Tag Archive | "Suppliers"

NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY

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NEW CASTROL DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR CERTAS COMPANY


Lubricant distributor The Race Group has announced that it has renewed its partnership with Castrol with a new five-year contract, extending its supply of product to customers in the South of England in addition to the Midlands and the North which were covered int the previous agreement.

The contract secures The Race Group, part of nationwide distributor Certas Energy, as Castrol’s largest authorised distributor in the UK.

Andrew Salton, General Manager at Certas Energy and Sales Manager at The Race Group, commented, This is great news for both current and new customers who will experience improved levels of service and technical knowledge”.

 Mark  Scarisbrick, Distributor Manager at Castrol UK, added,“As our chosen route to market, we awarded The Race Group the contract to grow the Castrol brand in the South of England. We are confident that customers will enjoy a professional service that delivers business results. Given our long standing partnership we have the utmost trust in their experience, expertise and capabilities to be an ambassador of the Castrol brand across the South of England”.

 

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AUTOMECHANIKA B’HAM LAUNCHES SHOW PREVIEW

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AUTOMECHANIKA B’HAM LAUNCHES SHOW PREVIEW


PROMOTION ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM

Automechanika Birmingham Event Preview – packed with reasons to attend.

Automechanika Birmingham, leading exhibition for the UK’s automotive industry has launched its Event Preview  PACKED with reasons why you need to attend this year’s event.

Whatever your role in the aftermarket, the event answers your critical questions…

o How will the EU changes impact the future of the MOT?
o What’s the latest technology updates for Diagnostics, ADAS calibration and hybrid vehicles?
o What effect will connectivity & electrification have on the industry?
o How will I meet new suppliers and get better deals from existing ones?

Whatever your questions, answers are guaranteed at Automechanika Birmingham, taking place on 5-7 June, NEC, Birmingham.

Over 500 exhibitors include;
Delphi, HELLA, Liqui Moly, MANN + HUMMEL, Bosch UK, TEXA, Draper Tools, DURA, ITW, ISN, Certas Energy, Snap On, Milwaukee Tools, AA garage guide, Toyota First, Mec-Diesel, EFI Automotive Service, Ceramex, GSF Car Parts, Premier Components UK Ltd, Mac Tools (Stanley Black & Decker), Wurth Electronics, Stanners Equipment, Road Runner, Motor Trade Insurance, EDT Automotive and others.

Don’t forget late night opening Wednesday 6 June in the Garage Quarter, provides a perfect place to reconnect with your garage customers and maximise meetings with suppliers.

Arrive before 10am and receive a free hot drink and pastry sponsored by Valeo & Castrol UK.

Time’s ticking but don’t panic, you can still register free. Why not invite your colleagues too?

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HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET?

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HAVE YOU SIGNED UP YET?


AUTOMECHANIKA PROMOTION

Automechanika Birmingham is just under five weeks away. Have you signed up yet? When you register free for your ticket, recommend a colleague to attend and you will receive free breakfast upon arrival at the NEC courtesy of Bendix. Also, new for the 2018 event, independent garages can park free *limited availability, first come first served!

Whether your exhibiting or just visiting, register now by visiting the Automechanika Birmingham website. We look forward to seeing you all there!

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AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM HIGHLIGHTS 2017

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AUTOMECHANIKA BIRMINGHAM HIGHLIGHTS 2017


This year’s Automechanika Birmingham show attracted over 800 exhibitors and 12,000 visitors including garages, motor factors and parts retailers.

With the extra hall space and longer opening hours meant aftermarket professionals had more opportunities to discover new technology, learn new skills and network with other industry experts.

For those who missed out  can watch show highlights in the video below and get a sneak peak into the third edition taking place next year.

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LATEST: BRAKEWORLD IN ADMINISTRATION

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LATEST: BRAKEWORLD IN ADMINISTRATION


Leeds-based supplier Brakeworld entered administration on January 31. The company had been trading since 1986.

The independently owned braking and filtration supplier started as Blaze Glow Ltd in 1981, but changed name and business model in 1986 to become Brakeworld. At the time of closure, the company supplied over 7,000 lines and stocked brands including Japanparts, FTE and Sofima.

