Phil Lunn :
Select group takes guesswork out of finding expert help
Phil Lunn :
With an estimated £1.5 billion spent on consultants and outsourced workers across the retail motor sector, a figure expected to increase over the next few years, time spent trying to find reliable outside expertise is often a factor which dissuades businesses from getting consultancy assistance.
Originally initiated by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) as a forum for like-minded members of the IMI, the Motor Industry Consultant’s group (MICg) has developed in its own right into a significant industry network of over 40 independently verified consultants, trainers and experts. Every member of MICg has had their track record verified by the IMI and as members of the Institute, they are accountable to its ethical code of conduct.
A new concept for the automotive industry, MICg aims to be a point of reference for businesses in need of support, guidance and consultancy from professionals offering a diverse range of skills and expertise, whose track records have been checked by the Institute. A web-site has been set up by the IMI to enable the industry to search for expertise in over 30 different specialisms and the IMI also provides administrative support for the group’s meetings.
For the benefit of its members, the group shares case studies of best practice, debates key industry issues and provides new strategic thinking and an opportunity to develop new contacts. An ‘open forum’ for interested guests is also proving popular as a means of gaining knowledge through a regular series of seminars.
At the official launch of MICg at the Heritage Motor Museum, Gaydon, one of the guest speakers Adrian Brabazon, OEM and Franchised Workshop Marketing Manager, Castrol UK & Ireland, commented:
“We need the expertise of consultants to help deliver our programme of business solutions within the Castrol Professional brand. Credibility is the number one factor in appointing this support and we pride ourselves on employing only exceptional people in the role of a Castrol Professional consultant. Our business fully supports the Motor Industry Consultant group and going forward we aim to only use consultants from this network.”
Peter Turner, Chairman of Automotive Advantage, which works with a number of major manufacturers in the sector, said:
“There are some real changes taking place in our industry and MICg has a tremendous role in helping businesses improve public perceptions of the sector by working with integrity and professionalism underpinned by the Institute.”
In her guest presentation, Sarah Sillars, IMI Chief Executive, spoke of the Institute’s own work with some 20 consultants as a means of “sharing a common set of challenges and having the desired skills and experience to deliver a result for the IMI which has industry-wide benefits.”
“Good consultants manage their clients’ expectations and are crystal clear on what needs to be achieved and what they are accountable for. Verifying a person’s track record is very important process in determining whether a particular consultant is right for the business,” continued Sillars.
The MICg website is www.motor.org.uk/members/consultants