors can now book their free ticket here: https://automechanika-birmingham-2019.reg.buzz

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COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

COMPULSORY ADAS PROVISIONALLY AGREED

New regulations on vehicle safety standards in the EU, due to come into force in 2022, were provisionally agreed in Strasbourg on March 25th. 

Under a wide-ranging set of rules known as the Third Mobility Package, the European Commission described a vision of connected vehicles and digitised roads, where automatic data logs, particularly on CVs ‘will cut red tape and facilitate digital information flows for logistic operations’.

However, it is a description of the Commission’s desire to improve road safety that will be of most interest to anyone who sells or repairs light vehicles. 

Among the odder proposals on the list are mandatory alcohol interlocks (which are essentially breathalysers that allow you to start your car). Light vehicles will also need to be designed to be kinder to pedestrians and cyclists if they are being run over, with improved front crash areas and a safer type of safety glass.

Mandatory ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance) systems under the proposal read like a dealer option list. Drowsiness detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Intelligent Speed Assist (where the vehicle’s equipment ‘reads’ the prevailing road speed and adjusts the built-in limiter accordingly) are all being considered, and it is this last feature that garnered the most attention from the national press. Curiously, built-in dashboard cameras are not on the list. 

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), compared the agreement on the new regulations with the introduction of the seat belt and EU minimum crash safety standards. “If last night’s agreement is given the formal green light, it will represent another of those moments, preventing 25,000 deaths within 15 years of coming into force,” he said. 

ADAS has provided both the dealer service market and the aftermarket with a new opportunity, due to the number of sensors that need precisely calibrating on a regular basis. Systems for calibration, such as the kit pictured have been in high demand. 

Absolute Alignment

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DATA PROTECTION RULES: AVOID BEING FINED

Late last year, a motor industry employee was given a six-month prison sentence for accessing thousands of customer records containing personal data without permission, using his colleagues’ log-in details to access a software system that estimates the cost of vehicle repairs.

 

The UK’s data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), brought the prosecution under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Most cases are usually prosecuted by the ICO under the Data Protection Act. However, in some cases, it can prosecute under other legislation—in this case section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act — to reflect the nature and extent of the offending and for the sentencing court to have a wider range of penalties available.

 

In this instance, Mustafa Kasim had accessed the records while employed at Nationwide Accident Repair Services and continued to do so after he started a new job at a different car repair organisation which used the same software system. Kasim pleaded guilty to a charge of securing unauthorised access to personal data between 13 January 2016 and 19 October 2016, at a hearing in September 2018 and was sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court.

 

Of course, as is well known, the law in this area changed when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in the UK in May 2018. The GDPR governs how businesses (known as data controllers) handle the personal information of their customers and employees. It significantly strengthens the regulation of data controllers – providing the ICO with powers to impose substantial fines for non-compliance. It also provides individuals with an array of rights which consumers and employees can look to enforce via the courts.

 

The new law is, in part, intended to force a cultural change in how we think about and protect people’s personal information. It is also intended to bring the law up to date with advances in technology as well as the widespread use of internet-based applications and social media.

 

There are huge financial penalties available to the ICO for cases of non-compliance – with fines of up to 4% of a company’s annual global turnover for the preceding financial year or the equivalent of around £18 million – whichever is greater.

 

Some businesses have already adapted their systems and processes for the new law, however, many others will either still be in the process of making the required changes or will not have begun yet. Sadly, some may still be unaware that the law has changed. In any event, it is crucial to ensure that an organisation is compliant with the new law – particularly so that customer and employee data is handled safely and securely – reducing the risk of information being misused and the company’s reputation suffering as a result; the risk of being hit with a substantial fine from the ICO for non-compliance is reduced; and so that the risk of the company being sued by an individual or a group of individuals, who may have been adversely affected by a data breach, is also reduced.

 

On this it’s worth noting, as the BBC has reported, that supermarket Morrisons has been found vicariously liable for a data breach that saw thousands of its employees’ details posted online. Workers brought a claim against the company after an employee stole the data, including salary and bank details, of nearly 100,000 staff. While he was jailed for eight years in 2015 after being found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data, the ICO found that Morrisons had not breached data protection law.

