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From November 2001
Formally Lucas, Lex and Nationwide Autocentres.
The role of a centre manager is to operate one of a national chain of Autocentres offering the general public garage services at fixed prices. The role involves all the day to day tasks associated with any garage repair business from looking after customers and staff needs to ensuring profit levels are maintained through correct purchasing and customer retention. The emphasis is excellent customer service and retention to ensure repeat business.
The team typically consisted of the manager, a senior mechanic, 3 technicians, 1 full time MOT testers and an apprentice. The branch had no parts or administrative assistants as the manager undertook these tasks.
Up to November 2001
Formally Concept Automotive services, the largest independently owned used car supermarket in the United Kingdom. I joined Concept on 1st May 2000 to take control of the refurbishment and workshop facilities at their ten trading locations. Achievements to date are totally rewriting the refurbishment standard, reduced the overall refurb cost by over £50 per vehicle and reducing the preparation time to an average 14 days per vehicle. Responsible for the preparation of over 20,000 vehicles per annum.
As refurb manager I was responsible for over 140 employees who perform tasks that vary from management teams, administration, vehicle technicians and sprayers.
Cost savings were mainly due to SMART repair technology, parts from more competitive suppliers and efficient refurb processes.
Other responsibilities included all sub-contracted refurbishment, with eight sub contractors all performing refurbishment work for Carland under my direct control and guidance. Regular performance reviews are held and sub contractors ranked in accordance to their performance. Occasionally this will lead to the suspension of a contractor, normally due to poor preparation or excessive refurbishment costs.
Redundancy as the company ceased Refurb activities in a failing used car market.
Carland have since ceased trading.
Lex Autoprep Mackworth
A purpose built vehicle preparation facility receiving ex-fleet vehicles and preparing them to an agreed standard within a fixed time scale, for onward transportation to large volume used car retailers. Initially this involved some 180 vehicles per week.
The process involved servicing, MOT testing, SMART repairs and body shop facilities for all vehicles.
Involved at the on set of this new venture for Lex, recruited and trained four departmental managers, each with differing tasks, who as a team achieve the people, service, profit levels. Guided the recruitment, selection and induction of over 70 staff to fill all the positions within the operation.
Initially vehicles were prepared for Lex Autosales and sourced from Lex Vehicle Leasing our internal customers.
Negotiated and secured a new contract with Concept Automotive Services Ltd. to prepare 90 vehicles per week.
Head hunted by Concept automotive.
Lex Autocentres, Anglia
Lex Autocentres operate a national chain of high profile vehicle repair and service centres. The focus is customer retention through consistently delivering a top quality service. People Service Profit.
As Anglia regional manager the objective was to ensure the region achieved agreed profit budget by optimum use of assets controlled within the policies and procedures of Lex Autocentres.
As the company expanded new Autocentres were purchased through the property department and set up including recruitment, selection and equipment were controlled by the regional manager.
The region consisted of 14 centres stretching from Acton, London, and Southend on Sea up to Cambridge.
Move up the ladder to new position.
Lex Autocentres, Anglia
The Senior Managers main responsibilities and duties were to deputise in the absence of the Regional Manager. Visit other centres identifying and rectifying problems. Retrain where required and above all motivate the manager and his team. Carry out MOT and internal audits with clear action plans and time scales agreed with staff responsible for each area of improvement.
Attend meetings with department of transport and trading standards resolving issues as and when necessary.
This position also involved the day to day running of Cambridge Autocentre.
Centre of Excellence Manager
Lex Autocentres, Anglia
As centre of excellence manager all operations carried out within the Autocentre were monitored and reviewed. Once the systems in place were fault free for a 12-month period was this position granted to any manager.
Once achieved the centre inducted and trained all new staff for the Anglia region from trainee's up to and including regional managers.
The daily operation of Cambridge Autocentre was still my responsibility with progress and standards monitored by the regional manager.
Lex Autocentres, Anglia
The role of a centre manager was to operate one of a national chain of Autocentres offering the general public garage services at fixed prices. At the onset Lex were one of the few offering fixed prices and others soon followed suit.
The role involved all the day to day tasks associated with any garage repair business from looking after customers and staff needs to ensuring profit levels were maintained through correct purchasing and customer retention. The emphasis was excellent customer service and retention to ensure repeat business. All vehicles were quality controlled to eliminate the 'rip off' garage mentality.
The team typically consisted of the manager, a senior mechanic, 5 technicians, 2 full time MOT testers and an apprentice. The branch had no parts or administrative assistants as the manager undertook these tasks.
Mechanic and MOT tester carrying out servicing and repairs to mainly Ford Vehicles although a small percentage of other makes were directed through the workshops by sales.
P & B
A small family owned garage with the only UK franchise for American Chrysler vehicles. The garage mainly catered for American service personnel who shipped their vehicles over from America courtesy of 'Uncle Sam'. The vehicles were collected from Felixstow and conversions carried out to comply with current MOT regulations in force at that time.
General servicing and MOT testing leading a small team of only 3 mechanics.
The owner sold his business to Milfords and moved to America to continue with his passion for American cars.
Started as a mechanic repairing American service personnel private vehicles. These ranged from Hillman Imps to Corvette's. The garage offered a full range of repairs including engine; gearbox and automatic transmission rebuilds. Managed a team of 5 mechanics and regularly went to Munich, Germany for training courses on Air conditioning, Fuel injection, catalysts.
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