With new car legislation working its way in, our service centres have got to be on the ball when it comes to giving vehicle advice and repairing them while adhering to tight controls. Robert Wilson, our General Manager of service knows all about this challenge and how much the fine details matter to the business. Robert oversees both our Glasgow and Edinburgh service centres and is second in the running for our behind the scenes series. Here’s what Robert had to say about his role at Allied and what a day in the life of General Manager is like for him:
How long have you been working with the company?
This is my second spell with the company I worked here from 2004-2007 where I started as a Peugeot master technician and worked my way up to Service Manager. I then decided to go back out to the big bad world to further my service managerial skills.
Returning to Allied in early 2019 I have now taken on the role of Allied Autocare General Manager. This is a milestone in my career and one which I worked towards since leaving the company in 2007. I was confident that I would return at some point as I aspired to become the General Manager and oversee the growth of the Autocare service centres.
What attracted you to the role?
It was a huge opportunity to grow the business and hopefully, some acquisitions are not too far away. Having worked for the family company before I knew what direction we were heading and had every confidence in the support I’d be given.
Can you explain what a large part of your role is and how do you go about this?
The largest part of my role is to look for new business opportunities, build strong partnerships with our fleet customers large and small and to keep the workshops full and running efficiently.
Can you explain what a day in the life of the Allied Autocare General Manager includes?
My role is to oversee the service centres and liaise with the branch managers and partners. It’s very important that we work towards future-proofing the business, our staff are an important aspect of achieving this. It’s key that we have a fully engaged and valued team around us for us to grow the business to its full potential.
In the last 6 months, we’ve worked very hard to create a network and portfolio that supports our business model, to service and maintain light commercial vehicles. We noticed a gap in the market and our research confirmed that the lead time to service and maintain LCV’s across central Scotland had increased considerably over the last 12 months. So, I ensure that we work towards achieving all of the above which, takes me up until around lunchtime!
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The biggest challenges I face are regarding the new Euro 6 emissions and the tight legislation around it. Most manufacturers have tight controls on emissions, however, new legislation can now cause our technicians and fleet managers issues with diagnosis and managing fleet downtimes. As we prepare our business for electric vehicles, the next few years will be exciting as manufacturers transition from Euro 6 to hybrid and full electric. We aim to continue working with both Ford and Peugeot to maintain the reliability and consistency of our services.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Most days are different, I enjoy the challenge of problem-solving and establishing strong processes. Working for Allied Autocare is very exciting, there’s always plenty to do. I love the challenge and the vision that the directors have, to grow the brand. Looking at how successful we have been with our Allied Mobility brand, manufacturing over 100 vehicles a week and selling them across Europe. I believe I’m in a very lucky position with a great opportunity to grow my role and the service department.