 

 

For many businesses, ensuring full compliance with the law will be a sizeable task, however, taking the following steps should provide a good starting point:

 

Audit data processing activities

Firms should consider where, when and how they process personal data. They should map their processing activities so they can identify all types of data processing that the company carries out. They should then seek to ensure that they have a lawful basisfor each type of processing that they are conducting. The lawful bases for processing are: ‘consent’, ‘performance of a contract’, ‘legal obligation’, ‘vital interests’, ‘public interest/exercise of official authority’and ‘legitimate interests’. Whether one of the above applies to any particular type of processing will depend entirely on the circumstances. Additional conditions also apply to any processing of ‘special categories’of data – such as information about a person’s health – which is prohibited unless further conditions are met.

 

Review contracts/service agreements with ‘data processors’

Data processors are those who process personal data on a someone else’s behalf. A good example of this is where a company outsources its payroll to an external company. In that instance, the external company is a data processor. The law requires data controllers to ensure that they only appoint data processors who have provided sufficient guarantees regarding their GDPR compliance. The law also requires that this relationship be governed by a contract that sets out the parties’ data protection obligations.

 

Review direct marketing activities

Those that market directly to individuals must ensure that they have a lawful basis in order to use personal data for marketing purposes. An example of this is where firms send marketing emails to a person with their consent. It is not always necessary to have consent before marketing directly to people, however, this will depend upon the specific circumstances. Firms must comply with the GDPR and other legislation including the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

 

Make ‘fair processing information’ is provided

Businesses should ensure that they provide a Privacy Notice to individuals when they first collect their data. The Privacy Notice should explain who the business is, provide its (and the Data Protection Officer’s) contact details, purposes for processing people’s personal data and details of the legal basis upon which the business relies upon for processing the data. It should explain the details of any ‘legitimate interest’that it may rely upon for processing data as well as the details of any third parties that the data may be sent to. Finally, it should also set out the details of any transfer of personal data that might occur to other countries and inform individuals about the rights they have under the GDPR.

 

Register the business as a data controller with the Information Commissioner

If the business processes personal data, then it should register with the Information Commissioner. For more information, see the Information Commissioner’s website: www.ico.org.uk

 

Implement policies and procedures to meet GDPR rights

Individuals have numerous rights under the GDPR such as the right of access, the right to rectificationand the right to erasure. If a firm receives such a request from an individual, it will be important for it to ensure that it responds to the request appropriately and within the one-month time limit. Ensuring that it has policies and procedures in place to facilitate the handling of a request is important in order to ensure that the request is handled correctly and in order to be able to actively demonstrate compliance with the law.

 

Implement appropriate security measures

Businesses should ensure that its systems for processing personal data – both off and on-line are physically secure – utilising appropriate technical and organisational measures. Systems should be tested regularly. It may make sense to use a reputable IT company to test the security and integrity of the firm’s IT systems.

 

Conduct staff training

The vast majority of data breaches are the result of human error. Ensuring that staff are trained in relation to data protection issues and that the business is able to demonstrate this in the event of a data breach are critical steps towards preventing a breach from occurring in the first place. It may also help in avoiding a financial penalty from the ICO in the event of a breach. Businesses should train all staff and conduct annual refresher training.

 

Consider whether it is necessary to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

This is mandatory in some instances – particularly if the business’s core activities consist of regular or systematic large-scale monitoring of individuals. However, even if it is not mandatory, the business may still wish to appoint a DPO in order to ensure that a single person takes responsibility for ensuring compliance. A DPO must be appointed on the basis of professional qualities and, in particular, expert knowledge of data protection law. A DPO must also meet certain minimum tasks and responsibilities set out in the GDPR.

 

Implement an effective system for reporting data breaches

Personal data breaches must be reported to the ICO within 72 hours unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. It is, therefore, important that the firm has an appropriate process in place to promptly analyse a data breach, reach a determination on whether it is mandatory to report the breach, and doing so where it is necessary.

