Clubbing together

Find out how trade clubs are innovating and going that one step further to help their customers provide the best possible service for motorists

Published:  11 November, 2020

Trade clubs provide garages with a guaranteed supply of the best parts, but there’s more to it than bits in a box.
    
Let’s look at TPS for example. TPS is the first trade operation to be owned and run by an automotive manufacturer, Volkswagen Group UK, having begun as a business back in 2006.
    
Since then, TPS has evolved into a UK-wide network of 81 centres delivering Volkswagen Group Genuine Parts daily to its customers.

Extensive
Michelle Masterton-Smith, TPS Marketing & Communications Manager, said: “Every TPS Centre’s extensive parts stock is maintained by the Volkswagen Group and is dedicated to the needs of independent local garages, which forms the core part of TPS’ customer base.
    
“With Genuine Parts identical in quality to parts used in new vehicle production, they provide assurance and peace of mind to customers. They are designed to fit first time, saving both time and money, and help provide reassurance to garages’ customers about the safety and quality of the parts fitted.
    
“Volkswagen Group Genuine Parts are also manufactured in accordance with Formula Q, Volkswagen Group's strict quality assurance system, providing a significant contribution to the vehicle’s overall safety and performance and come complete with a two-year warranty.”

Reassurance
During the lockdown period, fitting genuine parts to a customer’s vehicles helped provide reassurance to those key and essential workers reliant on keeping their cars on the road. Michelle observed: “The supply of genuine parts was an element of the overall support on offer from TPS to its customers during the most challenging of the lockdown months.
    
“During the lockdown period, we implemented a number of new, innovative ways of working to ensure we were able to maintain service levels to our customers.
    
“In recognition of the important frontline service they provided, Blue Light, AA Patrols, Government Agency and their key worker support vehicles were given precedence when resources became limited.
    
“The existing customer base was also given priority and took the decision not to set up any new accounts until the lockdown was eased.
    
“We also took the decision to protect customers and staff at all times by preventing the handling of cash and cheques and customers were asked to pay by card in advance if they did not already hold a credit account.
    
“The final change we made, was on customer calls, which were redirected to a single, national, queue-based system, but with orders still delivered to the closest operational TPS Centre. This meant calls could be answered quickly without any risk of calls being dropped or long waiting times due to less staff being available. All of this was done within a matter of days which shows how dedicated the TPS team are to customer service.
    
“These are just some of the innovative ways in which TPS has worked recently to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic and demonstrate our flexibility as a business.”

Knowledge
A further strength for TPS comes from the expertise and knowledge on offer from the staff at its Centres and generally within the business. “No other parts supplier has the knowledge of VW Group vehicles that TPS has and that ability to advise on the best parts for individual vehicle models is hugely valuable to customers,” said Michelle
    
“It is the key component of TPS’ pledge to deliver the best customer service possible, which is at the heart of its ‘Genuine Heroes’ initiative.”
    
The TPS Genuine Heroes is designed to encourage TPS Centres to be heroes to their customers by delivering excellent customer service.
    
Michelle added: “TPS’ network of independent motor traders and garages are asked in turn to adopt this ethos with their own customers. It’s something which has never been more evident during the recent pandemic, with TPS Centres and garages alike going above and beyond to deliver excellent customer service.”
 
Access
Meanwhile, garages that belong to the Eurorepar Car Service network, the all-brands garage initiative run by PSA Group, were recently able to access faster parts ordering at no extra cost for a month.
    
Distrigo Parts Distribution’s Service Box Multi-Brand is an online portal, with phone and tablet compatibility, allowing parts to be ordered remotely and in real time during a repair. Through it, garages can access OEM, leading supplier and Eurorepar all-makes parts, in addition to a broad range of tyres and consumables,
    
Distrigo recently launched Fix Plus, which provided an additional level of subscription to its parts ordering and technical data tool.
    
Garages that belong to the Eurorepar network are able to use Service Box Multi-Brand for parts ordering. They normally are able to access to the tool at Fix level as part of their Eurorepar Car Service membership, but, in recognition of the launch of Fix Plus, Distrigo Parts Distribution provided free access to the top-level during September.
 
Resource
Launched last year across the UK and Europe, Service Box Multi-Brand also provides technical data to help repairers select the most appropriate parts. Subscription packages offering varying levels of access and functionality. Now, with Fix Plus, technicians can gain access to even more technical data, as well as a dedicated technical helpline.
     
Adrian Mossop, Head of Network and Business Development at Eurorepar Car Service, said: “Service Box Multi-Brand is already a hugely popular tool among our independent service centres, and now many of them have enjoyed an even greater level of access to this valuable digital resource throughout September.
     
He added: “Members of the Eurorepar Car Service network gain Fix level access as standard, helping to boost their productivity, efficiency and service offering. With new service centres discovering the benefits of Service Box Multi-Brand every day, it’s clear that the platform can help sites of all sizes take their service to the next level.”  

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