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Parts Alliance Group improves phone systems with Vodafone deal

Parts Alliance Group has selected Vodafone to implement a new Avaya phone system across the business. The objective of the new system is to make operations more efficient, while equally making day-to-day tasks easier for our employees. By moving all our phones to one single supplier, it’s never been simpler for colleagues to contact each other and customers, which can now be done by phone, email or instant messaging.

The Avaya system was chosen with the future in mind. Avaya is a recognized innovator and foremost global provider of unified communication solutions amongst professional call centres. Vodafone is a leading force in design, installation and support of UK and European contact centre solutions with the highest accreditations from Avaya.

This investment into our communication infrastructure brings versatility allowing expansion of the system’s capacity as our business grows. With the new system we have approximately 750 extensions handling an average of 120 concurrent calls, but if necessary we can easily add over 10 times the number of users and deliver 2,000 concurrent calls. Avaya’s continual system development affords opportunities to add new functionality as our business needs evolve.

With over 300 branches and multiple head office locations, a unified system throughout Parts Alliance Group is paramount and will improve the efficiency of the group’s communications.

We’ve currently invested over £500,000 in the new system which has been rolled out over 70 sites and will continue to be implemented across further locations. Not only will the system improve our communications, but it represents significant savings in the ongoing costs of calls and maintenance over the previous unconnected setup.

This is a testament to how Parts Alliance Group is committed to continuous improvement through the use of technology to advance our customer service levels and stay ahead of the competition.

Dynamic blueprint for 2015 and beyond unveiled

In a closing-year statement, The Parts Alliance has unveiled a dynamic blueprint for 2015 and reflected on outstanding success in 2014.

Fuelled by HgCapital’s £2 billion automotive fund, The Parts Alliance is celebrating:

  • the acquisition and integration of former associate member Car Parts & Accessories (CPA).
  • outstanding results achieved by its newly-acquired business Bromsgrove Motor Factors.
  • stellar performance in National Accounts business which has grown by 100%.
  • the addition of over 100 new garages to the Servicesure Autocentres network.
  • trading well above expectations of 15 branches bought from Unipart Automotive.
  • being a founding partner in Nexus Automotive International, the major new autoparts distribution group covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
  • Chief Executive Peter Sephton also announced a series of innovative programmes, including industry-firsts, that will further boost The Parts Alliance’s national coverage, make the ordering and delivery of parts even faster, and enhance its garage programme, already the best value in the aftermarket.

Peter said: “We have made outstanding progress this year on several fronts as we have continued our long term investment plan.

“Strategic purchases such as CPA are a clear statement of our ongoing commitment to acquire and invest in high quality, profitable factors, along with infrastructure, to create a sustainable market leading position for The Parts Alliance. Our National Accounts performance has been truly outstanding. We are delighted The Parts Alliance has been able to secure high profile contracts that include the prestigious AA and National Tyre accounts, along with increasing business with our existing National Accounts customer base.”

Another highlight was the improved performance of the 15 branches acquired after Unipart Automotive went into receivership and the smooth transfer of staff and customers to The Parts Alliance.

“The absolute truth is these 15 branches, now the under The Parts Alliance brands, are trading above and beyond expectation having only joined The Parts Alliance family three months ago.

“Their excellent staff have truly appreciated the comprehensive stock pack of premium OE matching brands linked to our catalogue system and these new customers appreciate the breadth, quality and competitiveness of our branded products,” he said.

