IAAF Dinner Photos

The photographs from the IAAF Dinner 2016 are now available online. CLICK HERE to view the images. Images can be downloaded from the website by opening an individual image and clicking on the download icon in the bottom left corner.

As you can see from the photographs, the event was very well attended and enjoyed by those present. The 2017 Conference & Dinner will be held on Thursday 7th December at the Hilton Doubletree in Milton Keynes.

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Employment Law Update

Key Employment Law Issues For Employers in 2017

1. Brexit – Since the referendum decision in June, Brexit has taken its share of press coverage. Article 50 is set to be triggered by the end of March 2017 starting the two-year negotiating period.

2. Status and the gig economy – Arguably, the most important employment law decision of 2016 was that Uber drivers are workers rather than self-employed. A judge in the London employment tribunal is currently hearing the first claim of four to be brought against similar companies operating similar styles of business.

3. Paying legal minimums – The Government will continue to focus on making sure employers are correctly paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in 2017. The Chancellor used the Autumn Statement to announce a £4.3m yearly increase in the amount available for enforcement of the minimum wage. This money will be used to set up specific teams from HMRC, which will target employers most likely at risk of not paying legal rates. 2016 saw a record number of employers ‘named and shamed’ for underpaying workers and it would appear the issue of underpayments is going to remain an important
future focus for the Government.

4. Gender pay gap reporting – The law requiring employers to publish a gender pay gap report will take effect from 6 April 2017. Employers with 250 or more employees will have to calculate and publish the mean and median hourly pay gap and annual bonus gap between men and women. Employers will also have to calculate the number of men and women who fall in to four pay quartiles. The report has to be published on the employer’s website within a year of the calculation date, i.e. by April 2018 for the first report, for three years and has to be submitted to the Secretary of State. Draft regulations were released in December and the explanatory notes state, for the first time, that a failure to publish the report is an unlawful act which may prompt action from the
Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

5. Apprenticeship Levy – April 2017 will also see the commencement of the Apprenticeship Levy, the Government’s initiative to ensure the creation of three million apprenticeships by 2020. Employers with an annual paybill of £3m and over will have to pay 0.5% of their pay amount in to a digital apprenticeship account. The Government will give employers a £15k yearly allowance to offset against this amount which will be applied monthly. The funds entering the account have to be used within 24 months or they will expire, however, companies in a group structure will be able to transfer a maximum of ten per cent of their funds to other employers in their supply chain from 2018.

6. Salary sacrifice – Salary sacrifice is often seen as a useful way of providing employee benefits whilst receiving a financial benefit; the employee doesn’t pay income tax and National Insurance contributions aren’t paid on the amount sacrificed. These schemes have expanded greatly over recent years to provide a multitude of goods to employees at a significant cost to the Exchequer. The tax advantage will be removed for all salary sacrifice schemes from April 2017 except for the provision of pensions, vouchers and cycle to work schemes and ultra-low emission vehicles. Schemes in place before April 2017 will be protected from these changes until April 2018 with some remaining protected until 2021.

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TecAlliance Parts Identification Apps

Although their needs may differ, the common thread that links installers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and even the vehicle manufacturers, is high quality data, made available for a multitude of purposes and presented to allow ease of access to sector relevant information that allows businesses to work more efficiently.

For the end user, whether in the form of technical information for the workshop or parts identification for the wholesaler, this data is made available by TecAlliance through its renowned RMI and TecDoc platforms, which is then generally accessed, via subscription, directly through its own portals.

However, it is becoming increasingly important for parts manufacturers that already use TecAlliance to manage their data for these ‘official’ channels, to produce bespoke systems that provide access to information exclusively concerning their own brand, to their own customers, generally via an App.

Due to its existing relationship with the 600 plus brands that are now listed on the TecDoc platform, TecAlliance is building ‘alternative’ channels and as Shaun Greasley, TecAlliance’s general manager for UK and Ireland explains, this trend is set to continue.