We’ll bring more info as we get it.

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UP-SELLING ON OILS AND LUBES

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UP-SELLING ON OILS AND LUBES


There’s a profit to be made on oils and lubes if you have the right strategy in place

comma-oil

A market trend has started to form with the introduction of very low viscosity oil grades, designed to improve fuel efficiency and oil change intervals; opening up-selling opportunities for oils providing you can find exactly the right grade.

MARKET TREND
Mike Bewsey, Comma Oils Sales & Marketing Director, says that while 5w-30 remains a popular grade; this could be subject to change. “5w-30 products remain dominant as OE spec, but the future market trend as signaled in applications for the latest fuel efficient and hybrid engines is moving towards even lower viscosity oils in the 0w-20/- 0w-30 range” he said.
Chris Wall, Marketing Manager at Total Lubricants, concurs, saying: “It’s all about optimising engine efficiency: a balance between engine performance, engine protection and even fuel saving”.

INCREASING SALES
Our oil experts suggested a couple of ideas that will sweep those products off the counter and into the customer’s hands. Bewsey advises technicians to offer top-up cartons when the vehicle is being serviced, so the motorist will have a litre of the correct grade handy for service intervals, by recommending a ‘top up’ with the correct specification. He said: “As far as engine lubes are concerned, the most straightforward and profitable method is to offer your customer the correct top-up oil for their vehicle. Sell your customer the appropriate 1 or 2 litre top up oil pack (s) at the time of the oil change service interval, and urge then to check their vehicle’s oil level regularly, whatever its recommended oil change cycle”. Steve Dunn, Sales Director of Exol Lubricants, agrees, suggesting that workshops should be stressing the importance of buying high quality oil grades to customers. After all, the last thing a technician needs is a dissatisfied motorist returning a few weeks later to find they have poured in the wrong formulation, causing damage to the engine. “Garages should ensure customers check their oil regularly and raise the awareness to some of the pitfalls of incorrect oils”, said Dunn. “By encouraging garages to promote the importance of good quality oil, motorists are more inclined to use premium products of greater quality that offer long- term benefits rather than a cheaper alternative”.

OIL SELECTION
The influx of oils and lubricants available for petrol and diesel engines can cause a cloud of confusion among technicians when distinguishing the correct specifications for the job, particularly for businesses servicing a diverse range of vehicle models. To jump over this hurdle, most suppliers have a VRM look-up system in place to help choose the correct formulation first time round. Martyn Mann, Technical Director at Millers Oils, elaborated: “Our website has a facility called Which Oil? Users can enter the vehicle’s details in to find out the correct oil and quantity for the engine in question”, Mann continued: “We also have helplines where people can speak to a member of our technical team or alternatively, e-mail their query to us”. Similarly, Chris Wall from Total Lubricants says the supplier utilises a tool called ‘LubAdvisor’, what does what it says on the tin. He explained: “This easy to use tool allows technicians to look up the specific make and model in an instant, enabling them to make the right choice with confidence every time, with the information also available through industry cataloguing systems adopted by some of the big motor factor groups”. Les Downey, Managing Director of Lucas Oil adds: “The garage only needs the VRM, a PC and access to any one of a wide range of online tools and the specification is there on the screen. Alternatively, the motor factor can provide the advice”.

DEVELOPING ADDITIVE PACKS
Developing additive packs in house is a very expensive and time-consuming business, but as the number of VM-specific oil references grows it is necessary for oil blenders to either develop their own additive packs (which then need to be approved by the VM) or buy directly from additive suppliers. One company that buys ad packs in this way is SCT, which produces and distributes the Mannol brand in the UK. Jevgenij Lyzko from the firm says: “Our factory uses Infineum as additive supplier, as we highly trust their quality and professionalism”. He notes that his firm now produces various VM-specific lubes, which are easily identifiable by the black packaging, which have seen strong sales in the UK since being introduced two years ago.

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A1 MOTOR STORES AWARDS AND SUPPLIER ‘SPEED DATING’


a1_awards

Salloway (middle) presented awards

There might be far fewer conventions and ‘jollies’ abroad these days, but we’re pleased to say that the A1 Conference took 85 delegates and 35 supplier’s reps to the delightful Grand Majestic Hotel on the shores of Lake Maggiore in Italy. Particular mention should be given to the five suppliers, which sponsored the convention, namely Tetrosyl, Comline, Trico, Platinum and FPS.

