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.

Parts Alliance members celebrate Christmas Jumper Day!

On Friday 18th December the Parts Alliance got in the festive spirit with staff up and down the country putting on their best Christmas jumpers.

Teams from across Parts Alliance members at Allparts, CES, GMF Motor Factors and SC Motor Factors raised money for charity in “style” by wearing Christmas jumpers and donating to charity for Text Santa’s Christmas Jumper Day 2015.

Have a look at some of our best efforts above!

The Parts Alliance provide UK’s first autoparts vending machines

The Parts Alliance has launched new autoparts vending machines in partnership with the AA. The machines are designed to provide the UK’s biggest breakdown provider with access to parts on the road, 24 hours a day. The PartVend concept is being piloted in a number of strategic locations, with the machines electronically linked so Parts Alliance members can tell instantly which products are being used and when to replenish the stock.

Mike Curry, sales director national accounts for the Parts Alliance said: “Early results are very positive and we hope to ramp up the number of locations significantly and pretty quickly. The vending machines not only allow access to stock out of normal hours but also mean we can get product closer to AA patrols in areas where we currently don’t have branches.” A typical stock item is a battery, the AA patrol gaining access using a secure key code.

Curry added: “It’s another way of extending our reach and increases the number of locations where the AA can quickly pick up parts if they haven’t got them on the van.

“They get what they need, the beleaguered motorist is back on the road more quickly and we have a sale. It’s a win for everyone.”

Peter Sephton, chief executive of The Parts Alliance, said:

“The PartVend vending concept is a world industry first and contributes to our position as a technology leader in the distribution of auto parts in Europe.”

“It integrates with our class leading electronic catalogue and our Parts Alliance Reporting and Compliance tool, , that allows our customers to gain full traceability of their parts in the supply chain.”

The Parts Alliance is the UK and Ireland’s largest group of wholly owned and franchised businesses supplying OE and matching quality autoparts to national and independent garages and workshops. The AA’s patrols attend an average 10,000 breakdowns every day across the UK.

Curry added: “It’s thanks to building up very strong relationships with major companies, and working closely with them, that when we propose innovative concepts they are amenable to them. Having completed the feasibility study we will work with the AA to identify exactly where and how many of these vending machines are needed.”

New and improved DriveTec oil range

The new and improved DriveTec oil range is now available from Parts Alliance distributors. The updated range boasts new look packaging with a fresher feel as well as new additions to the range, product name changes and changes to standard package sizes.

Changes to the product ranges include the introduction of three new oil grades. To keep up with market requirements the DriveTec range now contains the new 5W20 Ecomax, available in both 1 litre and 5 litre sizes, the 0W30 Volmax and 5W30 Renmax, both available in 5 litre bottles.

These new additional oil grades add improved vehicle application coverage for DriveTec engine oil, with new oil products to cover continuously advancing modern engines.

The range now better reflects the demands of customers with the discontinuation of 15W40 and 20W50 mineral oil. Specifications for the 15W40 are already being covered by the existing DriveTec 10W40 oil and the 20W50 has been discontinued due to declining customer requirements, as well as the viscosity specifications being mainly for older vehicles.

To keep in line with industry trends the previous 25 litre packages have been replaced by 20 litre packs.

The improvement of the DriveTec oil range is a reflection of our core business philosophy to evolve and grow as we lead the way in the industry. The enhancements in the DriveTec oil range further complements the extensive range of oil stocked by Parts Alliance members, which includes oil from brands such as Comma, Total and Mobil1.

For further information on the changes to the DriveTec oil ranges, please contact your local Parts Alliance distributor.