Around 50 suppliers were present at Motor Parts Direct’s 2019 conference in early July, hosted at the Oshwal Centre in Hertfordshire. PMF took a visit.
Upon arriving at the centre, both the indoor and outdoor sections of the supplier village were buzzing with anticipation ahead of the day’s events. Not only were there many introductions between newer MPD staff and various aftermarket business representatives, but there were also clearly many longstanding relationships in the room too. Stands were well presented, usually showing off the products or services each supplier was looking to push in the branches. It wasn’t all business though; attendees got the opportunity to have a go on an F1 driving simulator, as well as testing their skills on the dart challenge.
After lunch, all attendees sat down to hear the thoughts of the company’s senior management. At of the date of the conference, Managing Director, Darren Wykes established that there are 122 outlets in the MPD network, and that new locations are scheduled to open in later on this year. He explained the reasons why MPD feels the need to run a conference, and what its purpose is: building and maintaining relationships, as well as idea sharing.
PMF spoke to Draper Tools’ Phil Rowley earlier on in the day, who was able to confirm this sentiment with confidence: “We have a fantastic working relationship with MPD, they’re a brilliant company to work with, which is of paramount importance to us. They represent our products really well, and we go back quite a long way. It’s a great business with even better people. The conference is a great opportunity for us.”
Then, Mukesh Shah, MBE, Chairman of Motor Parts Direct, took the time to address employees and suppliers before the day came to a close. Mukesh made the future goals of the business very clear, which was an easy task, as they have barely changed since the company’s inception: to sell quality automotive products at a fair price, whilst nurturing the abilities of staff – young employees, especially – and maintain a high standard of customer service.
The Chairman also discussed the importance of being aware of the rapidly changing trends in the industry, and advised everybody in the room to stay abreast of new technology in particular. He acknowledged that this industry is tough, but concluded, “The tougher the competition, the greater the incentive.”
Supplier awards presented:
- Supplier of the Year (as voted for by branch staff) – febi
- Supplier of the Year (as voted for by head office) – First Line
- Most Improved Supplier – EuroFlo
Top performing MPD branches in 2018:
- Garage Equipment Sales – Honiton
- Sales Over Budget – Petersfield
- Best Over budget on Profit – Ipswitch
- Cash Collection – Wokingham
- Year-on-Year Growth – Honiton
- Promotion results – Boston