On the day of arrival, the guests enjoyed a trip on the lake, plus a decent evening’s feed. However, in the morning after breakfast it was down to work for the Supplier meetings. Members paired up and had strictly timed five-minute sessions with each supplier. Of course, if the discussions needed to go on longer then there was plenty of opportunity later, but the point of the exercise was to introduce members to suppliers that they may not have previously had a dialogue with.

AWARDS
a1_award_winnersThe evening event was a black-tie dinner. A1’s Head of Operations, Simon Salloway called everyone to order and announced the winners of the 2016 A1 Motor Stores’ Supplier Awards. There were only four to be made, and the accolade was taken very seriously by the suppliers as all the awards were voted for by the entire membership. See the side panel for who won.

Actually there was one more announcement to make and it was an emotional one too. A1 members Phil and Pauline Taylor from Motormania were retiring straight after the conference. Motomania has been a member of A1 for all but two years of the group’s existence and Phil had a few words to say before signing off. He said, “In all the years of being involved in membership and heading up the executive as Chairman in the past, I have never seen the group in such a healthy and exciting position. A1

certainly does have a part to play in our industry and I wish I could turn back the clock and still be part of it. I think Simon Salloway is bringing the changes and new initiative to A1 that we need and I’m sure the group will grow from strength to strength. Pauline and I would like to thank A1 members and suppliers, old and new, for allowing us to have such an enjoyable career and we wish you all success moving forward.”

We wish the Taylor’s all the best and look forward to another great event next year.

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AUTOINSIDER LIVE TURNS FOCUS TO MOT TRAINING


AutoInsider took place at Sandown Park

AutoInsider took place at Sandown Park

The most recent edition of AutoInsider saw a new focus on preparation for MOT training courses.

Although delegates at the Andrew Page-backed event at Sandown Park still had the usual meet and greet with suppliers, the highlight of the show was a seminar theatre which hosted an explanation of the new requirements for authorised examiners.

Paul Hall, Group Training Manager at Andrew Page, said: “People have heard so many rumours about how to go about undergoing MOT tester training”.

“The reason we put on the seminar here today was to set the record straight about what is happening and what we can do for the industry”.

Aside from the forum, key suppliers including Bosch, TRW, Mann Filter and Unipart were on hand to explain their wares. Under the theme ‘Tomorrow’s Garage Today’, tool makers and parts suppliers put on a show that related to modernising the workshop. “Whenever we do something like this, it’s always a success to talk with customers, key managers, people from supply chains and spend quality time with customers outside of the garage” said Rebecca Leigh Regional Sales Manager for Andrew Page.

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STOCKIST DEALS FOR AFTERMARKET SUPPLIERS


stockist unipart Gerry O'Hara

Unipart picked up Fastest Growing Supplier Award from Page earlier in the year

The month gone has seen a number of supply arrangement deals signed by major aftermarket companies. Firstly, accessory distributor Saxon has made an agreement with Unipart Autoparts for distribution of Unipart branded products in the UK.

Neil Haines, CEO of Saxon stated that the deal allowed the company to add to its portfolio of bands and that it developed his strategy of working with ‘market leading quality partners’.

Gerry O’Hara Managing Director of Unipart Autoparts noted that the deal provided a ‘winning formula’ for working with their joint customers.
Meanwhile, A1 Motor Stores has added Bradford-based Autoelectro to its list of suppliers. Autoelectro is a large remanufacturer with a wide range of references.

Autoelectro’s Managing Director, Tony Bhogal said: “We have invested heavily in the latest test equipment to understand, test and check the newest applications, which incorporate complex electronics”.

Simon Salloway, A1’s Head of Operations, commented: “I know our members will benefit enormously from having them on board”. Salloway knows more than most about the rotating electrics market having joined A1 from AMK. Also in distribution this month, cooling part supplier Nissens received a gong from the TETMOT expo for being the supplier with the best logistics over the past year. A ‘proud and humble’ VP Klavs T. Pederson received the award on behalf of the company.

