Unipart Car Care Centres link with Autobutler
Over the past 40 years I have joined many subsidiary organizations to try to improve the standards for my customers and also if the truth is known, to improve my profit margins. Most of the schemes in the early days were from tyre manufacturers wanting us to sell their products, in exchange for point of sales materials and customer give always.
Tyre manufacturers have always accepted the fact that tyre retailers can basically sell any make that they want. In other words when we were Goodyear dealers, then we would sell Goodyear tyres. It may appear to be pretty obvious to someone out of the tyre trade, but there are hundreds of tyre makes and types on the market and it would be easier to sell “any old” brand of tyres that are in stock, so we have to concentrate our efforts on the one or two makes that we can get the best deal on, either in price terms or merchandising, and preferably both.
As we all started to copy the Kwik-Fit model and diversify from tyres alone, we started to get offers from other parts of the motor-trade. Exhaust manufacturers were the first to spot the stocking potential of having their products on our shelves. This also appealed to us, because what could be better and easier than having the item you are selling on the shelf.
One of the first companies to offer us this service was the excellent Quinton-Hazel (QH) group. This company was fronted by their salesman a guy called Bob Dolby. This guy was and still
is one of the best company rep that I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with, he was a 100% professional and therefore we became a QH exhaust fitting centre. This move was one of the best business deals I had ever done; we took some risks by buying the exhaust systems in bulk containers and stored them in an empty mushroom shed that belonged to a friend.
As with all good things the QH organization started to fall apart for some reason and we then became a Bosal Car Exhausts centre. At this time though cars were becoming more sophisticated and the amount of exhaust systems that we had to keep I became more expansive and took up more space, so we decided to revert back to the old system of buying the exhausts from distributors as we needed them whilst the customer waited in the reception. Other offers came from various trade suppliers, including great deals from the battery companies.
Coming back to more recent times, one of the more lucrative deals that I pulled off was with Total oils. I remember visiting a trade show at the NEC and visiting the Total oil stand. The deal was that if we bought and used Total oils on the cars that we serviced, then they would supply us with automatic oil pumps and a waste oil system. The oil was to be supplied at “so much” a litre and was top weighted so that all we were doing was paying them back for the equipment, but it was equipment that I would have considered buying without the deal.
Joined Unipart Car Care Centres
This is just an example of what other companies are willing to offer on a partnership basis, in the motor trade. Bringing things up to date, there are many such schemes on offer in recent years, things like the “Good garage Scheme” have attracted many garages, but in my opinion the best ones have been the Unipart Car Care Centres (UCCC) partnership and for the tyres side of my business the excellent Point-S independent tyre retailer scheme. Both these companies give a small garage or tyre depots the chance to compete with national competition with the likes of Kwik-Fit or Halfords.
Point-S offer customers throughout the UK to be able to buy online and have their tyres or servicing carried out in their local town, in my case this would be Halifax. Unipart Car Care Centres also offer a nationwide guarantee scheme for their customers in case of a breakdown due to faulty parts or work carried out by the participating garage. Plus we are able to use the excellent Unipart Car Parts, which are up to manufacturer’s standards and therefore covered by European legislation.
Our latest venture is coming from a new idea put to us through Unipart Automotive and is an online car repair and service portal called Autobutler.co.uk and is the first of its kind in Europe. It enables the customer to buy a service or get a quote for a mechanical job or an MOT test online. Say a customer in the Halifax area wants a service ding on their car then we will put in a quote for the job doing, if the price is right then the job will be booked in and the work carried out at the price negotiated. In my opinion this system will generate new work for us and will appeal to the customer who likes to order things online (like my wife) and is not tied or does not have a favored garage. This is just another added bonus to be a member of the Unipart Car Parts Online organization.
A new concept in servicing and repair, previously seen in Germany, Sweden and Denmark, is launching in the UK together with Unipart Car Care Centres.
Auto Butler Prices gives car workshops and garages the chance to quote on work requests that are searched online by local motorists visiting the auto-butler.co.uk website. When a car driver logs on and fills in a detailed job request, registered garages within an area selected by the customer are alerted to the opportunity to quote via email, text message and a call from their own personal ‘butler’, inviting them to make an offer for the work.
Pellon Tyre and Autocentre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a Nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell tyres online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motorcodes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.