Autotech Recruit “hybrid RPO” solution set to boost permanent recruitment for aftermarket

Approach estimated to save automotive businesses up to 74 per cent of recruitment costs annually.

With increasing demand from the automotive aftermarket and OEMs for a dedicated recruitment service which caters to their bespoke needs, Autotech Recruit has enhanced the permanent arm of its business to offer the industry a Hybrid Recruitment Process Outsourcing (Hybrid RPO) solution.

The struggle to recruit and retain highly skilled vehicle technicians is well documented and many automotive companies are using several recruitment companies to hire staff which increases overall costs.

By adopting the Hybrid RPO approach, automotive businesses can streamline their recruitment processes and expect a significant reduction in overhead costs.

Autotech Recruit estimates a Hybrid RPO approach could save an automotive company or OEM up to 74 per cent of its recruitment costs per year.

Under a Hybrid RPO agreement, Autotech Recruit will take ownership of a client’s recruitment needs, from marketing the position, screening the candidates, through to HR paperwork and even clothing distribution, if required.

“We can create a suite of customised options to suit the exact needs of a client,” explains Simon King, Autotech Recruit’s sales director, for Permanent and Hybrid RPO who is spearheading this initiative along with Hannah Fermor, who heads up permanent aftermarket recruitment, while Sue Dixon will lead the permanent OEM and main dealer side.

“By taking a Hybrid RPO approach we are working in true partnership with our client, rather than just being a supplier,”adds Simon.

Significantly, under the Hybrid RPO, Autotech Recruit will provide an automotive company with a single point of contact who will manage the day to day recruitment operation.

“This not only provides consistency,” comments Simon, “but having a single person on the account will give them an in-depth knowledge of the company they are recruiting for.”

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a proven method to improving candidate quality and reducing the time and the cost it takes to hire.

“We know this process works,” comments Simon.

“Earlier this year we began working with In‘n’Out Autocentres, who outsourced its entire recruitment process to us.

“As a result, we have filled 67 placements since April and 99.5% of the candidates we put forward are hired.”

Jon Morgan, CEO of In‘n’Out Autocentres comments: “Autotech Recruit’s customer centric approach, coupled with a thorough understanding of our business, means they are introducing high calibre candidates who meet our high standards of skill, knowledge and values.

“Partnering with Autotech Recruit will ensure that as we continue to expand our network, we will have the skills and personnel to support us in delivering fantastic customer service with great quality work and give motorists a real alternative to franchise dealerships.”

Autotech Recruit offers effective, comprehensive strategies to help the automotive aftermarket overcome talent shortages, encompassing three core strands; temporary cover, permanent recruitment and training.

“Our clients include large, independent fast-fit garages to national chains with multiple sites, and we work with 80% of Motor Trader’s top 200 dealerships,”Simon concludes.

To find out more about Autotech Recruit, click here.

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Garage owner forced to pay £11,150 following trading standards sting

Investigation conducted as part of council’s undercover car servicing enforcement exercises.

The owner of an independent garage in Warwickshire has been fined £1,500, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,500 and a £150 victim surcharge following a Trading Standards operation, the Rugby Advertiser reports.

During an undercover operation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards officers, it was found that staff at Binley Woods Service Centre had failed to attend to nine separate faults.

The workshop had failed to top up either the coolant or power steering fluid, had not replaced the fuel filter and had not checked the tyre pressures.

Workshop failures

The trader reported that the offside rear tyre was on the limit and had a tread depth of 1.6mm whereas the minimum depth on this tyre was actually 3.44mm.

The garage had also failed to notify the undercover officer of a split wiper blade, noisy nearside rear wheel bearing or the condition of the spark plugs.

Finally, the rear offside seatbelt stalk was trapped beneath the rear seat cushion suggesting that the function of the rear seat belts had not been checked.

At Coventry Magistrates Court on Wednesday, November 6, Charnjit Sekhon, trading as Binley Woods Service Centre, was found guilty of an offence contrary to regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

“Killing machines”

Deputy District Judge Jonas, presiding, stated in his judgement that vehicles are “killing machines”.

