The Parts Alliance exhibits at Automechanika Birmingham

The Parts Alliance was amongst the exhibitors that took part in the first Automechanika Birmingham at the Birmingham NEC between 7th and 9th June. Automechanika exhibitions are held in 15 countries worldwide, with events attracting 600,000 visitors.

Throughout the three day exhibition attendee numbers soared, with 12,000 attending this week’s event, giving us an unrivalled opportunity to do what we do best, interact and exceed expectations.

Our group has grown rapidly over the last year, with significant investment we now supply over 30,000 of the UK and Ireland’s independent workshops, fast fits and other distinguished national accounts. This is due to newly established strategic partnerships, organic growth and acquisitions such as GSF Car Parts, which gives us an unrivalled footprint of over 200 distribution centres. Throughout the course of the three days, it became obvious that our industry leading systems, fast delivery times and return rates are the envy of the aftermarket.

Over 12,000 visitors attended the exhibition in total and their response was overwhelming. Event Director, Simon Albert said: “We are delighted with the success of Automechanika Birmingham. We listened to what the exhibitors and visitors wanted, and with significant investment in the marketing campaign, we delivered an all-encompassing event that exceeded all expectations. We have something unique here that the industry needed.”

It is expected that next year’s show will surpass the success of this years, falling perfectly in line with the philosophy of the Parts Alliance.

Matt Neal gains sponsorship from Parts Alliance & Delphi in this season’s BTCC

Delphi Product and Service Solutions has partnered with the Parts Alliance to sponsor Matt Neal, three times winner of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).

Neal, who was crowned champion in 2005, 2006 and 2011, finished third last year but hopes to achieve a record-equalling fourth title in 2016. He will again be driving a Honda Civic Type R as part of the Honda Yuasa Racing team. Neal made his BTCC debut at Silverstone in 1991, with 2015 marking his 25th year contesting Britain’s biggest motorsport series. In that time he has participated in 583 races, winning 56 from 15 pole positions. He has finished on the podium 155 times and set 47 fastest laps.

It is Matt’s continued passion for performance and quality, not to mention drive and determination that excites both Delphi and the Parts Alliance. These characteristics are shared by both organisations and make them perfect sponsorship partners for the BTCC legend.

The Parts Alliance is the largest distributor of Delphi parts in the UK automotive aftermarket. Its procurement and product management teams work closely with Delphi to select the best quality parts and get them to market as fast as possible.

Simon Moore, Head of Marketing for Parts Alliance Group, said: “Just like the Parts Alliance, Matt Neal has been on top of his game year after year. He’s one of the country’s most successful drivers in a sport watched by tens of thousands at trackside and millions around the world on TV, including America. The BTCC is extremely demanding. It requires consistent high calibre performance, from driver and car, a quality we look for in the autoparts we sell and which Delphi, as the Parts Alliance’s braking supplier, gives us.”

“We can’t wait for the new season to start and we’ll be backing Matt all the way, hopefully to another championship.”

With a legacy of more than 100 years of OE heritage, Delphi designs and manufactures advanced vehicle components and systems for the top 25 vehicle manufacturers worldwide, and has the resources, reach and original equipment expertise to create real-world innovations for the global aftermarket.

Delphi’s aftermarket parts are essential to the smooth operation of independent garages. Technicians must diagnose problems, order parts, remove and install, and provide satisfaction to their customers. Delphi understands the importance of providing reliable parts for thousands of vehicles, backing up its dedication to quality with expert training and support. Delphi’s Marketing Director EMEA Simone Strimber comments “Our commitment to performance, quality, drive and determination has culminated in the joint sponsorship of one of the country’s most successful drivers.”

The Parts Alliance heads to Automechnika

The Parts Alliance is heading to Birmingham this June to attend the Automechanika 2016 exhibition.  The show’s British debut, at the Birmingham NEC from 7th to 9th June, gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach out and expand our client base.

We’re extending an open invitation to anyone interested in discussing the opportunities available with us, from a possible supplier relationship to joining our family of businesses.

On Wednesday 8 June, 2.20pm, representatives from the Parts Alliance’s network of independent garages and Servicesure Autocentres will deliver ‘Effective Insurance Policies for Workshops.’ This will be a joint presentation, alongside Arthur J Gallagher in the Aftermarket Theatre.

We invite anyone to come and visit us at stand 9F21 and find out the benefits of working with the UK and Ireland’s leading aftermarket distributor.

