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AM Awards: Repairer of the year, Nationwide Autocentres

Repairer of the year sponsored by Nationwide Autocentres

Once again Nationwide Autocentres reigns supreme at the AM Awards, having now won the title for the sixth time.

Last year the company expanded at a cost of £4 million to meet the needs of thousands of retail and business customers across the UK.

In the last quarter of 2007, the company added five centres and in 2008 opened new sites in Nottingham and Gloucester along with a further five in lease negotiation. It now has 216 outlets. 

New customer numbers, stable over recent years, have begun rising while retention has grown and is now the highest it has ever been.

Nationwide says it has established controls and systems to ensure efficiency and quality through its support centre in Solihull.

Continual development of the IT system has provided an easy-to-use point-of-sales system, and provides the company with customer, product and financial information on a daily basis. It also provides monthly profit-and-loss accounts for all the centres.

At the core is an operations support team which includes 16 regional general managers each leading about 14 centres. They report to three operations managers, each in charge of 70 centres, who in turn report to the chief operating officer.

Nationwide’s objective is to deliver service of the same quality, with the same credibility, as that provided by franchised networks but at a price competitive with independent garages.
Its website booking facility for service and MoTs is the best in the industry. It even enables Nationwide to book and price clutch repairs.

“Loss-making centres have been cut from 67 in 2005
to less than 30 in 2008” 

Last year, its key strategies included reviewing the network efficiency and implementing changes in training and management to help bring under-performing centres up to plan. The strategy has resulted in the number of loss-making centres being reduced from 67 in 2005 to less than 30 in 2008.

Nationwide plans to measure and further develop customer retention. Building quality and loyalty by acting on feedback from customers’ quarterly surveys is another objective for 2009. Other targets include the development of new products and services and a reduction in employee turnover.

The company films some of its mystery shopping to assist staff training. A combination of a better recruitment and selection process coupled with improved training has enable the company to improve staff retention.


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