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EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS OVER MULTIPLE SITES


Andy Savva: Everybody needs a plan to develop their staff and businesses, but is it wise to consider a franchise or multi-site model?

Andy Savva

Andy Savva has run various large independent garages and has been a troubleshooter for underperforming franchise workshops.

 

Over the years many people have asked me about the business models of the independent garages I’ve owned. Specifically, the business I get asked about the most is Brunswick Garage, which was conceived, marketed and branded as a main dealer alternative. The question that I was asked most often is: ‘why don’t you consider franchising the model?’

Well, it sounds good, expand the empire, grow the brand and of course hopefully get a better financial return. However, I believe it’s one of the most difficult industries to turn into a franchise. About three years ago a workshop in Coventry opened in a blaze of glory with the stated aim that there would soon be one similar in 25 major towns across the nation.

The originator of this idea was not from within industry but from the world of white-collar recruitment. I remember when the second site was opened I was asked my opinion and I was then as I am now very clear now that it’s practically impossible for it to succeed. To date I think I’ve been proved right as the business in question called in the administrators not long after a third site was opened.

There are too many processes, procedures, and interactions between customers and staff members that you can’t just franchise. We are dealing with emotions and behaviour that just can’t be accounted for. What works in one area of England may not necessarily work in another, there are so many variables and barriers to consider, customer and vehicle demographics, land and property costs differ up and down the country.

Having said that, there is no reason why your ambition should be to only run a single garage. There are a lot of examples of aftermarket business owners who do have garages over multiple sites, often in different towns. Of course there is a crucial difference between being an owner-operator of multiple businesses and developing a model for others to emulate.

However, no matter what your goals are as a business owner, it’s important to review the pros and cons of growing your business in order to hone your vision and assess potential stumbling blocks before they arise. Believe me, owning a multi-unit business is hard work. Below I have tried to highlight some of the key points to consider if you want to expand into multi-site independent garage operator.

MULTI-SITE PROS

  • Economies of scale: When purchasing parts of equipment, you should be in a position to achieve better prices.
  • Marketing activities can be combined: Wider message at a lower cost – increasing brand awareness.
  • Pool of talent: Staff can work between locations depending on need.
  • Reduced management: One manager could be spread over two or three sites.
  • Equipment sharing: There is the possibility of sharing specialist tools and diagnostic equipment – depending what services you offer at different locations.
  • Make money: More profit achieved with multiple sites.
  • Plan retirement: A successful multi-site can attract a larger corporate buyer if an exit strategy is the final objective.
  • Family institution: If family are involved could be easier to expand – families tend to form a grounded and loyal foundation. In built support system. It could bring long-term stability and trust. Having said that…

MULTI-SITE CONS

  • Dysfunctional families: Family businesses can create a lot of challenges too. Difficulties arise when it comes to succession planning, sibling relationships, promotion and leadership. This can result in dysfunctional behaviour affecting business decisions.
  • Increased capital investment: Opening a garage isn’t cheap.
  • Location is critical: Is it easy for customers to get to, and near transport links so they can leave the vehicle with you?
  • Local knowledge: What works in one area may not work in another. It is important to research and understand the customer type and vehicle demographics in that specific location.
  • Common policies: Multi-sites are difficult to manage if you don’t have rigid processes and procedures in place that are clear to all staff members.
  • Pay grade: It can be difficult to manage staffing levels and correct management structure with the right pay incentives.
  • Reputation spread: Poor customer service from one site can affect another site.
  • Cost control: Managing costs across several locations not easy. Controls need implemented. Cost can spiral out of control if other sites are not successful.
  • Personal touch: With attention divided amongst other locations there could be a distance created between stakeholders and staff.
  • Increasing difficult to attract competent, skilled staff – inherent with our industry.
  • Finding staff: It can be hard enough to get the right people for one site, let alone multiple locations.

Whichever way you may decide to take your garage – there are pitfalls and benefits in all camps – single site, multi-site and franchise. Ultimately it will come down to the desires and ambitions that you set yourself.

You can find out about Andy’s consultancy services by contacting savvaautomotive.com

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