Previous event: New Thinking in Aftersales – How to boost profitability

  18 August 2017


Aftersales Conference


NEW THINKING IN AFTERSALES: How to boost profitability
An Auto Retail Network Conference in association with Total and RTS


This event took place on: Thursday 21st September 2017
Venue: The Hilton Hotel, Coventry CV2 2ST


This conference from ARN will challenge all you thought you knew about running a successful aftersales business. In one inspirational day we will help you to rethink every aspect of your operation. From booking-in jobs to managing workflow, from IT to customer retention, every detail of the aftersales operation will be examined from a new viewpoint, encouraging you to challenge traditional ways of working to become more profitable.


Our impressive line-up of speakers includes experts in technology, workflow-planning, lean processes, and customer recruitment and retention. Their innovative approach to the provision of aftersales services represents the pinnacle of the industry.


Do not miss this opportunity to revolutionise your aftersales operation to grow profits.


Conference Key Topics


• Opportunities and ideas for future planning – the appliance of science • Recruit, retain, develop – it’s a people thing • Raising the bar on aftersales communications • Let’s look outside the UK • Customer delight • Process: Challenge some of the traditional norms in the workshop process


Confirmed Speakers


• David Baddeley, operations director, Volvo Car UK • Gavin Ruddick, aftersales director, Lookers plc • Richard Price, aftersales director, BMW UK • Malcolm Miller FIMI, managing director, RTS Group • Paul Dillamore, managing director, Urban Science • Paul Smith, commercial director, RLA • Nic Garwood, opertations director, DEKRA Automotive • Piers Alington, managing director, Feedback Ferret







  • 9:30am: Welcome, Rupert Saunders, managing director, Auto Retail Network
  • 9:40am: Session introduction, Mike Jones, chairman, ASE
  • 9:55am: Opportunities and ideas for future planning – the appliance of science, Paul Dillamore, managing director, Urban Science
    Do you know precisely how efficient your working processes are, and could you work your assets harder? The answer is almost always ‘yes’. If you’ve got your efficiency nailed, or if you need to generate more business, are you making the most of the opportunities within your local vehicle parc? The market is likely to change in the coming years, but what’s likely to differ in future? And how can you best position yourself now to take advantage of the opportunities these changes will create?
  • 10:30am: Process: Challenge some of the traditional norms in the workshop process, Nic Garwood, operations director, DEKRA Automotive
    The efficiency of a workshop is a fundamental cornerstone of business performance.  The concept of efficiency, how it is measured and indeed what we might be aiming for in terms of benchmark is changing due to operational, cultural and technological influences.  Systems and technological advances can both help and hinder our ability to deliver our operational objectives.
    How might we challenge some of the traditional norms in workshop process to help us become more insightful, customer focused and ultimately more profitable?

  • 11:05am: Refreshment break
  • 11:30am: Recruit, retain, develop – it’s a people thing, Malcolm Miller FIMI, managing director, RTS Group
    How often have you heard that “people are our greatest asset”? In providing Aftersales service this phrase is never more true but do we really live up to that?. The quality of customer service that our advisors, managers, technicians  and contact staff deliver is down to three things;• Recruiting the right people,
    • Delivering excellent learning and development and
    • Supporting staff as they grow with your business.

    But the landscape is changing with increasing customer demands, employee expectations – particularly from generation Y –  and a rapidly changing retail environment. How do we deliver and grow world-class service in this rapidly changing world?