 

Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment when necessary

If a proposed data processing activity is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals and where a type of processing utilises new technology, the business must conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) before it begins that processing. A DPIA is a risk assessment aimed at identifying potential risks in the proposed processing of personal data in order to enable a data controller to address and minimise those risks if it is appropriate to conduct the proposed processing proposed. A DPIA must be documented.

 

To conclude

The law is quite clear on what it expects and the punishment that it will mete out if the rules aren’t followed. As recent cases have shown, both individuals and companies alike can face action.

 

Carl Johnson

Carl Johnson is a partner and head of regulatory at Stephensons Solici

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COMMENT: TIME FOR LAWS TO SAVE UK REMAN

These are challenging times for our industry, with consolidation showing no signs of slowing down, along with concerns about the ‘B-word’ and the economy in general, business captains have their hands tightly on the rudder trying to navigate these choppy waters. Unfortunately, uncertain times usually result to price wars which can lead to ‘buy cheap’ sell for ‘as much as possible’.

 

This has led to a massive growth in ‘white box’ and ‘plain label’ products to the detriment of established, and, often, British brands, with the cheapest option being Far-Eastern copies. This trend is decimating the remanufacturing industry, since being so labour-intensive, it cannot compete on price, and distributors do not have to worry about surcharges and control of old-core.

 

The result has been the loss of a complete industry in the UK, along with jobs and the support industry behind.

 

Remanufacturing is no longer an ‘under the arches’ operation; it is a highly-technological and professional industry requiring skill, knowledge and investment. In addition to producing equivalent to or better than original equipment (OE) specification products, it has significant environmental credentials, which should be a major concern to all, so that we can protect the earth and its resources for future generations.

 

The basic raw material is the old part which would normally be scrapped. However, in the remanufacturing process this is fully stripped and re-worked with all wearing, faulty and parts prone to failure being replaced. The finished product is then tested to at least OE specifications using the latest computerised test equipment to ensure that it meets the strict performance levels, before being packed and ready for sale. Each remanufactured part usually has at least a one-year warranty with many companies, such as Autoelectro, offering an extended warranty.

 

Generally, the total remanufacturing industry in the UK employs over 50,000 people, contributes around £2.4 billion to GDP with the potential to increase to £5.6 billion, recovering around 270,000 tonnes of materials, saving an equivalent 0.5% of total UK carbon emissions compared to new equivalents.

 

This includes products as diverse as washing machines, ink cartridges, computers and boilers: the environmental impact can clearly be seen. The automotive industry is considered to be one of the most environmentally-aware manufacturing sectors.

 

A number of EU directives, driving a shift in business practice, can be seen to have contributed to this awareness. In 2002, the EU introduced the End of Life Vehicle Directive, which requires vehicle manufacturers (VMs) to reach the new vehicle goal of reusability and/or recyclability of at least 85%, and reusability and/or recoverability of at least 95% by weight, if measured against the international standard ISO 22620.

 

The need to consider the recovery of a product’s traditional disposal is required to combat the environmental damage caused by the discarding of end of life products. Product recovery can be used to minimise the demand for energy and raw materials and the environmental impact of waste. Product recovery proposes that the management logic of the system is changed from an ‘open’ production system to a ‘closed’ one of variable length, as demonstrated below.

 

The open loop describes a process which starts by taking resources from the ecosystem. The raw materials and energy are channelled into the transformation process, and, finally, the process ends with landfill disposal or incineration process.

 

For this situation to be sustainable, the consumption of natural resource needs to be lower than the ecosystem’s ability to regenerate them. By contrast, in the closed loop scenario, supply chain recovery activities are undertaken which delay the product disposal by starting new production cycles on the product, before treatment and disposal.

 

Remanufacturing is currently playing a significant part in the sustainability and economics of the automotive industry. European regulations for end-of-life have forced VMs to consider recycling when designing new models and remanufacturing is helping to meet environmental targets in relation to greenhouse gasses and preserving the earth’s natural resources by reusing them, rather than just sending unwanted material to landfill sites.

