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Motaquip makes Smart bid to strengthen factor support

Independent parts supplier Motaquip is strengthening its support for factors and expanding its product programme in a bid to raise sales and attract new business.

The PSA Group subsidiary has launched Smart, a strategic initiative to help larger motor factors develop business with independent garages, after a three-month trial.

“If independent garages are to survive, they need the right service from factors,” says Motaquip general manager David Higgins. “And factors need the right support from their supplier. That's what we intend to offer.”

Around 40 factor businesses, with 100 outlets, have taken up the free programme. They can exploit national and local sales development initiatives, including direct mail campaigns and bespoke marketing software to prospect for customers. “We are committed to helping our customers expand and take on new branches. It means we both benefit,” says Higgins.

Extended payment terms and enhanced rebate schemes reward the factors that purchase and distribute the majority of Motaquip's product programmes in volume. With factors on average sourcing from up to 20 different suppliers, Motaquip needs to ensure its products are the most attractive option in order to secure the best returns for its investment in service.

Motaquip is working with Yellow Pages to provide factors marketing information via software on prospects in their trading area. The direct mail initiative is designed to complement this by raising awareness of the Motaquip brand.

The company has seen double-digit growth in sales since launching the Smart programme. It believes that offering a comprehensive service to customers is an essential part of this success.

“If you compete solely on price, you can't compete on service,” says Higgins. “It is important for us to help our existing customers to grow.”

Motaquip has 260 factor customers, with around 300 outlets. Higgins is looking to add 100 outlets to the supply network by 2005, taking care not to have distribution overlap. Scotland is a key target in the programme.

Last month, Motaquip launched the Exchange rotating electrics programme with Sovereign, a supplier of remanufactured alternators, starter motors and dynamos. These items are stocked in regional warehouses, enabling same-day supply to factors. Higgins predicts it will become a multi-million pound business.

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