Three major initiatives unveiled today are:

  • Creation of The Parts Alliance Factors programme, a franchise opportunity for independents to distribute autoparts in new areas of the UK for The Parts Alliance.
  • The launch of AlliCat X, a turbo-charged version of the already class leading electronic cataloguing and ordering system that will enable customer orders to be processed 25% faster and which will be in place across the network by the end of 2014. The AlliCat family of systems covers electronic cataloguing, menu pricing and incorporates GS OneStop. In combination this is the leading suite of solutions for garages, National Accounts and The Parts Alliance’s own branches.
  • Strengthening of Servicesure Autocentres with a host of new benefits and with industry-first concepts ready which have already attracted 104 new members in just three months.
  • Peter said: “Our promise is ‘National Coverage, Local Strength’ and the creation of our Parts Alliance Factors programme is a prime example of how we will be working with independent factors to guarantee complete coverage of the UK with effective local delivery on the ground.

“It is a great opportunity for independent factors to build their business by being part of the UK and Ireland’s leading automotive distribution network, supported by The Parts Alliance’s buying power, class leading systems and National Accounts experience.

“The launch of AlliCat X is a technological advance on a system that is already recognised as the class leading catalogue system in Europe and it also provides the platform for a series of innovations planned through 2015.

“This new version enables customer orders to be processed 25% faster with even more accuracy, further enhancing our ability to achieve the lowest return rates in the industry.

“Our Servicesure Autocentres network has made huge strides and we will be announcing radical initiatives in January.

“One highlight will be our industry-leading National Advisory Panels headed by garage owners themselves. For the first time, they will have direct input and influence on the programme ensuring independent garages benefit from exactly what they need to run a successful workshop.”

Since HgC invested in The Parts Alliance Ltd in April it has achieved major success, increasing sales by the owned businesses within The Parts Alliance Group by over 50%, with Associate Member partners also making a massive contribution.

Peter said: “What never fails to impress me is the loyalty, commitment, talent and integrity of all the employees at all levels within The Parts Alliance, those companies that are associated with us but are independently owned as well as those that we have acquired and joined our family.

“The camaraderie, spirit and integrity that they live up to is at the core of our values and enables us to build for the long term, positioning The Parts Alliance as one of the leading automotive aftermarket distributors in Europe, engaging with our customers, our colleagues suppliers and other stakeholders in a responsible way and building long-term relationships.”

Peter added that while the aftermarket remained volatile The Parts Alliance has the funding that puts it in a unique position to offer security and stability to the market.

The blueprint was revealed as Andrew Page opted not to continue as an Associate Member.

Peter said: “We originally came back together in good faith to benefit from the synergy of our two businesses. But in a rapidly evolving market, we now believe the most beneficial way forward for long-term growth is for us to act as separate entities.

“We will continue to work with Andrew Page as our partner on selected National Account contracts that The Parts Alliance holds.”

The Parts Alliance acquires Car Parts & Accessories

The Parts Alliance, backed by HgCapital, has made its eighth acquisition, buying associate member Car Parts & Accessories (CPA).

CPA, established in 1995, employs 120 people in 12 branches serving Hampshire, Sussex and Surrey. It has a delivery fleet of 60 vehicles and a turnover approaching £12 million.

The acquisition was completed on Friday 26 September with CPA’s Managing Director Keith Anderson and other CPA leaders continuing with the autoparts distributor.

CPA becomes part of the Eastern Alliance of HgCapital-owned businesses within The Parts Alliance, the others being Allparts Automotive and SC Motor Factors.

The inclusion of CPA brings the number of branches in the Eastern Alliance to 33. The Western Alliance comprises GMF and CES UK.

James Geldart, MD of the Eastern Alliance, said: “I am delighted to have CPA as part of our business portfolio and I welcome all their employees to our family.”

The Alliance businesses work closely together sharing common systems and best practice but trade locally under individual brand names.

Peter Sephton, Chief Executive of The Parts Alliance, said: “CPA is a great business with an exceptional commitment to customer service.

“We have been working closely with Keith Anderson and his team to bring them into our family of businesses. At The Parts Alliance we invest in our people and it is clear from the dedication and camaraderie of the team at CPA that they will fit straight in.”

Keith Anderson said: “We are looking forward to integrating further with The Parts Alliance and becoming an even greater business as the group expands into a market leader.”