 

Also, as more new technology is being incorporated into modern vehicles, components are becoming more expensive due to their complexity and, sometimes, as a result of the materials used in their construction, such as platinum, palladium and rhodium in catalytic converters. Remanufacturing of these components preserves the precious metals used and can offer a significant saving over a new replacement component. A good remanufactured part will perform as well as, if not better than the original part, since any design faults will be engineered out ensuring the reliability of the finished remanufactured part.

 

However, remanufacturing is also facing significant challenges from the changing technology. This is due to the continual investment required and the lack of information available to independent remanufacturers. Also, changes in drivetrain technology to electric and hydrogen fuel-cell may mean that, moving forward, there are not as many wearing parts to remanufacture.

 

Calling on the government to act

 

Currently, remanufacturers supplying the automotive aftermarket are facing competition from cheaper quality copy products, which are driving prices down and affecting the overall viability of the remanufacturer. There is clearly a case for government intervention, as it is in the national interest to support remanufacturing due to its green credentials in helping to meet national and international environmental targets.

 

There also needs to be a strong independent remanufacturing industry to ensure that the original equipment manufacturers do not establish a monopoly, which is not in the interest of the consumer or the automotive industry, in particular, the automotive aftermarket.

 

Many people now consciously look at the environmental issues when replacing personal vehicles, so our ‘Captains of Industry’ need to consider the implications of their purchasing decisions when selecting parts to stock in their businesses. We all have a duty to future generations to protect the environment, and the UK remanufacturing industry is well-placed to serve the sector, being able to accommodate short production runs and offer cost-effective replacement parts, particularly for less popular applications.

 

Autoelectro is leading the way for UK-based remanufacturing, having invested heavily in remanufacturing processes, some of the most advanced test equipment in the world and an industry-leading website, which allows customers to track and allocate outstanding surcharges. If properly managed, it can result in trading virtually surcharge-free; thus, removing one of the obstacles of supporting remanufactured products.

 

Clearly, remanufacturing can play an important role in protecting our environment, but also by promoting the benefits of remanufactured product and educating the end-user, without necessarily compromising margins.

 

The automotive sector is trying to be more environmentally-friendly, with new technologies being introduced to new cars, and aftermarket industry influencers can play their part by considering remanufactured product whilst driving their latest low emission vehicle. We have an obligation to protect our planet for future generations.

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OBITUARY: JOHN HAYNES

John Haynes, seen here with his CAT Lifetime Achievement Award, has died aged 80

John Haynes, the entrepreneur and creator of the Haynes Manual, founder of the Haynes Publishing Group PLC and the Haynes International Motor Museum passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the evening of Friday 8th February, aged 80, after a short illness. John was a kind, generous, loving and devoted husband, brother, father and grandfather, who will be missed enormously.

John Harold Haynes was born on 25th March 1938 to Harold and Violette Haynes in Ceylon, where his father was the manager of a tea plantation.  From an early age John had a passion for cars, and as a child he loved nothing more than riding around the plantation with his father in their Morris 8 saloon.

At the age of 12 he moved to the UK with his brother David, to attend boarding school at Sutton Valence School in Kent.  It was at school that John’s flair for art and his entrepreneurial spirit developed and flourished.  He persuaded his House Master to allow him to miss rugby and instead spend his time converting an Austin 7 into a lightweight sporty Austin 7 ‘Special’.  He eventually sold the car, making a reasonable profit, and owing to the immense interest it received (over 150 replies to the advert) he decided to produce a booklet showing other enthusiasts how he’d made it. He published a booklet entitled “Building A ‘750’ Special’; the first print run of 250 copies sold out in 10 days.

After leaving school John joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) to do his National Service, where he made many lifelong friends.  During his time in the RAF his role in logistics taught him business management skills, while enabling him to pursue his passion for motor racing and publishing in his spare time.  He successfully developed and competitively raced several race cars, including his Elva Courier, which is on display in the Haynes International Motor Museum.

It was whilst in the RAF that ‘Johnny’ met Annette, and he soon realised he had met the woman he wanted to spend his life with.  On his way to their wedding he stopped to buy Annette a second hand IBM Proportional Space Type Writer as her wedding present. Although perhaps not the most romantic of gifts, Annette was delighted with his practical choice, setting the stage for a bright future together.

