Tag Archive | "Motor factor"

A NEW CHAPTER FOR ANDREW PAGE

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A NEW CHAPTER FOR ANDREW PAGE


Steven Frost and Shay Allen

Of all the places that I thought might be my first visit of the year, a new branch of Andrew Page didn’t seem likely just a few months ago.

But things change, and so today, I’m standing at a shiny shop counter in a new branch. There are displays of tools and accessories with a number of brands and a small screen with a noisy infomercial for something called Gorilla Glue on a loop – something which I suspect will get old very quickly for the staff.

The stockroom, loaded with parts across two levels, is just as clean. Incredibly, building the mezzanine plus racking the whole branch and filling it with stock was achieved in just a week, according to Regional Manager Steven Frost, who was there to meet me along with Southampton Manager Shay Allen and Interim Marketing Manager Richard Swan.

Admittedly, this is not an entirely new branch. There was already a satellite of the Southampton branch in Eastleigh that needed to move or be closed as the lease was up and the landlord wished to redevelop the building. At the same time, parent company LKQ had a recently vacated building that had previously been a JCA Coatings counter, so it seemed logical for one business to move into the empty building.

RATTLING PHONES
However, don’t think that this is nothing more than a re-site. The sales team that manages customers around Eastleigh and Winchester are to move from Southampton into a bright new telesales office upstairs at the Eastleigh branch, and the team have plans to increase the headcount in order to win some new accounts.

“You get closer to your customers when you are in a standalone branch” Steven Frost emphasised, “But in a satellite branch, you become a bit disengaged as your customers don’t know that you’re up the road. So part of the investment is to get more people in”. This will likely include an extra van or two (there are currently six) and possibly extra people to handle the increased pareto and anticipated rise in orders.

The problems faced by the management of Andrew Page have been covered ad infinitum in CAT, but from a customer point of view the main issue has been inconsistent supply and ever-changing brands on the shelf. “There’s nothing worse than having to ring a customer back and tell them that you can’t get something” said Frost, adding that as an ex-ECP man, he breathed a ‘sigh of relief ’ when he heard that LKQ were behind the takeover, because he knew that range and availability would no longer be an issue.

So, is this branch a new start for the hundred year-old factor? “That’s certainly what we’ve been told” said Frost. “There are more moves and openings planned as [LKQ] want to heavily invest in this brand and move it forward. It hasn’t moved as quickly as we wanted, because of the CMA thing, but straight away this is what we want to do”.

NEW BUSINESS
Branch Manager Shay Allen believes that filling gaps in existing accounts and winning new business is entirely possible, due to the good and personal relationships the team have with individual customers. This trait goes back to the days of Camberley Auto Factors which several team members worked for, prior to being bought and rebranded by Page.

“It absolutely comes down to the relationship between the garage and the factor. If there is one thing that sets us apart right now it is people, and the knowledge and level of skill that they have” said Allen.

This is emphasised in the firm’s attitude to outgoing sales calls. Rather than badger people on the phone with an offer of screenwash or whatever, the sales team will prefer to visit customers to make sure they are happy with everything the factor is doing, and looking to see if there are any gaps that can be filled.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t challenges to this expansion. Both MPD, GSF and GAU are active on the patch that the branch wants to take more of as well as the ‘friendly’ competition from the local ECP. Nonetheless, the shiny new branch sends out a clear message to the aftermarket: Andrew Page is back and open for business.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, News, Out and About with CAT, Retailer NewsComments (0)

BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE BRANCH CLOSURES

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BREAKING: ANDREW PAGE BRANCH CLOSURES


Ten branches of Andrew Page have been closed.

 

Carlisle and Ellesmere port closed last week. Cardiff, Peterborough, Kettering, Shrewsbury,Chesterfield and three others closed on Monday. Calls we made to affected branches diverted to a nearby Euro Car PArts.  Meanwhile, managers from other branches took part in conference call on Tuesday.  