GSF Banbury receives signage upgrades

GSF Car Parts continues its investment into its branch network, with the Banbury branch of the national motor factor the latest to benefit from a significant signage upgrade.

Located on Marley Way in Banbury, the thriving store now boasts signage illuminated by state-of-the-art LED lighting, which brings the branch up-to-speed with GSF’s current corporate identity too.

In line with GSF’s entire branch network, the Banbury site’s inventory combines top quality original equipment and ‘matching quality’ car parts with day-to-day consumables. It caters to all main vehicle manufacturers, offering both direct deliveries to trade customers and counter sales to DIYers and car enthusiasts.

Commenting on the upgrade, Amanda O’Reilly, Head of Marketing at GSF Car Parts, said: “The improvements to the Banbury store’s signage really helps to put the branch ‘on the map’. GSF is fully committed to making similar levels of investment in branches up and down the country to make sure that they all reflect the current corporate image.”

The motor factor says that despite the significant financial outlay required to transition to LED lighting, running costs will be dramatically reduced, with lower power consumption and no more costly tube replacements either.

Servicesure launches new website

As part of the Parts Alliance’s investment in marketing the UK’s fastest growing garage network, the new much improved Servicesure Autocentre website is now live. The network has also ‘gone social’, being launched on a variety of social media platforms.

Together this is us supercharging the way we communicate with the garages who are our members and with the motorists who are their customers.

The new design puts the consumer experience first; the website is much more motorist friendly, easy to move around and packed with helpful features and interesting information.

With Servicesure now on Facebook and Twitter, we and our garages can really engage consumers and have a two-way conversation with them, moving us on from just being a booking platform.

Features on www.servicesureautocentres.com, which is mobile and tablet compatible, include Find a Garage, get a quote, book a service, customer reviews, news, details about the Servicesure National Warranty, videos and offers. There’s also a text reminder service for MOTs and other garage visits.

  • Complete redesign – it’s been given a more modern ‘look and feel’, with new content catering for the driving public, garage members and prospects.
  • Advanced megadrop menu – for enhanced navigation and accessibility to new content. Helping website visitors on their customer journeys.
  • Extended website functionality – including an Internal User Review system, allowing visitors to submit reviews directly through the website (via a moderation facility).
  • Enhanced garage profile page – now includes a new About Us section and an image of the garage, the facility for the garages to edit their own details (such as services offered, About Us etc), moderated reviews (via the website, not Motor Codes) and displaying Motor Codes reviews within a widget and a facility for visitors to submit their reviews to Motor Codes.
  • Find a garage – with opening times, the location and website address.

Through the website and social channels we are really well placed to remind drivers this is a national group with a national guarantee that delivers the highest standards of customer service. It’s Servicesure taking a lead in bringing consumers and garages closer together, developing trust and loyalty between the two.

Parts Alliance CEO shortlisted for entrepreneur award

We’re delighted to announce that Peter Sephton, Chief Executive Officer of Parts Alliance Group has been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.  The awards are in their 30th year globally, with this being the 18th in the UK, and run through over 60 countries and 145 cities worldwide, honouring those leading a successful, growing and dynamic business.

Peter is one of 34 leaders from businesses across the Midlands who’ll compete in the regional final, taking place on Tuesday June 14th at Birmingham Council House. If successful he’ll join winners from Scotland, the North of England, London and the South, contesting for the overall UK title in London in October.

Peter joined Parts Alliance in 2013, under his leadership the business has grown by 300% over the past three years. He’s helped shape us into a UK market leader in the supply of car parts for all makes of cars.

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award is widely acknowledged as a premier benchmark of business success. We’re extremely proud of Peter and wish him the best of luck.

Parts Alliance Group improves phone systems with Vodafone deal

Parts Alliance Group has selected Vodafone to implement a new Avaya phone system across the business. The objective of the new system is to make operations more efficient, while equally making day-to-day tasks easier for our employees. By moving all our phones to one single supplier, it’s never been simpler for colleagues to contact each other and customers, which can now be done by phone, email or instant messaging.

The Avaya system was chosen with the future in mind. Avaya is a recognized innovator and foremost global provider of unified communication solutions amongst professional call centres. Vodafone is a leading force in design, installation and support of UK and European contact centre solutions with the highest accreditations from Avaya.