In 1965, John was posted to Aden and it was there that he created the first Haynes Manual.  An RAF colleague had bought a ‘Frogeye’ Sprite, which was in poor condition and he asked John to help him rebuild it. John agreed, and quickly realised that the official factory manual was not designed to help the average car owner. He bought a camera and captured the process of dismantling and rebuilding the engine. The use of step-by-step photo sequences linked to exploded diagrams became the trusted hallmark of Haynes Manuals. The first Haynes Manual, for the Austin Healey Sprite, was published in 1966, and the first print run of 3,000 sold out in less than 3 months. To date over 200 million Haynes Manuals have been sold around the world.

The success of his publishing business, including expansion into Europe and North America, culminated in the Haynes Publishing Group PLC floating on the London Stock Exchange in 1979.  In 1995 John was awarded an OBE for services to publishing, and in 2005 The Open University presented him with the honorary degree of Master of the University. His contribution to motoring was recognised by The Guild of Motoring Writers in 2014 when he was made a life member.

John’s publishing success meant that he was able to enjoy his passion for cars, and he became a prolific collector. In 1985 he founded the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset as an Educational Charitable Trust, bequeathing his collection of 30 cars to the charity to be held for the benefit of the nation. John continued to support the museum charity throughout his life by donating cars and funding its growth, and thanks to his support the museum has grown and now displays more than 400 vehicles, and is enjoyed by over 125,000 people a year. At the 2014 International Historic Motoring Awards the museum was recognised as The Museum of the Year.

Until 2010 John served as Chairman of the Haynes Publishing Group and then continued to play an active role as Founder Director.  In this role he supported the executive team as they created a world leading content, data and solutions business serving both drivers and professional mechanics. He combined this role with that of Chairman of Trustees of the Haynes International Motor Museum.

John was very much a family man and is survived by his wife Annette, brother David and sister Mary, his two sons; J and Chris, daughters-in-law; Valencia and Femke and his grandchildren; Augusta, Chrissie, Edward, Freya & Nicholas.  His middle son Marc sadly passed away in October 2016.  Annette contributed hugely to the success of the Haynes Publishing Group and she shares John’s lifelong passion for cars. She still serves as a much respected member of the Board of Trustees for the Museum.

A true gentleman, and a kind and considerate man, John will be greatly missed not only by his family, friends and colleagues but also by the many people that use his manuals, and benefit from his reassuring guiding hand as they repair and maintain their cars and motorbikes. The appreciation people felt for his contribution was most visible on an almost daily basis at the Museum’s Café 750. While enjoying lunch John was regularly approached by visitors, who would invariably be greeted with his infectious warmth and engaging, enthusiastic boyish smile.  He was always happy to oblige fellow enthusiasts with photographs, engage in conversation and share his passion for cars.

Obituary written by Haynes Publishing

 

 

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UNIVERSAL TYRES VISIT

The smart way of tyre dealing

 

General Manager Michael Jackson explains how Universal Tyres and Parts has grown in the face of change

 

 

Anyone with an old Beatles album must have noticed the ‘Hayes Middlesex’ address on the back, and affectionados of vinyl might know that part of the old pressing plant has been restored and once again, part of it is still pressing records.

However, just around the corner there is another part of the old site that has swapped vinyl for rubber as for many years it has been home to Universal Tyres and Parts, one of the largest regional wholesale distributors of tyres. The site looks reminiscent of a railway shunting yard as the cobbled courtyard had a number of rail tracks embedded in it.

 

“The rails are there because the records would be pressed over the road and then be stored in our warehouses before being shipped out on the canal” explained Michael Jackson, a Director at Universal. The tyre wholesaler rescued a clutch of buildings from a state of semi dereliction over a period of years. Apart from the deco-fronted warehouse the firm also occupies a suite of grand-looking offices that were once something to do with the record company, as well as a one-time storage area which is now a retail workshop offering the public around-the-wheel services as well as servicing and MOTs.

