In the heart of Birmingham, Autoworks Service Centre stands as a testament to automotive passion and commitment to quality.
In an interview with Andy Wells, the owner of Autoworks, Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) has delved into the essence of garage life, his dedication to OE products, and the challenges and triumphs that come with running a thriving automotive business.
Autoworks, a garage with just over four years under its belt, offers a comprehensive range of services, from tyres and MOT servicing to vehicle repairs, reprogramming, and more. Andy, with a background in the automotive industry dating back to his teenage years, shared his personal journey, from early involvement in family car repairs to a hiatus due to health reasons and a triumphant return.
Describing his day-to-day role as the ‘problem solver’, Andy highlighted the chaotic yet fulfilling nature of his work, saying: “We have a dedicated team, including front-of-house staff and technicians, that have a united focus on customer service, quality and efficiency. Autoworks has grown to be a reliable one-stop-shop for customers.”
Championing OE excellence
Andy’s commitment to OE products shines through in his preference for renowned brands, such as Brembo, Schaeffler and VARTA. These brands, members of OESAA, have earned Andy’s trust due to their quality, minimal comebacks, and excellent customer service.
Andy said: “The emphasis on OE extends beyond personal preference; it is a strategic decision. Brands like Brembo, for example, known for its quality brake components, provide not only reliability but also additional benefits, such as comprehensive fitting kits, which ensures a quality, quick and easy job. This reduces comebacks and satisfies our customers.”
Pros and challenges of garage life
Andy also touched upon the day-to-day task of running a garage. He acknowledged the challenges of parts availability, a common struggle for many in the industry, before shedding light on how Autoworks manages bookings efficiently to minimise delays, with a lead time typically ranging from two to three days:
“The biggest challenge, however, is recruiting skilled technicians; it remains a significant test.
“There is the ‘skills gap’ too to contend with; we must dispel the myth that working in the sector is dirty and undesirable – a successful and enjoyable living can be made in this industry, with the right tools and attitude.
“I have employed several apprentices in the past, looking to offer them a door into the sector and give them a platform to thrive. It’s important that the future of the industry is looked after, so I’m always keen to bring on the next generation of talent and nurture them to becoming full-time, long-term members of the Autoworks family.”
While the industry makes strides to attract younger talent, such as OESAA with its Academy Live college events, Autoworks remains committed to promoting a positive image and offering competitive salaries to its technicians.
The discussion extended to the practice of fitting customer-supplied parts, with Andy, staunchly, expressing the garage’s refusal to accept them due to sourcing and warranty concerns, not to mention the potential for complications in the repair process.
Staying ahead in a changing landscape
In the ever-evolving automotive community, staying informed is crucial. Autoworks actively follows social media updates from its suppliers and values the support and technical expertise provided by Schaeffler and its trusted REPXPERT portal.
Andy said: “Our commitment to quality extends to adapting to new technologies. We are receiving more and more EVs and hybrids, meaning we must be prepared for that. I am an IMI Level 3 and 4 EV technician, meaning we’re able to take on the work that others might have to turn down.”
Autoworks, under the leadership of Andy, strives for excellence. His commitment to OE products, efficient operations, and a dedication to quality service positions the garage as a trusted partner for motorists in the local area.
As the automotive landscape continues to evolve, Autoworks remains steadfast in its pursuit of providing outstanding service, staying ahead of the curve and fitting quality parts.