Adding that they can kill if they are driven dangerously or even carelessly and they can kill if they are not maintained properly.

Scott Tompkins, assistant director for environment services said: “Most of us are not experts in vehicle maintenance and we rely upon garages to carry out car services properly so that we can have confidence our vehicles are satisfactorily maintained.

“Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to carry out this important work to protect road users.”

Workshop changes

In mitigation, Mr Scott representing Mr Sekhon said his client was of previous good character and there had been only one incident.

He had also made changes to the quality control system.

Warwickshire Trading Standards regularly carries out undercover car servicing enforcement exercises.

An expert vehicle examiner places faults on cars before they are submitted for services at garages across Warwickshire.

On completion, the vehicle expert then examines the vehicles to see if the garages have carried out the services to an acceptable standard.

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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More than 50 new coil springs added to Lesjöfors springs range

New-to-range items cover 156 vehicle applications.

Lesjöfors Springs has intensified its new to range introductions with the recent addition of 56 new coil springs.

Covering 156 vehicle applications, new front and rear coil spring references cover the following vehicle makes and models: Audi A1, BMW i3, Fiat 500, Ford C-Max and Transit, Mercedes-Benz CLA, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Camry and Volvo V40.

Lesjöfors coil springs are produced using superior grade spring steel at the company’s own factories, which ensures high quality standards and full control over availability.

The company offers both parallel wire (constant thickness) and tapered wire spring designs, offering more choice to the vehicle technician.

Besides superior grade spring steel, and carefully controlled heat treatment, Lesjofors Springs are put through an advanced multi stage zinc phosphate treatment, and then coated with a highly durable epoxy powder paint to minimise corrosion. 

This provides a highly durable OE quality product and peace of mind for installers.

The new references can be found on MAM Software and TecDoc cataloguing systems.

As an A-Rated ‘Certified Supplier’ by both systems, customers can be assured that all Lesjöfors product data is both accurate and up-to-date.

Also new are eight gas springs covering Audi S1 Quattro, S5 Cabriolet Quattro and Volkswagen Polo Cross. 

Gas spring failures are more common during winter months (as lower temperatures expose underlying deterioration) and Lesjöfors boasts the widest range available in the automotive industry, bringing a ‘dealership-perceived’ product to the aftermarket.

All springs are supplied complete with end fittings for ease of installation and there are more than 1600 part numbers available covering a wide variety of European and Asian applications.

Finally, for Lesjöfors OE-quality leaf spring range for 4WD and LCVs, four new leaf springs have been introduced covering popular Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Volkswagen Amarok applications.

To find out more, click here.

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Kia Picanto INA timing belt replacement guide

REPXPERT shares step-by-step guide for Kia Picanto 1.1 litre petrol.

In this month’s INA timing belt article, REPXPERT talks through the replacement of a timing belt on a 2005 Kia Picanto, fitted with a 1.1 litre petrol engine.

South Korean vehicle manufacture Kia, launched the first generation Picanto in 2004, it has proved to be a popular city car & is still being manufactured today in its third generation.

For this scheduled repair, the only workshop equipment required is a two post ramp and an engine support.

This engine has been identified as an interference engine, so in the event of timing belt failure, engine damage is likely to occur.

Adjustment work on the toothed belt must always be carried out at an ambient temperature and always rotate the engine in the direction of rotation.

With the vehicle placed on the ramp, open the bonnet and then raise the car, remove the O/S/F wheel and O/S splash guard, then fit an engine support if available.

Lower the vehicle and disconnect the coolant expansion tank, power steering reservoir and washer bottle filler.

This now gives access to the engine mounting, support the engine if not previously supported and remove the engine mounting, this now gives good access to the auxiliary belt area, firstly, slacken the water pump pulley bolts and then loosen the alternator clamp bolts, remove the tension from the auxiliary belt and remove the belt and inspect for wear/damage, it is always advisable to replace the auxiliary belt when replacing the timing belt, some auxiliary belts now have a service life and a recommended change interval.

Now remove the water pump pulley and then the upper timing belt cover.