“With the growing reliance on smart phone technology, parts manufacturers see the importance and the subsequent opportunity, to provide their customers with the information they require when and where they need it.

“To that end, the App has proved to be a superb development and although many might just associate TecAlliance with the TecDoc CATALOG electronic parts catalogue, our knowledge when it comes to handling and presenting data in a way that helps those working in the real world of the aftermarket, means we have the skills and abilities to provide many alternative solutions including the App.

“These Apps also include an authentication solution to check that automotive replacement parts marked with the MAPP code are genuine. Using this solution, anyone using the App on a smartphone can authenticate a part anywhere in the world, around the clock, seven days a week via the MAPP code to the authentication platform. The code is then checked and the result – in form of a text message combined with a green/yellow/red traffic light – is sent back right away.

“As TecDoc was originally built on the pooled data from 30 of the most well-respected original equipment parts suppliers and now has more than 600 aftermarket brands as official data suppliers, we have the ability to provide unrivalled quantities of data at unparalleled levels of accuracy.”

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Autoliv and Volvo agree driverless car software joint venture

Autoliv Inc. and Volvo Cars have signed a final agreement regarding the formation of a 50:50 joint venture to develop software for autonomous driving and driver assistance systems, based on the letter of intent announced during autumn 2016. Autoliv, the automotive safety supplier, see their next step to further reduce road traffic accidents as active safety systems that can assist the driver to avoid an accident or, at least, reduce the speed of impact, thereby substantially mitigating injuries.

The joint venture, named Zenuity, will create a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a leading premium car maker has joined forces with a tier one supplier to develop new advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.

As part of the agreement Autoliv will make a total investment of around 1.1 billion Swedish krone into the joint venture, the large majority of which is an initial cash contribution, and which also includes certain assets. Volvo Cars will also contribute certain assets to the joint venture.

Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and with additional operations in Munich, Germany, and Detroit, USA, the initial workforce of around 200 people will come from Autoliv and Volvo Cars. The company is expected to grow to over 600 employees in the medium term. Operations are expected to start during the first half of 2017, after approvals from relevant competition authorities in several countries have been obtained and other customary closing conditions have been satisfied.

Both Autoliv and Volvo Cars will license and transfer the intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture. From this base, the company will develop new ADAS products and AD technologies. The new company is expected to have its first driver assistance products available for sale by 2019 with autonomous driving technologies following shortly thereafter.

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HELLA rally spotlights on the global stage

As Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May battled it out on screen to take the honours, it was HELLA that took central stage in the first The Grand Tour Christmas special, which this year featured the iconic Beach Buggy as the star vehicle in which the three had to undertake their infamous challenges.

The ex-Top Gear team has been taking the plaudits since their new series launched with so much anticipation on 18th November. Following its first airing, new viewers have been flocking to subscribe to Amazon Prime to catch up with the trio’s latest exploits under The Grand Tour guise and their annual Christmas special, which has now become something of an international institution, was therefore viewed with even greater anticipation.

Richard Hammond’s beach buggy

Looking to optimise the performance of their steeds, it was Hammond, of the three the true off-road enthusiast, who chose to ensure that he could see what was ahead and take the lead during the night running, by fitting his buggy with a full set of rally lights, and where else would he turn, but to HELLA, the lighting specialist with a heritage and reputation like no other, to source exactly what was needed.

It isn’t by accident that over the decades, a host of rally drivers and their teams, including the revolutionary Audi Quattros piloted by World Champions Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist, have relied on HELLA for their successful campaigns. So Hammond was following in the footsteps of those who really knew what they needed to get the job done.

Although HELLA still leads the way in vehicle lighting, the original equipment (OE) manufacture and systems supplier is actually a major player across a wide range of product groups, with a bias towards electronics, where it is a world leader.

