In the grounds of Trentham Gardens, situated just outside the old boundaries of the stately home that once stood there is Alfred Hissey & Son. For the last 125 years, and spanning five generations, the business has been running steadily.
Originally a steam haulage company before transitioning to diesel haulage and then vehicle maintenance following the Second World War, the garage has been operating from the same site for generations.
GSF Car Parts headed to Stoke to speak to Ian and Aarron Hissey, the fourth and fifth generation to run the garage, about their time with Servicesure and how it’s been able to support their business.
“We’ve been with a number of garage programmes over the years and we’ve made the move to come back to Servicesure in the last few months,” Aaron said.
“The key reason for us to make the move was EVSure really, alongside a fantastic price point from GSF that had meant a lot of our purchases from other motor factors had dropped away.
“We’ve always been a garage that likes to look forward, we adopted all the kit for EV repairs before there was any real demand for it from the main dealers, and we feel Servicesure and EVSure are the program to be on to help support us as we look to the future.
“We have three level four technicians on site now and the demand for EV repairs is growing all the time. The repairs can be quite dangerous, it can be 300 volts when they’re live. It’s a fair amount so you’ve got to be safe and you’ve got to be sure about what you’re doing.
“The promotional side of things is a real plus with EVSure, that’s something we aren’t really able to do to the same degree ourselves. They do a brilliant job of promoting the garages that are a part of Servicesure to the consumer. It’s great to be known within the industry but it’s the consumer who needs to be aware of you and the work that you’re doing so it’s great to have support with that side of the business.
“We’ve joined Servicesure quite late into our transition over to an EV garage so we haven’t looked in to the training options available to us just yet. We are aiming to have everyone here trained to a level three standard so we’re able to utilise the Tech Safe Register. Much like a Gas Safety Certificate, the industry needs a professional safety register as it’s a dangerous field, people need to know their vehicle is being worked on safely.“
Ian added: “Our move back to Servicesure has been nice and easy, stress free. The community that Servicesure have built up is a fantastic part of it now as well. We want to have a good relationship with the other garages in the area and we were a little apprehensive that they might think we’re treading on toes by joining the same program as them.
“Fortunately, there wasn’t even a hint of rivalry and they were all really happy to have us on board. They’ve offered to train some of our guys with areas they specialise in so we know we can help each other out and ultimately get the best for the customers as a result.
“The support that we get from the local GSF branch (Stoke) is brilliant and the people and reps that work out of there are such a help. We know we can get an answer to any questions we have in good time. When we need to know something it’s usually for a customer so it’s important to be able to get the information we need quickly so we aren’t holding anything up.
“We run our garage management system through Servicesure too and the benefits of such a system are massive. Warranties can be a big pain but with the garage management systems we’re able to itemise everything and ensure the main dealers carry out what’s required. The customer has the right to choose so its important for us to do things properly to ensure that.
Aaron added: “Trends are changing with motoring and the switch to EV is obviously one of the major changes people are making. Alongside that we’ve noticed people really are tightening their belts a bit now. GSF has been a great help as they’re such good value for money.
“There’s no sense in us using cheap parts and changing them multiple times a year, we need good quality parts at the right price and that’s what makes the difference. The DriveTec stuff has been brilliant for us, it’s really good quality done at a great price point. Servicesure offering pads for life just goes to show the confidence in the product and we’re able to have faith in it too.
“Servicesure and EVSure allow us to keep meeting the change in demand. It promotes us into the consumer market and they do everything they say on the tin. They have full confidence in the garages they support, offering a nationwide warranty for example, and the backing they provide us really helps us progress forward.
“We’ve been doing this for a long time and the support we receive will help us keep doing it for a longer still.”