Rotate the crankshaft pulley in a clockwise direction until crankshaft and camshaft timing marks align, now remove the four crankshaft pulley retaining bolts, pulley washer, outer crankshaft pulley, then remove the crankshaft pulley centre bolt, washer and then the inner crankshaft pulley.

The lower timing belt cover can now be removed and then remove the crankshaft position sensor ring and sensor, now slacken the tensioner centre bolt, ease the tensioning roller back, the timing belt can now be relieved of its tension, then retighten the tensioner centre bolt and the timing belt can now be removed.

Remove the tensioning roller and inspect the timing belt area for any oil or coolant leaks that could contaminate the new belt and rectify if required.

Ensure the timing belt area is clean and then fit the new tensioning roller, confirming it has located on the tensioning spring and is pulled back against its stop, the new timing belt can now be installed.

Make sure the timing marks are still aligned, fit the timing belt to the crankshaft pulley, working in an anti-clockwise direction then fit the timing belt on the camshaft pulley and then around the tensioning roller, slacken the tensioning roller and allow the spring to self-tension the belt and roller and then tighten the tensioning roller centre bolt.

Ensuring the timing marks are still aligned, rotate the crankshaft two complete revolutions and check the timing marks still align, slacken the tensioner roller centre bolt, allow the tension to adjust if required and then retighten and torque to the manufactures specification.

Refit all parts in reverse order of removal, torqueing bolts as required to the manufactures specification.

Information on Schaeffler products, fitting instructions, repair times and much more can be found on the REPXPERT garage portal or by calling the Schaeffler technical hotline on 01432 264264.

Click here for more information.

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New technical bulb guide gives complete lighting reference catalogue

All Ring bulb ranges tested on-site in state-of-the-art quality assurance laboratories

Automotive lighting expert, Ring has announced the launch of a new technical bulb guide to help garages find the correct bulb they need for the job.

The catalogue gives detailed information on bulb specifications and upgrade options, with colour coding to help users find the right bulb quickly.

The technical guide features images, ECE references and technical drawings for over 600 bulbs, plus easy to use cross referencing and indexing to help select the correct Ring bulb from the information available.

Carl Harrison, vehicle lighting product manager, said: “Supplying the right bulb for a wide number of cars and applications has always been crucial for Ring: it is one of the reasons we are a leading supplier in the UK and across Europe for automotive lighting.

“We are proud to say we have been at the forefront of bulb development for over 45 years and make it a top priority to give our customers the most up to date technical data they need.”

This wide coverage of UK car parc covers 6V, 12V, 24V and specialist applications.

The oldest vehicle that can be serviced by Ring’s bulbs is the 1954 VW Beetle, with the most recent being the 201 Jaguar F-PACE.

Ring also supplies a range of xenon HIDs – including the recently developed R66548 D8S replacement bulbs – plus upgrade options such as longer life and the Xenon150, which puts up to 150% more light on the road.

Alan Povey, technical support and training manager, adds: “Technical accuracy is essential to ensure that our customers are getting the correct bulb references.

“This guide is a must-have for all motor factors and mechanics to give them a handy, one-stop-shop for all bulb information.”

Ring tests all its bulb ranges on-site, in state-of-the-art quality assurance laboratories, which feature cutting-edge photometry and light tunnel technology.

This allows Ring to monitor its ranges and ensure they adhere to ECE regulations and are performing to the standards expected by customers.

Download the technical guide or call 0113 213 2000 to order a printed copy.

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Stress found to be biggest issue for automotive employees, BEN survey finds

Stress has most affected employees’ health and wellbeing, claims 70% of employer survey respondents.

BEN has revealed the results from its most recent business survey in which automotive industry employers identified stress as a major issue affecting employees.

Respondents were also asked to spontaneously mention issues most likely to impact automotive businesses over the next five years.

The top three issues mentioned were skills shortages (38%), Brexit (26%) and technological changes (23%).

Ben says that these issues have undoubtedly had an impact on the stress levels of those working in the automotive industry.

The results of the surveys were included as part of Ben’s first ever whitepaper released last month, called ‘Mental health in the automotive industry: moving up a gear‘.

