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Fix Auto Loughborough ‘primes’ collaboration with Supertune Automotive

Posted by Ian Gallagher on 20th February 2019

Fix Auto Loughborough

Fix Auto Loughborough is a prime advocate of the old adage ‘retail means detail’ in that good customer service is not viewed as a front-end gloss, but the result of strong bodyshop management disciplines and collaborative learning.

Rather like his famous designer namesake, managing director Paul Smith takes personal interest in tailoring bespoke accident management solutions, from triage and smart repair to major body work.

It may be his name above the door at the three acre Messenger Close site, but the profitability is a team effort, with his 33 employees and assistance from distribution partner Supertune Automotive, an ACIS shareholder company, based in Castle Donington.

One of the solutions in Paul’s arsenal is ASCRIBE, the web-based stock management solution developed by ACIS that helps reduce average bodyshop costs by an average of 21 per cent across the bodyshops that use it. Since its introduction in 2015, subscribing bodyshops have ordered more than £6 million worth of paint and dry goods through the ACIS platform.

Apart from utilising ASCRIBEv3 from ACIS, with its new more user-friendly interface and WiFi access, Paul’s relationship with Supertune stretches to on-the-job coaching with paint shop technical trainer Gary Glewis in order to enhance the site’s profitability.

Added value

“We’ve had a great relationship with Supertune for many years through our account manager Janice Murray. They are only based in Castle Donington but the relationship goes beyond the provision on paint and dry goods – it is more about the added value we get,” said Paul.

ASCRIBE has been transformational for us in terms of optimising our stock and performance. We no longer have to spend hours managing inventory as we can see exactly what we have in real time and understand from the management reporting how we are performing during the month.

“That includes the optimisation of technicians’ time and use of products. It could be the mixing of products to reducing waste around expensive abrasive discs. Having this overview enables us to manage our costs and profitability.

“This goes for all of our staff, including two apprentices. We try and see everything as an opportunity to improve, rather than a problem,” he added.

Operational efficiency

Supertune’s Janice Murray, who has been working with Paul for almost three decades, said: “To complement ASCRIBE we also offer assistance from Gary Glewis, who visits Fix Auto Loughborough to demonstrate and discuss practical paint spraying best practice through helpful hints and tips. He is there to help them manage the process better.”

In Fix Auto Loughborough’s case, this has helped drive volume through the paint shop, while at the same time reducing energy and cost through the roll priming process in the workshop, rather than tying up valuable time in the paint booths. This alone has doubled the number of vehicles that can then be dried using infra-red lighting rather than firing up the ovens.

Gary, who has worked as an on-call technical trainer for the past six years, said: “I am a paint sprayer by training and I am simply bringing the data sheets to life – making it more practical and understandable in a day-to-day scenario. By doing it this way, we find it helps technicians retain the information better, whatever their level of experience or seniority.”

Fix Auto Loughborough