Tackling industry challenges is key to success, explains last year’s Garage of the Year winner

MotorServ-UK reflects back on its successes as Automechanika prepares to announce this year's winner

Tackling industry challenges is key to success, explains last year’s Garage of the Year winner
Left to right: Kamran Saleem, owner of Motorserv-UK celebrates winning the Garage of the Year 2017 award with technicians Taz Hussain and Andy Masters.

The Garage of the Year award currently sits proudly in the waiting room of 2017 winner MotorServ-UK and, managing director, Kamran Saleen believes they were worthy winners.

“The Garage of the Year award – in association with Garage Wire – presented to us at Automechanika Birmingham 2017 was fantastic recognition of how far we have come as a business and independent garage.

“It gave everyone in the business a boost and has been really well received by the local public.”

The rise of Solihull-based MotorServ-UK began many years before it reached its current high of having an impressive nine working bays, 18 staff, and the ability to handle 30 cars daily through its workshop.

Kamran has an accounting background with a fierce passion for cars.

He was often asked to recommend vehicles for people and would then help them finance their purchase.

MotorServ-UK began in earnest in 2013 as part of another franchise.

Customer service

It didn’t take long for the business to carve out its own future, one where customer service is paramount.

With an exceptionally good website to begin the customer journey, visitors to MotorServ-UK are immediately greeted on arrival before being shown through to a first class waiting room with Wi-Fi access and drinks.

It has a dealership level style to it, something which Kamran is conscious of, as he passionately argues for the rights of an “independent garage.”

“We are viewed as a leading independent garage and where we can add value to a customer’s experience of MotorServ-UK, we will do it,” he says, having recently introduced a free car collection and drop-off service for customers.

“To offer the best service to customers, we as a garage have to receive the best support.

“From our motor factors, we have to benefit from a consistency of quality supply and from our affiliations – such as RMI and Motor Codes – we have been able to rely on their support should any issues arise.”

Industry threats

“Because the threats are very real,” argues Kamran, “and Automechanika Birmingham is the ideal platform to bring these to light.

“Keeping pace with technology is a challenge and its important the aftermarket maintains access to relevant data from the VMs. This is getting more difficult, but we and many other garages are proving very resourceful, working closely with suppliers.”

One area where MotorServ-UK excels is its understanding – and execution of – Block Exemption Regulation (BER).

“BER gives people confidence that we adhere to the VM servicing schedules,” Kamran says.

Going forward, the company plans to expand into car sales, an area growing rapidly.

The business also offers a range of benefits including its ‘gold-membership’ whereby members pay-monthly for scheduled services and get £400+ additional services free, an MOT reminder sequence built with text and emails, state-of-the-art equipment, free high-quality courtesy cars, and also a collection and delivery service.

Another area of growth is apprenticeships.

19-year-old Connor Fox from Shirley, was recruited in December as an apprentice technician through Solihull Council’s ‘support towards employment, progression and satisfaction programme (STEPS), which helps adults with learning disabilities into work.

Attending Stratford-upon-Avon College as part of his three-year apprenticeship in motor vehicle studies, Connor’s remarkable talent and enthusiasm has earned him the accolade of ‘apprentice of the month’ at the college, after just three months in the job.

Kamran said: “We are always striving for excellence by investing heavily in people and training, keeping up to date with future innovations and improving our internal management systems.

“This investment will always enable us to service customers properly.”

Register for your free Automechanika Birmingham tickets online – garages also benefit from free parking and breakfast.

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