Sharing the vision – the TecAlliance Information Day

TecAlliance has held its first information day on UK soil as it welcomed its official data suppliers, web service customers and trade groups to the Metropole Hotel at the NEC for a series of presentations addressing the present position, as well as outlining the exciting developments that are in the pipeline, which will further improve the services it provides across all sectors of the aftermarket.

After an overview of the formation and development of the TecAlliance organisation from its original TecDoc catalogue roots to the current structure and its vision of and for the future, Vice President Sales & Marketing, David Winter handed over to Ralf Pelkman to tackle the subject of Information Management, followed by Jürgen Mehlis for Solution Management.

Three subsequent presentations concerning data management, catalogue solutions and order to invoice were made and customers had the opportunity to attend two of the three, dependent on the importance to their individual business requirements.

Feedback from the attendees was extremely positive with several singling out specific developments that could provide significant benefits to their businesses. These included Tania Wilson, data manager for Tetrosyl’s QH brand, who said: “From a general perspective, it was helpful to understand the sheer number of services TecAlliance provides across the aftermarket, but there are certainly some interesting options that have the potential to help us further develop our business, particularly in France, for example.”

For Platinum International, Marketing Director, Mark Higson added: “It was a very interesting day and as a result, there are definitely opportunities for us to consolidate some of our operational costs, as it appears that instead of running our current three individual database model, we could possibly combine them into a single TecAlliance solution.”

Others commented how TecAlliance allowed those without huge internal resources to address everything from gap analysis to new-to-range additions and cross referencing applications on an exceptionally cost-effective basis.

At the conclusion of the day, Shaun Greasley, commercial director for TecAlliance UK & Ireland said: “It has been great to host some of our valued suppliers and good to be able to demonstrate, not only our current solutions, but also some of the interesting projects that will undoubtedly benefit their businesses in the near future.

Shaun Greasley

“Showcasing TecAlliance as a whole, rather than looking just at a particular option that they might currently be utilising, allows them to see that we are an exceptionally wide-ranging aftermarket orientated organisation that operates across the entire market and can bring business efficiencies across many areas of their businesses, which can only be good for the health of the independent sector as an entity.”

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Comma Oil first to meet newest ACEA C5 regulations with Eco-F 5W-20 oil

The most recent ACEA C5 regulations have been put in place to distinguish oils that offer significantly increased fuel efficiency across petrol and light and heavy-duty diesel engines.

Comma’s Eco-F 5W-20 is the only oil in the aftermarket which gives workshops the opportunity to provide the next generation of fuel efficient, C5 approved oils to customers right now. Comma’s stringent quality standards throughout its development cycle means the oil already meets all C5 requirements, with no further reformulation needed.

The ECO-F 5W20 is a high performance and fully synthetic engine oil. The oil has expanded its application to cover a range of Ford and Jaguar Land Rover vehicles since its launch, delivering improved fuel efficiency to thousands of car users.

New ACEA C5 regulations set new performance requirements of lowered HTHS values (2.6 to 2.9) and a fuel economy of more than 3% in the industry standard CEC L-054-96 test. These requirements ensure ACEA C5 oils are the most efficient to reach the market.

The new regulations have replaced obsolete engine oil tests, introduced new bench and engine assessments with unique requirements and addressed some of the damaging impact biofuels can have on engines. The more stringent methodology confirms Comma’s industry leading quality standards whilst demonstrating the improved fuel efficiency the Eco-F 5W-20 can offer workshop customers.

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IMI calls for EV training fund

The IMI has urged the government to allocate a portion of the £400m set aside for electric vehicle infrastructure to training the technicians who will work on these vehicles.

Steve Nash, CEO, said, ‘The IMI welcomes the announcement in the Autumn Budget that £400m is being allocated to build the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This is great news and puts the UK on a strong path for the wider adoption of this motoring technology. However, at the IMI, we hope that a proportion of this funding will be allocated to the training of the technicians who will work on these vehicles.

Steve Nash

‘The IMI has submitted evidence for parliament’s consideration regarding a Licence to Practise for vehicle technicians working on the high-voltage systems of electric and hybrid vehicles. And the Secretary of State for Transport has indicated his interest in the skills opportunities presented by the new automotive technologies.

‘In line with our proposals for regulation of those working on the high voltage systems of electric and hybrid vehicles, we have calculated that a relatively small investment of £30m could help accelerate the uptake of new skills, particularly across the independent service and repair sector.