 

In a written statement, a spokesman for ECP said: “We can confirm that we have closed 10 Andrew Page branches, following the completion of a recent business operational review by the Andrew Page Management team.  There are no plans to close any further Andrew Page branches. We are currently working with employees at affected branches to look for alternative options within the ECP or Andrew Page network, and working closely with customers of these affected branches.”

 

Andrew Page was bought by the parent company of rival Euro Car Parts in 2016 immediately after the former went into administration. Following a lengthy investigation by the  Competition and Markets Authority, nine depots were proscribed to be closed in the interest of not ‘significantly reducing competition’

 

Interestingly, none of the branches closed over the past week were on the CMA list. Liphook, Scunthourpe, Wakefield and York were on the list, but remain on the company’s depot finder.

Note: This story has been updated to include the statement from ECP

 

 

 

Andrew Page closes branches

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AUTOMATED FUTURE FOR FACTOR CHAIN

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AUTOMATED FUTURE FOR FACTOR CHAIN


Large German factor Stahlgruber combines robotics and logistics in hub reboot. CAT contributor Alan Smithee gets the latest. 

Factor gets an upgrade

How about this for a warehouse upgrade? German motor factor Stahlgruber needed to expand and in typical fashion, bosses at the firm put their minds to achieve the most efficient solution possible.

What they came up with was a completely robotic 23,000 sq. ft extension, connected to the existing facility by a 60-metre bridge with a pallet conveyor. Working with warehouse automation firm TGW Logistics, the firm built the new new automatic ‘mini-load’ warehouse and the entire conveyor system for plastuc crates known as ‘totes’, roll containers and pallets, plus the storage and retrieval machines. TGW was responsible for the design and installation of the pallet conveyor and storage and retrieval equipment in the receiving area.

The new 26-metre-high automatic mini-load warehouse consists of two storage levels with nine aisles each, and two separate storage and retrieval levels serviced by machines. ‘Twister’ load handling devices transport the goods to and from 165,800 storage locations at rates of up to 118 movements per hour, with each unit identified by barcode and tracked on Stahlgruber’s computer system.

As part of the new facility, TGW built a new receiving terminal that makes the best of the received goods’ travel through the logistics centre. Modifications to the existing pallet handling system means suppliers now deliver all pallets pre-labelled with a barcode indicating the shipping unit.

On receipt in pallets or grid- boxes, items are routed either directly to the existing pallet warehouse over the bridge via conveyor; to eight picking stations for direct picking from pallet; or to 44 decanting workstations connected to the tote conveyor system for unpacking the pallet into the tote crates. A display at each decanting station informs the employees about the required number of items to put into a provided empty tote, which is then transported to the automatic mini-load storage warehouse.

The existing warehouse has also been redesigned with ‘ergonomic’ workstations for receiving, repacking, picking and shipping areas, with everything to hand and technology measuring weights etc in order to provide the best possible conditions for the employees. There is little need for employees to walk very far at all in fact, as the facility has four kilometers of conveyors whizzing totes and pallets wherever they need to go. Bosses reckon on employees picking 210 totes per hour. The same picking stations also pick from full pallet loads delivered directly from the receiving area via TGW pallet lifts and a double transfer car.

TGW also added a new shipping line to the shipping area and expanded the dispatch sorters. The changes to the twenty-year-old conveyor system in the shipping area increased performance significantly and dramatically reduced the noise emissions. The logistics centre now holds over 155,000 SKUs, with up to 100,000 orders leaving each day in a two-shift operation that provides customers with fast, accurate deliveries.

Even more surprising is that the upgrade, was completed in a year without having to shut the warehouse. “Work in this area was carried out at weekends, to avoid affecting the facility’s performance during the reconstruction phase,” explained TGW Project Manager Josef Eibel. “The coordination was challenging at times, but the team worked together perfectly and the high-tech upgrade for factor shipping area’s performance was doubled. The new system provides Stahlgruber with a supply chain that provides operational efficiencies as well as enhancing its high levels of customer service.”

