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Fix Auto Luton: The partnership that promotes entrepreneurship

Posted by Ian Gallagher on 25th June 2019

Fix Auto Luton

Nestling in a corner of an industrial estate under the flight path of Luton Airport sits an unassuming bodyshop which, at face value, would have struggled to gain its wings in the cut throat, tight margin world of the accident repair market.

But looks can be deceptive, as this is the previous home of Michael G Motors, whose upward trajectory has been stratospheric since it took on the new mantle of Fix Auto Luton in April 2016.

Through the front door and into the tiny reception, visitors are greeted with a trophy cabinet groaning under the weight of its achievements over the last three years, including an entrepreneurship award received by managing director Mo Givian at the Fix Auto International Conference in Cancun, Mexico in May 2019.

The recognition for the team’s service-led key-to-key results is a far cry from Mo’s more humble beginnings as a stand-in receptionist at the business run by his soon-to-be father-in-law Michael Gliottone, 15 years ago.

New challenge

Mo was looking for a challenge and was able to build a key role within the business because of the potential he displayed, which enabled him to move into a managerial role early on in his career.

In 2015, this potential was spotted by Keith Travers, business development executive for bodyshop distributor Movac, a member of the ACIS network, which has relationships with more than a dozen Fix Auto bodyshops.

It was a serendipitious meeting for Keith, who was having his car serviced at the local Mazda garage, and popped into Michael G Motors to introduce himself and explore other business opportunities. It was not long before Keith identified Mo’s contagious ambition for the business.

One conversation led to another which resulted in Keith recommending the business as a prospect to Ian Pugh, the managing director of Fix Auto.

Fix Auto Luton

“After that meeting, I went to see Ian Pugh and Mark Hutchins at Fix Auto. Ian opened up the website and agreed there and then to take a closer look,” said Keith.

On paper, the size of the business would not have fitted the Fix Auto model, but Ian Pugh took Keith’s recommendation seriously and recognised the overall potential of Mo and the team.

“Moving forward four years, they call Mo the human sponge at Fix Auto because he absorbs every bit of support offered and makes it work for the business, a fact demonstrated in incredible business and sales results,“ added Keith.

Mo has embodied the maxim; necessity is the mother of invention. He and his team sweat the assets of the smaller site by optimisation of the process to ensure faster key-to-key times and a string of delighted customer testimonials, on top of the expanding trophy cabinet.

Now with four technicians and an apprentice, the business has ambitious plans for the future.

Growth ambitions

Mo said: “I have always been interested in how businesses interact with their customers over what is probably the second biggest purchase in their lives. How they are looked after through the process is important and how we do that well in the tight margin industry is critical – I get a real buzz out of getting things right first time.

“Fix Auto has helped put us on the map, so it is up to us to continue the journey and add value where we can.

“Working with businesses like Movac and ACIS help us to deliver. We use ACIS ASCRIBE  which gives us transparency of stock and provides us with a full audit trail. It has significantly brought down our leakage figures and ordering is no longer the challenge that it was.

“Furthermore, if you need to drill deeper into the management figures, it has that capacity to see more, which is great for a busy bodyshop like ours.”

Ambition will always get a business so far, but this small bodyshop in Luton has been able to punch above its weight and well and truly take flight thanks to the additional support and the confidence shown by organisations including Fix Auto, Movac and ACIS, who have provided the air beneath the wings of Mo and his expanding team.

Fix Auto Luton