 

 Turnover

However, wholesale is the mainstay of the business and the last decade has seen turnover grow from £6m to almost £14m. That same period has been one of dramatic change across the tyre industry as a whole. “Before, tyre companies were a little world within themselves, and there was a bit of snobbery to anyone that was ‘outside’” said Jackson. “Now, we deal with a lot more service and repair garages (rather than just tyre fitters) because everyone is diversifying”.

 

Like the rest of the parts trade, it has been the advent of multiple daily deliveries that has been driving this diversification. Multiple drops mean that small workshops don’t need to hold a large stock pack in order to introduce a tyre bay. The garage equipment needed to change tyres is more accessible than ever these days, thanks to cheap finance and lease options – although Jackson cautions that not all beading machines are created equal. “Some garages see adverts for cheap tyre machines, but then realise that the equipment can’t take larger wheel sizes or are suitable for TPMS etc” he said, adding that Universal are always happy to put clients in touch with any number of equipment dealers that can supply the right kit.

 

Electronic trading

The greatest change to the business in recent years is the adoption of electronic trading. A decade ago, Universal received perhaps a third of orders electronically, and Jackson says that a survey at the time showed the prevailing attitude of clients was that they ‘prefered to talk to a person’. Today, the situation has reversed, with eight out of ten orders being made electronically. Hard parts factors who say that their customers will never accept online ordering should take note…

 

Another area where the trade has changed is the number of tyres in any one particular size. 205/55R16 is the most common size, but there are hundreds of different options. Jackson used an example of a customer who can’t quite get their head around the idea of how many choices there are. “The customer might say ‘oh just send me a Conti’, but we might have 15 different Continental tyres available with different brand fitment, run flat and speed ratings, and there might be 50 different options in total when summer and winter tyres are taken into account”.

 

To manage amount of inventory a particularly lean system needs to be in place. The warehouse has two full floors with a conveyor rather than just a simple mezzanine. The inventory is large, but as with most just-in-time systems, daily deliveries of stock are required to keep the profile up to date. Walking around, it is fascinating to see the range of tyres stocked. We notice a set of white walls for an original Fiat 500 alongside van tyres, mud and snow tyres tyres and everything in between. “We have tyres for everything, from a wheelbarrow, to these, for a Ferrari Enzo” Jackson said, showing us the Enzo tyres by way of proof. “We don’t sell many of those, but if someone orders a set, they expect them immediately” he beamed.

 

Special racking has been put in place to maximise every square centimetre of space and in recent years the firm has migrated to a cloud-based management system called TyreSoft, which has proved popular with customers because as soon as a van has a manifest, a message is automatically sent to the customer telling them of the time of arrival of their order and the invoice is emailed as well. “It’s a smart way of doing it” concluded Jackson.

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Movers Correction

In Movers and Shakers in the July issue, we mentioned that Carl Whitlam has started in a role at Hella Gutmann Solutions.

Well,  gremlins got into the system and we had mistakenly picked up a story dated exactly one year earlier. Carl Whitlam is no longer at HGS. We apologise to all for the confusion caused.

 

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PEOPLE NEWS: JIM MAZZA JOINS PDP BUYING GROUP

PEOPLE NEWS: JIM MAZZA JOINS PDP BUYING GROUP

Buying group Parts Distribution Partnership has announced that Jim Mazza will be joining the Group’s management team with immediate effect. Working with the members, he will assist in every aspect of the groups development.

Jim Mazza will be best known to CAT readers as the former Managing Director of AAG’s trading groups in the UK. Prior to that, he enjoyed a successful career at plumbing and builder’s merchant Wolseley UK.

PDP Chair, Alastair Whatmore commented: “With consolidation in the market showing little signs of slowing down, we recognise the need to change, to grow and to develop a group that is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that undoubtedly exist for independent motor factors and suppliers. Jim has an impressive track record in the automotive aftermarket and brings to our group a wealth of experience and buying group knowledge which will undoubtedly help us achieve our objectives”.

Jim Mazza added: “A decision to join the PDP team was not taken lightly and having spent some time looking at what the PDP does and its hopes and aspirations, I came away convinced that the group presents exciting prospects to grow and develop initially for the benefit of the existing membership, but ultimately for those motor factors looking for safe harbour in turbulent times”.

