Counter View: Keeping garages up-to-date

Counter View: Keeping garages up-to-date

This month, our contributors explain why it is important to provide garages with relevant information that will keep them up-to-date and in business.


David Clarke
Managing Director, Autosupplies (Chesterfield)

That’s the million dollar question isn’t it? A garage’s requirements change regularly and so we have to ensure that we as motor factors continue to innovate and work with garages on the challenges they face.

It is important that trade shows reveal the most up-to- date technological information that garages can use going forward. As a trade, we focus too much on the concern that garages prioritise cost and therefore can bombard them with cheaper alternatives, but in reality they put quality first and trust motor factors to repeatedly deliver this high standard. Overall it is people and service that make the relationship, not the product.

If we were to consider the top five service items in 2017, we would no doubt find that nothing has changed over the past 20 years. Products may have improved slightly but then garages rely on motor factors to communicate this information and continue to ensure they have access to parts of the highest quality.

At Autosupplies, we host regular training sessions and informative events where we invite customers to attend established suppliers to learn more about the business and the quality of product delivered. This enables technicians to gain an in-depth knowledge of the products and tools they use and then communicate this to the end user.

This added expertise and experience leaves garages free to explore innovations in the market and, taking this on board, the aftermarket needs to keep embracing new technology and demonstrating new equipment.

Peter Welch
Proprietor, Scotland’s Ash Garage

We garage owners are engineers at heart and we want to be able to engage with our suppliers to learn about the most up-to-date innovations and technology.

We want the best possible service and availability from a motor factor. This should be as standard. Component quality is a message rammed home regularly, but any garage worth its salt will only fit quality parts. We want motor factors to show us the future!

As a result, our interest certainly rests more on future innovations such as new technology, hybrid and electric vehicles and engine management, and it is these products groups that we are most likely to see more of in the future.

With this in mind, our technicians need to fully prepare and be equipped with the appropriate training to ensure they accommodate this inevitable shift towards newer technologies. We therefore invest in our workforce where possible and attend shows to educate ourselves regarding the areas where we need to improve.

Ultimately, when I attend shows, I won’t be attracted onto a stand if it comes across as too formal. We want to see a more relaxed, welcoming feel where it is easy to engage with the experts and communicate through a dialogue that isn’t littered with unnecessary jargon. This applies whether it is a factor, regional or national show.

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