  • 12:05pm: Q&A / round table discussion session: tools/people/process – what steps are they taking to address these issues? Gavin Ruddick, aftersales director, Lookers plc, session speakers & Richard Price, aftersales director, BMW UK
  • 12:30pm: Lunch
  • 1:30pm: Session introduction, David Hawkins, director, Loyalty Logistix
  • 1:45pm: Customer delight, Piers Alington, managing director, Feedback Ferret
    Listen to what you need to know, not what you want to hear.
    Staying in tune with the customer after their service work is critical to keeping them loyal in the long term. Getting feedback via surveys has long been the traditional approach, but are your surveys generating the insight you need? The world has changed – long, tedious tick box surveys are a thing of the past. Customers are more receptive towards reviews and short open–ended surveys. Let your customers tell you what is important to them. Listen to their feedback. Understand what is it that gives you your competitive edge and what it is that leads your customers to remain loyal or to defect. Act on the insight, keep your aftersales customers delighted and drive your ratings scores.
    Listen to case studies from JLR, BMW, GM, Nissan and Jardine Motor Group amongst others. Find out how and why these automotive brands have gained deeper insight, tackling the real issues behind customer loyalty, not the issues they thought they wanted to hear about.

  • 2:20pm: Raising the bar on aftersales communications, Paul Smith, commercial director, RLA
    For customers, dealers and marketers alike, mobile has forced a complete rewriting of the rules we are used to. The expectations for relevant, personalized and assistive experiences continue to skyrocket and your ability to embrace this opportunity will be the difference between growing your business and not over the coming years.
  • 2:55pm: Q&A / round table discussion session: customer delight & retention – what steps are they taking to address these issues? Gavin Ruddick, aftersales director, Lookers plc, session speakers & Richard Price, aftersales director, BMW UK
  • 3:20pm: Volvo personal service – changing the service experience, David Baddeley, operations director, Volvo Car UK
    In a world where trust and respect for time are of paramount importance to customers, the retail automotive industry has struggled for many years to deliver on that expectation whilst balancing the requirement to maximise workshop efficiency.
    Volvo Cars in Sweden developed the concept of personal service technicians more than 10 years ago, with very significant customer benefits being achieved particularly in the area of trust.  The Volvo Personal Service (VPS) concept was developed to incorporate those benefits into workshops around the globe.  VPS is designed to both increase workshop efficiency through lean working practices whilst increasing trust by offering direct customer communication to their personal service technician.
    The aftersales business in the UK is both a well-developed and critical part of most dealerships and so seeking to implement any new approach naturally comes with challenges.  Volvo Car UK’s task has been to demonstrate how VPS benefits both the retailer and the customer and then work closely with individual Volvo retailers to deliver those benefits.

  • 3:50pm: Closing remarks and departure








About the Speakers




David Baddeley


David Baddeley, operation director, Volvo Car UK. For the last 12 months David has been Volvo Car UK’s Operations Director, responsible for all new and used car sales, aftersales and financial services performance of the Volvo car brand in the UK.  A qualified accountant, he has worked within the Volvo brand for nearly 30 years, briefly in retail and then various roles with Volvo Car UK.  Initial he held a number of regional dealer facing roles before becoming part of the management team that set up Volvo Car Finance as a captive finance company in the late 1990s.  He developed the Volvo PRIDE brand experience programme in the early 2000’s whilst Training & Development Manager, before being appointed as Managing Director of Volvo Car Ireland in 2005.  In this role he experienced the economic highs of that market pre the 2008 recession and then very significant impact of the global recession before returning to the UK as Customer Service Director in 2012.  In mid-2016 he was appointed Operations Director, Volvo Car UK.




Gavin Ruddick


Gavin Ruddick, aftersales director, Lookers plc. Gavin is responsible for Service, Parts and Bodyshop operations across the Lookers family, of over 160 franchise dealerships throughout the UK. Originally starting his career as an apprentice technician, Gavin has over 20 years of Aftersales Leadership experience, having worked for 4 of the UKs leading automotive retailers, representing the world’s leading brands throughout this time. As the UK’s Aftersales marketplace changes rapidly, and our 0-10 year vehicle Parc reaches the highest levels on record, Gavin will discuss and provide insights into the changing expectations and needs of our customers and how ‘retailing in Aftersales’ needs to quickly adapt. Looking at key areas such as innovative lean service offerings, and Leadership and people development, allowing our sector to keep pace with this change.