Rachel Clift, health and wellbeing director at Ben, said: “This National Stress Awareness Day, we felt it was important to share our latest survey results, which highlight that stress is a significant issue for automotive industry employees.

“We want to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of those who work in the automotive industry.

“Through our annual surveys, we listen to automotive industry people and employers to aid our understanding of health and wellbeing issues they are facing.

“This enables us to provide the right support to meet those needs.

“From partnering with automotive employers, we put our learnings into practice by developing relevant training and workplace initiatives.

“I encourage employers to read our survey results and, (if you haven’t already), our first whitepaper, ‘Mental health in the automotive industry: moving up a gear‘. 

“Both pieces offer important insights into the health and wellbeing of the automotive industry and provide practical advice and support on how best to support employees.

“As always, our free, confidential support is readily available to anyone who works (or has worked) in the industry.

“Employers can also refer employees who need support to Ben via a fast-track employee referral process

“We’re here to look after the health and wellbeing of automotive people because they are the lifeblood of our industry.”

To find out more, click here.

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UK heads towards battery waste crisis amid electric car revolution

Recycling techniques where 100 per cent of the materials are recycled must be developed, paper suggests.

The UK is facing a new waste crisis from as a result of the growing use of electric cars, according to an academic study.

Researchers have calculated that the one million electric cars sold in 2017 alone will produce 250,000 metric tons, or half a million cubic metres, of unprocessed battery pack waste when they reach the end of their lives in seven to ten years’ time.

Currently, the one million cars account for just 1.3 per cent of annual worldwide sales but it is projected that electric cars could make up more than half of all new sales by 2040.

The researchers say landfill is not an option for waste lithium batteries which are flammable and could release toxic chemicals such as cobalt, nickel and magnesium into the environment.

Professor Andrew Abbott, of Leicester University and co-author of the paper, said: “Electrification of just two per cent of the current global car fleet would represent a line of cars that could stretch around the circumference of the Earth – some 140 million vehicles.

“Landfill is clearly not an option for this amount of waste.

“Finding ways to recycle EV batteries will not only avoid a huge burden on landfill, it will also help us secure the supply of critical materials, such as cobalt and lithium, that surely hold the key to a sustainable automotive industry.”

“The key to a sustainable automotive industry”

Suggested options include using batteries that are no longer powerful enough for a car to do less demanding tasks such as store electricity from wind turbines and solar farms.

The report also said better ways to gauge the health of a battery would make it easier to assess whether they could be reused or repaired.

But most important, it said, would be to develop recycling techniques similar to those for lead batteries, where 100 per cent of the materials are recycled.

Dr Gavin Harper, of Birmingham University and lead author on the paper, said: “As well as lithium, these batteries contain a number of other valuable metals, such as cobalt, nickel and manganese, and there is the potential to improve the processes which are currently used to recover these for reuse.”

Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.

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TEXA introduces new radar and camera calibration system

RCCS 2 kit available with wheel clamps, with tire clamps or with ride height control kit, CCD sensors and wheel clamps.

TEXA has revealed that its new RCCS 2 is now available, providing high-performance optical alignment allowing workshops to perform a wide range of ADAS calibration on radar and camera sensors quickly and accurately.

The system comprises a robust main support with electrically powered height adjustment and a practical knob at the rear for the manual adjustment of perpendicularity with respect to the vehicle.

The adjustment bar is equipped with two distance meters and a sliding reflector plate with a central laser for front radar pointing.

An additional laser level at the top of the structure locates the centre of the vehicle simply by pointing at its front badge.

This advanced technology allows the system to be aligned easily, accurately and safely with respect to the vehicle and the floor.

The RCCS 2 system is mounted on castoring wheels for easy movement around the workshop.

RCCS 2 allows technicians to work independently in all phases of repair and even check ride height on cars and light commercials to offer customers a simple, safe and highly professional service.

To find out more, click here.

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GS Yuasa Academy online learning proves a success

First platform of its type for comprehensive online battery training.

GS Yuasa Academy, an online battery training platform launched earlier this year, has proven to be a success with thousands of learners now receiving industry leading battery training through their device.

Featuring over 20 certified courses tailored to different job roles, the academy is proving to be a hit with technicians, distributors and educational institutes alike.