Is this an exciting future, or are robots threatening the way we work? Why not email CAT and let us know your views.

MINI-LOAD SYSTEMS
‘Mini-Load’ systems, so-called because they use small crates called ‘totes’ in conjunction with a tall and fast robotic picking known as Automated Storage and Retrieval. When used with other systems mentioned, they can increase space utilisation by 90 percent, productivity by 90 percent and throughput up to 750 lines per hour. Who wouldn’t want that?

Posted in CAT Know-How, Factor & Supplier News, NewsComments (0)

WATERLOO ACQUIRED BY PARTS ALLIANCE

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WATERLOO ACQUIRED BY PARTS ALLIANCE


Waterloo Motor Factors has been acquired by private equity-backed business group The Parts Alliance. The East-Riding based business has branches in Hull, Beverley and Bridlington and was founded in 1928 by James Henry Munday.

It becomes a wholly-owned business within the HgCapital-owned Parts Alliance Group but will continue to trade under its own name. David Brooks, founder of SAS Autoparts will take over day-to-day running of the firm.

Current MD Jim Munday said: “As a three-generation family business, building long term relationships and providing quality local service are in our DNA. We look forward to working with (PA CEO) Peter Sephton and the rest of the management team to accelerate our growth in what are very exciting times for our trade.”

Peter Sephton said: “I’m delighted Jim Munday has agreed to work with us to facilitate the integration into The Parts Alliance and the transition of leadership to David Brooks, founder of SAS Autoparts, as we seek to extend our branch footprint and optimise our distribution and reach into the region”.

“Jim will continue to advise us on development projects and we are delighted to have Jim and his colleagues at Waterloo as part of our Group.”

The factor was previously a member of the IFA buying group. The change of ownership will see a number of different brands filling the stockroom.

Posted in Factor & Supplier News, Garage News, Latest News, NewsComments (0)

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FPS AND NISSENS COMPETITION WINNER REVEALED


Paul Stewart is the winner pictured far right

Paul Stewart is the winner (pictured far right)

Paul Stewart of Kingswood Autopart Ltd has been crowned the winner of the latest competition organised by engine cooling parts manufacturer Nissens and FPS Distribution.

The awards ceremony took place at Stewart’s Bristol-based motor factor where Nissens UK General Manager Duncan Rainbird and FPS Marketing Campaign Manager Sarah Matthews, handed over a life-size cheque to the victor. “When I was told that I won the competition I didn’t believe it at first”, said Stewart. “It’s a great prize to win. I am a motor racing fan and not many people get the opportunity to go to NASCAR” he added: “It’s a good competition to be put on through the motor trade and I’m really happy Kingswood Autopart won it”. Stewart’s first place prizes include a trip for two to Orlando Florida with £500 spending money, car hire and tickets to the NASCAR Daytona 500 Racing.

Rainbird said the competition partnership with FPS, has seen a ‘positive’ increase in sales from its engine cooling range during October and November, where entrants would receive a ticket for every £100 spent on Nissens engine cooling and air con parts before entering the prize draw. “Looking at the figures we’ve seen on FPS sales during these months we’re both up year-on-year in what is usually a quiet time in terms of engine, engine cooling and climate products that we offer”, Rainbird elaborated: I think one of the things we are keen to promote is the association that we have got together. People now associate FPS with Nissens and likewise with FPS, and the service capabilities for what they can offer”.

FPS Distribution’s Sarah Matthews added: “It’s been a good opportunity to work with Nissens, get to know them and help promote the brand”. Matthews is now in the process of sending out the second prize to its 80 winners who will each receive £25 worth of Love2Shop vouchers to spend at a number of high street retailers up and down the country.

Before drawing the ceremony to a close, Rainbird gave some final words to Stewart. “I hope Paul has an enjoyable time with his wife in Florida and escapes some of this English winter. Have a great time”.

Posted in Blogs, Factor & Supplier News, News, Retailer News, UncategorisedComments (0)

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