AM Online

AM Awards 2005- ‘A great social event to catch up with old friends’

On February 17, 2005, up to 1,000 people will gather at the Birmingham International Convention Centre to find out which companies will be taking home a coveted AM Award.

The awards are a celebration of excellence and best practice in one of the most demanding and dynamic markets in the world. They honour franchised and independent dealers, repairers, bodyshops, suppliers and carmakers.

They also present a great challenge to those who enter because, to ensure that the judging process is completely impartial and the most in-depth in the industry, AM invests an immense amount of time in the process.

Each year we bring together an expert panel of judges, who between them offer knowledge and experience covering every aspect of the automotive industry. They assess each company on the entry forms, which are comprehensive but easy to follow, and the information gathered through mystery shopping and site visits (retailer and aftermarket categories only) carried out by awards assessor Carter & Carter, the specialist automotive outsourcer.

Entries to the retailer and aftermarket categories are judged on the following criteria: Planning and strategy (with examples of business plans, marketing plans and focusing on the competition), people management (including the recruitment process, development plans and performance targets), operational processes (i.e. those practices that drive success in the entry category), performance monitoring (financial, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction).

In each case we are looking for a correlation between how the business has done or changed things and a measure of success. So under ‘Performance Monitoring’ we assess what has changed, how it was changed, over what time scale and for what investment, but we also look for examples of how the changes have been monitored.

For the innovation categories – marketing, training, recruitment and e-commerce – we encourage applications from retailers, carmakers, repairers, bodyshops and suppliers. In each category, the winner will have a unique proposition and will be able to clearly show how it has helped their business become more efficient, effective and, ultimately, more profitable. Tracking success will be a vital aspect.

This year we have five new categories, which takes us to 19 awards. The AM Hall of Fame will recognise the person who has made an outstanding contribution to the automotive industry during their career, and is the highlight of the Awards evening.

Van retailer is either a franchised or independent company, while fast-fit operation honours either an individual or manufacturer operation. Entries are encouraged from both manufacturer parts clubs and those operated by independent parts suppliers for the trade parts clubs category, while all AM readers can enter the recruitment award.

As an additional bonus to entrants, Carter & Carter will again offer an exclusive free of charge report based on its findings during its assessments of the retailer and repairer categories, with recommendations for improvement following the awards ceremony.

Stephen Briers, AM editor, will chair the judging panel, which consists of three highly respected and impartial industry experts: Piers Trenear-Thomas, a consultant at Grant Thornton, John Kiff of the International; Car Distribution Programme, and Chris Oakham, Sewells Information & Research consultant.

As anyone who has attended the AM Awards knows, it’s not just about the winning. The evening is a fantastic opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues old and new in a relaxed atmosphere.

After the ceremony guests will be entertained by impressionist Alistair McGowan, who stars in his own BBC1 show Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, after which we will have the traditional casino.

For details about booking your place at the awards, please call Luke Clements on 01733 468325, email:

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