Aimed at improving customer service, reducing warranty returns and maximising battery business potential, each course on the academy is broken down into easy-to-follow, bite-sized modules with downloadable completion certification.

Course topics range from ‘Correct Application & Technology’ to ‘Battery Testing & Warranty Handling’.

Jon Pritchard, general sales and marketing manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK, said: “We are delighted to have so many people now receiving high quality learning online through GS Yuasa Academy.

“We received a fantastic reaction to GS Yuasa Academy when we launched the online learning platform, and the response has been consistently positive ever since.

“An understanding of batteries is essential for anyone who is dealing with batteries in a professional context, be that fitting or sales.

“Through GS Yuasa Academy’s engaging content, we hope to deliver essential battery training in as an accessible way as possible – fulfilling an industry-wide need for more automotive training and development.”

Designed for both individual learners and organisations, GS Yuasa Academy provides valuable knowledge and skills.

The courses feature useful support material and a downloadable certificate upon completion.

Ian Newham, training manager at GS Yuasa Battery Sales UK, and one of the presenters of the academy, said: “With a dedicated team of specialist engineers and technicians, GS Yuasa has long been renowned for its excellent customer support and technical training.

“We’ve had tonnes of great feedback from a wide range of users.

“Workshops, technicians and garages are all getting behind the GS Yuasa Academy.

“They love the comprehensive training courses and animated video content.

“The fact that users can simply leave the site and then pick up where they left off is a real bonus for technicians and workshop owners with a busy work schedule.

“We already had an extensive training programme in place, but GS Yuasa Academy offers industry leading training to as many workshops as possible.”

In addition to courses in a dynamic, video-based format, GS Yuasa Academy provides various multiple-choice tests along the way.

Individuals can both reflect on learning and check their understanding as they progress.

This type of assessment, along with the ability to unlock special team leader features, means the academy is particularly useful for large distributors, motor factors and colleges.

GS Yuasa Academy allows organisations to easily manage and monitor the learning of users through additional business functionality, including a bulk team upload, progress dashboards, downloadable reports and specific learning paths.

GS Yuasa says its academy will help increase sales, reduce warranty claims, save money, highlight upselling opportunities and ensure batteries leave the shelf in the best possible condition.

For further information, click here.

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ZF Services UK becomes “service ready” on next-gen vehicles

Service partner network and ZF technicians undertake high voltage training

ZF Services UK has announced that it has become “service ready” on the next generation of commercial vehicles.

The company’s UK Centre of Competence in Nottingham – which provides technical support, repairs and servicing – has put technicians through extensive high voltage training and invested in the very latest testing equipment for TraXon fully automatic transmissions and AxTrax AVE electric axles.

ZF Services UK’s expanding Service Partner network is also undergoing training as the company meets the evolving demand for the repair and maintenance of modern vehicles.

ZF’s Nottingham Centre of Competence – which has enhanced its capacity to remanufacturer and repair transmissions and axles – can perform on-site diagnosis, repairs and servicing to ensure vehicle downtime is minimised.

With ZF AxTrax AVE electric portal axles successfully lowering emissions for hybrid buses and trolleybuses, and TraXon providing effective transmission of power and long service life, ZF Services UK is fully equipped to meet the repair and maintenance challenges of the next generation aftermarket.

David Wakeling, ZF head of commercial vehicle, said: “ZF Services UK has invested in additional resources, training and equipment at its Nottingham Centre of Competence to ensure it is ideally placed to service and repair the next generation of vehicles.

“This investment demonstrates our commitment to customers and ability to support their ongoing commercial vehicle service and maintenance needs.”

Fully ISO accredited, the ZF Services UK Centre of Competence in Nottingham is a dedicated facility and thanks to the recent expansion, now boasts a 6500m² workshop area to further underline the company’s position as a leading industry specialist.

With multi-brand capabilities, the centre uses only industry trained technicians who are multi-skilled and work to OEM standards.

The ZF Nottingham head office also stocks and distributes genuine ZF parts, as well as provides a non-ZF gearbox remanufacture and reverse engineering service.

To find out more, click here.

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