Richard PriceRichard Price, aftersales director, BMW UK Ltd. Richard has worked within BMW UK for the last 29 years performing a number of roles within BMW’s Sales and Aftersales Departments. In January 2013 Richard moved to the role of Aftersales Director, assuming responsibility for BMW’s commercial operations in addition to vehicle and parts distribution.  This includes responsibility for Customer Service, Warranty and Technical support allowing him to continue to drive increased levels of customer satisfaction.




Paul DillamorePaul Dillamore, managing director, Urban Science. Paul was appointed managing director of Urban Science’s Reading office in early 2011. Prior to that Paul successfully established the Urban Science solutions in the Russian Automotive sector. He has also held leadership positions on assignments with Skoda and Saab. Extremely detail-oriented, Paul loves searching through the data to find insights. It’s this passion that feeds his desire to help clients do the things they can’t do themselves.




David HawkinsDavid Hawkins, director, Loyalty Logistix Ltd. David is founder of Loyalty Logistix Ltd who for the past 14 years delivering the Loyalty Logistix customer experience, retention and renewal solution to a global set of clients. His experience comes from 30 long years in the Automotive Industry. This history gives him a unique insight and experience to our industry and which benefits his Global Clients.




Paul SmithPaul Smith, commercial director, RLA. Paul is the Commercial Director at RLA: an automotive specialist creative and technology agency based in Bournemouth and London, and a wholly owned business of the Mission Marketing Group plc – the 9th largest UK-based marketing communications group, with 25 offices across the UK, Asia and the USA. In the last 12 months, Paul has hosted a brand evolution conference for Scania Africa in Johannesburg, presented a digital future technology conference in Singapore and Shanghai and is currently rolling-out a new global customer reward programme for 27 markets for BMW and MINI in Munich.




Piers Alington


Piers Alington, managing director, Feedback Ferret Ltd. Piers is Managing Director and Co-founder of Feedback Ferret Ltd based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Established in 1998 by Piers Alington and Mark Spicer, the company started by developing innovative technical solutions and associated consulting services for marketing data. In 2002 they launched their Feedback Ferret technology for analysing customer feedback comments, so that organisations could begin to understand the words that customers used to express their expectations and experience, in a way that had never before been possible. In 2009, they renamed the company ‘Feedback Ferret Ltd’ to reflect their total focus on feedback analysis and reporting services.






Nic Garwood


Nic Garwood B.Sc.(Hons) FIMI, operations director, DEKRA Automotive Ltd. From joining Ford Motor Company in 1976, Nic moved into the warranty, customer relations and marketing departments within Ford Customer Service Division before taking a Field position in Harrogate. Nic then joined the Retail world as General Aftersales Manager at a Ford dealer group. Following the attainment of a degree in Retail Automotive Management at Loughborough University, he moved back to work with Ford on the Service Advice Centre project before joining TTL Automotive in 2001. As a Project Manager with a focus on helping dealers improve aftersales business performance, Nic became Aftersales Director some six years ago, with responsibility for all aftersales and training programmes. Now Operations Director at DEKRA Automotive, Nic has responsibility for all performance improvement projects in the UK.




Mike Jones


Mike Jones BSc FCA, chairman, ASE. Mike has over 15 years’ experience in the Automotive Industry, having worked for ASE and its’ sister company, Trevor Jones Chartered Accountants. Being initially responsible for the audit practice he built strong relationships with his portfolio of clients and grew the business substantially more than doubling turnover in 3 years. Mike then took over responsibility for the overall Trevor Jones practice, working increasingly closely with banks brands and retailers to improve retailer profitability and reduce risk of business failure.




Malcolm Miller


Malcolm Miller FIMI, managing director, RTS Group. RTS work with many of the leading automotive brands and their Dealer partners in the UK and around the world, with a China office recently added. Malcolm has a wealth of experience in developing people with many manufacturers and founded the Mazda Academy.  As a father of three ‘generation Y’ adults he has insight into the changing expectation of employment.







An Auto Retail Network Conference in association with:


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