“PDP is undoubtedly a platform to build on, and I am looking forward with relish to working with the group, its members and its supplier partners and helping PDP achieve its ambitions”.

 

 

 

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COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?

COULD YOU BE GARAGE OF THE YEAR 2018?

PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA

Automechanika Birmingham is calling on independent garages across the UK to enter its  ‘Garage of the Year’ award, returning for its second year and will be bigger than ever before.

The competition is open to all garages across the United Kingdom, with entrants explaining the reasons why they should win the coveted award and walk away with £1000. This year, there are six categories for garages to enter, recognising the diversity of UK garage businesses.

The winner of each category will be announced at an evening dinner to be held at The Director’s Club, Aston Villa FC on 5 June, which all category finalists will be invited to attend free of charge. The overall Garage of the Year winner will then be announced at the show on 6 June from these six category winners.

Last year’s first-ever ‘Garage of the Year’ award was won by local garage MotorServ-UK Solihull, which gained the most votes in the battle for top spot, with Philips Garage Ltd from Glasgow narrowly missing out and finishing second overall, and Shropshire-based garage EAC Telford coming third.

This year’s categories are:

• Best Small Garage
• Best Large Garage
• Best Community Initiative award
• ‘Auto-mechanik’ of the Year
• Technology Innovation Award
• Business Innovation Award

Simon Albert, Managing Director of Automechanika Birmingham, said: “The awards this year take on an exciting new development with an evening dinner to name the category winners and celebrate their achievement.

“Last year 75 garages entered – we anticipate that number to significantly increase this year. The finalists will all benefit from a raised business profile, these awards are a great way to reward the hard work and contribution that garages give to the automotive industry.”

The award is being run in partnership with Garage Wire. Interested garages are advised to ‘save the dates’ of 5-6 June and look out for more details in the near future. Anyone interested in entering can get the entry form here

The competition is part of a larger offering for garages at the 2018 exhibition. The organisers have introduced a dedicated Garage Quarter offering over 130 suppliers of tools and workshop equipment, services and innovative products as well as a Garage Social area. End users will benefit from a new specialist demo hub which will showcase live action across body repair and vehicle customisation as well as a Business Services Village giving garages free advice on how to run a business more efficiently. The ever popular Workshop Training Hub will return for 2018, bigger and better than before including expert speakers and free training. The Garage Quarter will stay open on Wednesday 6 June until 7pm to allow business owners and technicians to make the most out of their day out of the workshop.

Garage visitors will also benefit from free parking at the NEC and free breakfast upon arrival. Visitors looking to sign up can register for their free ticket here: https://www.automechanika-birmingham.com/welcome/get-your-free-ticket

Posted in Featured Sidebar, Greg Whitaker's diaryComments (0)

DATE NIGHT: YOUR CHANCE TO BE ON A CALENDAR

PROMOTION ON BEHALF OF HELLA

HELLA – 2019 Workshop Calendar Competition

Chipping Warden, October 2017 HELLA is looking for workshops that have ‘something special’ to feature in the company’s 2019 “Experts At Work” calendar to celebrate the dedication and commitment that technicians make to the industry globally. 

HELLA, a world renowned manufacturer of automotive components and lighting solutions, is giving workshops the opportunity to enter the competition to show what makes their business extraordinary. Whether it is a team of excellent employees, working with exceptional cars or perhaps it’s in the most unusual location – HELLA wants to hear from you!

To enter, workshops simply need to send in a few photos that really showcase their premises or what makes it different, along with a short description of why they have got what it takes to be featured in the calendar.

The winners will receive a range of top quality prizes including an exclusive photo shoot by a professional photographer, as well as the international “Experts At Work” award from HELLA, with their pictures used in the calendar, which will be distributed worldwide. Last, but by no means least, the winners will also receive a fantastic package worth almost £500 for their workshops. 

The competition is underway, but closes on 6th November 2017, so don’t delay, apply today! For all the details about this exciting opportunity visit www.facebook.com/hella.deutschland and like the page. Alternatively you can also access https://www.hella-contest.com/en/

Posted in Garage News, Greg Whitaker's diaryComments (0)

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