Some Tips to be Successful in the Automotive Industry

by Lee Kennedy

July 24, 2017

Automotive Safety Stress

Automotive Safety - Being a Disruptor

Lee Kennedy talks about his experience with a business coach and the valuable information he learned form it

"I had to make a big decision; stay small or see how big I could go"

18 months ago I was introduced to an amazing business coach through a customer/mentor who has become a good friend. What I realised soon is that every idea he coaxed out of me were all strategies I had considered but not had the courage to try, why? Two main areas that I have worked to eliminate;

  • Fear of failure - failing is good, it teaches valuable lessons and actually if you have the courage to follow through on your plans, they usually work out better than expected.
  • Analysis paralysis - procrastinating so much because I was waiting for 'the right time'. Guess what? It'll never be perfect, do it and roll with the punches.

I had to make a big decision; stay small or see how big I could go....

I wanted one area to stay small - my focus, I only wanted to work within the motor trade. I also wanted to see how big things could go. If I wanted to grow, I would need help.

At this stage I had one employee and within 3 months I had bought another motor trade safety consultancy and retained the experience of the director of that business and his impressive customer base. I also took on a book keeper to look after all financial admin and employed a Business Support Officer to plan and assist me with the day to day running of the business.

"Fast forward to now and we have grown to 7 in our team, are able to deliver first aid courses to our customers and have tripled our turnover"

Why does this make me a disruptor? Health and safety in any industry has the following choices available to it's customers;

  • Recruit a safety manager or try to manage internally.
  • Outsource to a large company, usually tying the customer into a contract and delivering a good initial service, which drops off considerably over time.
  • They engage a consultant.

Larger companies can afford to recruit a specialist and smaller businesses will outsource with one of the options above, what I am starting to see happen more and more is the consultants are starting to retire or have become overwhelmed and the service has become diluted because they have refused to grow.

My customers have 2 unique problems we solve;

  • Lack of time - since 2008 and the recession, automotive businesses have had to introduce a leaner way of working. Service managers now look after Aftersales; incorporating parts and external valeters and smart repairers etc. The industry has leveraged by outsourcing and using technology in many ways. This has led to time becoming a commodity.
  • Businesses become uncertain of how well protected they are and when I speak to them initially, most decision makers in companies aren't truly aware of how compliant they need to be or what needs to be done. This is not a criticism, simply an observation. Safety moves on with technology and businesses grow and the safety policy written many years ago by a consultant or a manager within the business, may not be suitable or sufficient now.

Business owners and responsible persons want to know they are not going to go to jail or be made to pay out from profits to the authorities or insurance companies.

They want their managers to lead the teams within that business to sell or repair vehicles with as little distraction and get everyone home safely so they can sleep well at night.

That's what we do, we take that pain away and scratch that itch.

We gather the information, report on what needs to be done, advise on best practice and assist with making sure everything is as compliant, offering full support and an easy online system to allow you to create some space, stop having to archive an entire forest in folders and make it available on any media - smart phone, tablet or computer.

So, unlike your large company who will visit you, tell what you need to do and leave you to get on with it with little or no support or your consultant who will provide a great service until she retires or has to deal with an emergency. We sit comfortably in the middle, we understand your business, because this is all we do, we analyse, report, advise, improve, train and hold your hand every step of the way.

I always say that if you have any doubt whether your safety is good enough, you need help, the sleepless nights aren't worth it!

Our company is called KVF Consultants, we are a friendly bunch and I'd love to hear from you.

I can't wait to let you know about my other plans to disrupt this fragmented part of the automotive industry. All in good time.

For now I'd like to thank my team of motor trade safety professionals and our amazing customers, every one of you has made us work harder to keep improving our standards.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to read this. I'd be happy to hear from you, especially if you are a safety professional, reaching the point where you may like to slow down, we may be able to help you going forward.


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