For more information about the OE quality products available from HELLA or for BEHR HELLA SERVICE, please call the sales team on: 01295 662400 or email: hella.sales@hella.com

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NGK Sales Manager Stuart Bayne completes charity cycle ride through New Zealand

Super cyclist Stuart Bayne has completed his marathon charity ride through New Zealand.

Stuart, who is Sales Manager – North for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, had planned a 2100km+ (1304 miles) ride to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA), but had to alter his route after two recent simultaneous major Earthquakes which struck north of Christchurch forced him to take a more arduous route.

Stuart (53) set off from Bluff at the southern tip of New Zealand on December 4, travelling through the South Island and crossing Cook Strait on a ferry before continuing through the North Island, ending at Cape Reinga, the northern-most part of the country, on December 22.

However, his journey was not without incident as unexpected road closures put him in some hazardous situations.

He said: “My bike and legs are still in surprisingly good shape, but I have had an A+E drama, when swept off my cycle last week by a passing truck on the detour road due to the recent earthquake. Bit of drama and a sore knee otherwise all tickety boo!”

Stuart Bayne during his trip around New Zealand

Stuart last year completed an 1100-kilometre (683-mile) sponsored cycle ride through Europe to raise more than £17,000 for DSA and is confident he has raised even more money this year.

Ignition specialist NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd and NGK Europe – the leading suppliers of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK sensors – were once again main sponsors of his charity ride with a number of NGK customers, colleagues and friends also pledging funds.

Stuart said he is extremely grateful for the level of support that he has received, not only from NGK UK and NGK Europe, but also from many of the company’s customers in all industry sectors, from automotive to horticultural.

Marko Wowczyna, Automotive Director, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “On behalf of everyone at NGK and his friends and colleagues from within the industry I would like to congratulate Stuart on his magnificent effort to raise money for this fantastic charity.”

Father-of-three Stuart, who raised funds for the Down’s Syndrome associations of both the UK and New Zealand, is married to a New Zealander, Ruth, and was due to enjoy a well-earned holiday with his family at the end of his epic journey.

Anyone wishing to support Stuart on his marathon ride can email him at stuart.bayne@ngk.co.uk, alternatively copy the link into your browser to donate: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartBayne.

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The Parts Alliance acquires Waterloo Motor Trade

The Parts Alliance has continued its strategic growth with the acquisition of motor factor Waterloo (Motor Trade) Ltd.

Waterloo, which has branches in Hull, Beverley and Bridlington, was founded in 1928 by current Managing Director Jim Munday’s grandfather.

It becomes a wholly-owned business within the HgCapital-owned Parts Alliance Group but will continue to trade under its own name, serving customers in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Jim Munday said: “As a three-generation family business, building long term relationships and providing quality local service are in our DNA. We look forward to working with Peter Sephton and the rest of the management team to accelerate our growth in what are very exciting times for our trade.”

“I’m delighted Jim Munday has agreed to work with us to facilitate the integration into The Parts Alliance and the transition of leadership to David Brooks, founder of SAS Autoparts, as we seek to extend our branch footprint and optimise our distribution and reach into the region,’’ said Sephton.

“Jim will continue to advise us on development projects and we are delighted to have Jim and his colleagues at Waterloo as part of our Group.”

Peter Sephton went on to say: “As a unified multi-brand operation, it’s important to us when we bring in new businesses that we maintain that local brand and management as they bring their unique local knowledge while we add national strength. It’s a powerful combination.”

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Solera buys Autodata

Solera Holdings, Inc. has agreed to acquire Autodata, a provider of technical information and knowledge solutions for the automotive service, maintenance and repair industry.

“Throughout a car’s life, there are over 54 transactions that occur between motorists and automotive businesses,” said Tony Aquila, Solera’s founder, chairman and CEO. “One of Solera’s missions is to digitize the vehicle ownership ecosystem by developing cognitive applications that not only power connectivity and engagement, but also proliferate awareness and transparency across the entire automotive lifecycle.”