‘Currently only one per cent of all technicians have been trained to work safely on the high-voltage technology, of which almost all of them work exclusively for manufacturers’ franchised dealers. We believe that the UK will fail to keep up with the global competition for the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) if more technicians aren’t given the training required to service these high powered vehicles.

‘Plus, there is an additional financial burden on those who want to drive electric vehicles; the current scarcity of appropriately trained individuals has already contributed to insurance premiums for EV’s being up to 50% higher than for comparable petrol of diesel cars.

‘We must ensure the UK has the skills base to support motorists making an easy transition from petrol and diesel to electric and hybrid. Financial support to help those working in the service and repair sector, most particularly the independent operators, is crucial.’

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New UK Key Accounts Manager joins Pagid

Brake specialist TMD Friction has appointed Phil Woodcock as UK Key Accounts Manager for Pagid – the UK’s biggest selling brake brand.

Having spent 35 years in sales and marketing, with 25 of those in key positions in the automotive industry, Phil has extensive experience providing international marketing and operational solutions within the friction sector.

In his new position, Phil will be responsible for managing and promoting the Pagid brand in the UK market. This will include driving sales through Euro Car Parts and further-cementing Pagid’s position as the leading OE-brand in the UK market.

Sylvie Layec, TMD Friction Sales Director Western Europe & Pan-European Accounts, commented,

“We welcome Phil as TMD Friction UK Key Accounts Manager, and we have every confidence that he will grow the Pagid brand further. He certainly comes with plenty of excellent experience, and has the standards of quality and attention to detail that is synonymous with TMD Friction”.

Commenting on his appointment, Phil said,

“Having been involved in the automotive braking market for many years, it’s wonderful to be joining a highly regarded brand that is part of the global leader in brake friction technology. TMD Friction’s manufacturing and R&D facilities are second to none, and the quality that the workforce produces is why the Pagid brand has such loyalty. I’m very much looking forward to taking Pagid to the next level in terms of sales and customer service”.

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Andy Savva announced as Autowork Online brand ambassador

Industry expert Andy Savva as has been named by MAM Software as brand ambassador for Autowork Online, its garage management application.

Andy Savva

Andy began using Autowork Online in 2010 when he opened Brunswick Garage, a state-of-the-art 15,000 sq. ft. vehicle repair workshop. Having sold Brunswick Garage in 2015, Andy is now managing director at automotive aftersales consultancy Savva Automotive. Andy also holds talks and workshops at industry events and writes for automotive trade publications. “I am delighted to be endorsing Autowork Online,” said Andy. “When I started Brunswick Garage, I chose only trusted partners that would meet my ambition for excellence. Autowork Online was the only garage management system we chose and from inception it complemented our business vision in every way.”

“Whilst undertaking my aftersales consultancy work, there are a number of key areas that I concentrate on. One of these is the use of an effective garage management system and I would have no hesitation in recommending the use of Autowork Online to any of my customers.”

Gavin Sparks, senior sales manager at MAM Software added: “As an expert in the automotive industry and a loyal customer for many years, Andy is the perfect person to become our brand ambassador for Autowork Online. We look forward to sharing ideas with Andy for many years to come and ensuring that Autowork Online meets the present and future needs of all garages.”

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Can a business dismiss an employee who is disqualified from driving? – Advice from Lawgistics

A dismissal will be considered ‘fair’ if it can be shown that the reason for it was a ‘statutory restriction’ that prevents the employment continuing.

For example, if a taxi driver is convicted of a driving offence, they may lose their driving licence. In this case, it would be unlawful for the employer to continue employing the driver to fulfil their normal work duties without a valid driving licence.

Employees who drive significantly as part of the role will normally have a term in their employment contract requiring them to hold a valid UK driving licence. If they lose their licence, the employee is violating the terms of their employment contract and this can give cause for dismissal.

Before taking any action, the following must be considered:

  • Is driving fundamental to the employee’s job role?
  • How long is the disqualification for?
  • Are there options for redeployment within the organisation?

Opting for dismissal without considering the alternatives could be deemed an unfair dismissal.

If an employee has been banned from driving, consideration may be given as to whether it is possible to make any adjustments to their duties so they can continue to work in a non-driving role such as in an office or warehouse. All the possible options should be discussed with the employee to see where their skills and experience could be used for the duration of the ban.

Re-assigning the driving part of the role to another employee and the use of public transport, if it does not significantly impact on their work, are also options to consider.

If there are no other possible options, a decision may be made to terminate the employee’s contract of employment.

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