This investment into our communication infrastructure brings versatility allowing expansion of the system’s capacity as our business grows. With the new system we have approximately 750 extensions handling an average of 120 concurrent calls, but if necessary we can easily add over 10 times the number of users and deliver 2,000 concurrent calls. Avaya’s continual system development affords opportunities to add new functionality as our business needs evolve.

With over 300 branches and multiple head office locations, a unified system throughout Parts Alliance Group is paramount and will improve the efficiency of the group’s communications.

We’ve currently invested over £500,000 in the new system which has been rolled out over 70 sites and will continue to be implemented across further locations. Not only will the system improve our communications, but it represents significant savings in the ongoing costs of calls and maintenance over the previous unconnected setup.

This is a testament to how Parts Alliance Group is committed to continuous improvement through the use of technology to advance our customer service levels and stay ahead of the competition.

SAS Autoparts joins The Parts Alliance

The Parts Alliance strengthens its position as an aftermarket leader as SAS Autoparts joins the group. SAS was founded in 1960 and has branches in Harrogate, Otley, Skipton, Bradford, Castleford and Northallerton.

The Parts Alliance’s Chief Executive Peter Sephton said he was excited to be welcoming new colleagues from SAS to the HgCapital backed Parts Alliance Group. He said ‘’SAS Autoparts is a great business with outstanding customer and staff loyalty providing local service in the Yorkshire area and adds to our national strength.’’

HgCapital continues to support Parts Alliance Group with the acquisition of SAS which will be a wholly owned business within the group but continue to trade locally under its own brand name and will continue under Managing Director David Brooks and his current management team.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance said “This is a great acquisition which strengthens our presence in the north while encouraging a common vision and culture, but retaining local brands, entrepreneurial spirit and customer focus.

David Brooks said “We are looking forward to working with Peter Sephton and the rest of the management team and developing and growing SAS into an even better business.”

Car SOS’s Tim Shaw drops by CES Cannock

CES Cannock had a visit from Car SOS presenter Tim Shaw recently, as he filmed for the latest series of the hit program. The show, which airs on National Geographic and Channel Four, involves the refurbishment of cars in a state of serious disrepair. This usually takes place without the owner’s knowledge, when they can’t afford to do it themselves due to medical or financial reasons.

When the team discovered that the Car SOS team desperately needed a Vauxhall Astra, GTE MK1 exhaust, they contacted the show immediately and informed them that we could supply it, once again displaying our industry superiority. Absolutely delighted, they asked if they could film as they picked it up.

Tim arrived at the Cannock branch, and was greeted by assisted manager Chris, who promptly handed him the exhaust. However, at that point the film crew decided that it would be better if there was a short background story to make things more interesting.

An hour later and the plan had been put in place. Stunning the film crew with his impeccable acting skills, Chris informed an eager Tim that the last exhaust left was reserved for a Mr Patel. After leaving disappointed, the ingenious presenter was then filmed waiting outside for Chris to leave, he then entered the warehouse and approached Ashley. In an Oscar worthy performance, Tim pretended to be Mr Patel, and handed over the cash for the reserved exhaust. An understandably fooled Ashley then led him to the exhaust and handed it over, at which point the presenter made a run for it.

Although entertaining, none of it made it to the final cut, which aired on 26th May 2016. However it was a pleasure hosting the Car SOS team for the day, and genuinely being able to provide them with the part they needed, when no other company could. Showing them just what distinguishes our customer service from everybody else’s.

DriveTec batteries receive product updates

DriveTec’s battery range has recently undergone an exciting set of changes. The range expansion has coincided with an update to the DriveTec brand itself, which has a reinvented the logo, giving a fresh and dynamic update to a trusted brand. The look and feel of DriveTec batteries has also undergone a redesign to more actively reflect the OEM quality of the batteries.

The range has been expanded to cover all of the most popular automotive and commercial vehicle applications. This increase now means the range covers 70% of the UK car parc.

The expanded range contains eight automotive part numbers, and four commercial vehicle part numbers with new support material to fully communicate the quality and value that DriveTec batteries provide in development.

Quality, durability and reliability sum up the DriveTec range of automotive and commercial batteries. The DriveTec range is built to the very highest specification to cope with today’s automotive electrical demands. All DriveTec batteries have a three year warranty, are maintenance free and feature calcium technology, combining quality and affordability in a battery brand trusted by garage professionals.