Case Study 2

Case Study: Allparts Automotive Ltd

Allparts Automotive Ltd was established in High Wycombe in 1974 initially serving the South Buckinghamshire area. Allparts now supplies car parts across the North and West Home Counties and North and West London from 8 distribution centres that are strategically located in each region.

Allparts has built its business on providing the highest levels of customer service. Today, over £10 million of automotive parts are held in over 100,000 sq. ft of warehousing. In order to serve customers with superior on demand service, Allparts has over 60 dedicated internal sales advisors and a modern fleet of over 100 delivery vehicles. In addition, they provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic and garage equipment and advanced product and information support from their technical division, Allparts Technical Centre.

Allparts is a founder member of the UK Parts Alliance, the country’s largest group of independent distributors, which has over 120 distribution centres across the UK and a turnover in excess of £300 million.

Allparts recognises that it is the people in its business that make the difference. As part of their commitment to providing superior levels of service, the senior management team wanted to provide a professional development programme for all managers and staff.

Part of the preparation for the training involved visits by Spearhead Training to each distribution centre to fully understand the issues of the business. Some of the key observations were:

a) the fast pace of the business (customers receiving deliveries within an hour of placing an order)
b) the high level of energy required to make the business run effectively.

Allparts and Spearhead jointly developed a complete training programme as follows:

1. Roll-out to Senior Management
2. Management training for the Managers
3. Supervisory training for the Assistant Managers and Supervisors
4. Customer service training for the customer service staff
5. Sales training for the field sales staff

Training was rolled-out from the top down. The reasoning for this was to demonstrate that there was commitment from the very top of the organisation to the development programme. It was also to equip managers to be able to support their staff attending training courses and to help with the implementation of their staffs’ action plans. Input and support from senior management was an important part of the programme and each course was introduced either by the Managing Director or by a senior member of the management team.

In view of the fast pace of the business and the level of energy required, the outcomes of the training focused on practical actions to be implemented in the workplace. In addition, delegates received pre-course preparation packs so that they had the opportunity to prepare for the training and therefore utilise the training time effectively.

Each attendee also developed a post course action plan containing the key objectives that they would implement in the workplace. The ongoing actions are regularly reviewed to ensure the effects of the training are implemented in the workplace.

The training was well received at all levels. Regular reviews were held with the tutors to discuss the training delivered. In addition, internal reviews have been held with the management team to evaluate the effects of the training programme and the actual benefits in the workplace. As part on the ongoing review process, Allparts and Spearhead regularly check the outcomes of the training received, current needs of staff and the follow-up training required in order that further skills and knowledge can be applied as part of the continuous staff development programme and to further strengthen the company’s high standards of customer service.

Allparts continues to see strong business growth in a very competitive market.

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