Founded in 1975, UK-based Autodata has evolved from publishing iconic do-it-yourself manuals for car enthusiasts and garages, to delivering fully digital cloud-based diagnostics and repair intelligence for professional mechanics. Powered by data from 136 vehicle manufacturers covering over 40,000 models worldwide, Autodata’s solutions today are deployed by over 90,000 repair shops in over 40 countries for best-in-class coverage, accuracy, reliability, and efficiency. Autodata has been owned by Bowmark Capital and Rothschild & Co’s Five Arrows Principal Investments since 2014.

“Solera’s proprietary Invent & Acquire strategy drives both the innovation and proliferation of our data and software platforms,” continued Aquila. “The acquisition of Autodata will not only complement our expanding/existing suite of digital SMR solutions, such as Identifix and Inpart, but will also accelerate the expansion of Solera’s asset protection and risk management solutions in emerging and maturing markets across the globe.”

“Today’s motorists expect automotive service professionals not only to understand every vehicle make and model, but also to provide a faster and more accurate service at highly competitive prices,” added Rod Williams, CEO of Autodata. “Joining the Solera family will not only amplify Autodata’s ability to meet the growing needs of the industry, but will also provide our customers and partners with access to Solera’s highly innovative mindset and forward-thinking solutions.”

Founded and continuously led by inventor and entrepreneur Tony Aquila, Solera is reportedly a global leader in digital technologies that manage cars, homes and identities. Since its inception in 2005 as a garage-based startup, Solera has grown aggressively with over 40 acquisitions across its Risk Management Solutions, Service Maintenance & Repair, and Customer Retention Management platforms. The company’s current product solutions include Audatex, AutoPoint, CAP/HPI, Digidentity, Enservio, Explore Data, Hollander, Identifix, Inpart, LYNX and TitleTec, as well as the company’s flagship Digital Garage application.

Solera went public on the NYSE in 2007 under the stock symbol “SLH”, joined the S&P 400 in 2009, and went private in 2016 in a $6.5 billion transaction backed by leading investors that include Vista Equity Partners, Koch Industries and Goldman Sachs.

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Euro Car Parts opens first branch in the Republic of Ireland

Euro Car Parts has opened its first Republic of Ireland branch in Dublin.

Open to trade customers only, the branch was originally branded Hella Ireland until it was acquired by Euro Car Parts in August 2016.

Euro Car Parts has not just rebranded the branch but has invested heavily to grow the services on offer. This includes:

• Tripling the size of the fleet to include 12 vans and two motorbikes for quicker local delivery during peak traffic times. 3PL Logistics, a supply chain management software, means that the branch delivers best-in-class order fulfilment services.

• More than doubling warehouse space from 40,000 square feet to 90,000 square feet so more stock can be held on site.

• Holding the stock in a modern racking system that increases shelf space and using a new trading system to speed up invoicing, helping to manage stock flow to secure excellent product availability.

• Recruiting additional staff. After beginning with 31 employees, Euro Car Parts will recruit a further 13 staff members to support the branch’s increased operations to reach a total of 48 in early 2017.

• Local delivery times will be vastly improved with customers receiving products within 30 minutes, extending to 45 minutes for those in the northern area of Dublin. Remaining workshops will receive multiple deliveries throughout the day.

• With double the stock range, the new branch will have 65,000 product lines in store and will offer the entire Euro Car Parts range for next day delivery if an order is received before 18:00.

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, said: “The business has been operating in Dublin since 1979 and has very experienced staff, some of whom have been working in the industry for over 30 years.

“We’re retaining this expertise and adding Euro Car Parts’ full product range to deliver service that goes the extra mile and continues to support existing customers. We’re expanding what is on offer by investing in additional infrastructure and resources.”

“We successfully partner with tens of thousands of independent garages in the UK and we are thrilled and delighted to extend that support to the Republic of Ireland.”

The branch is based in Santry, Dublin. Those interested in getting in touch with the branch should visit www.eurocarparts.com/dublin.html.

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