New branch manager Mark Woolley-Goodson explained how the culture within The Parts Alliance has ensured a seamless and successful start to branch life
GSF Southend is now open, and the Essex-based branch is delighted with how business is started, thanks in no small part to the work of The Parts Alliance and the support the group has provided them.
Mark Woolley-Goodson has a wealth of experience in the automotive industry; after beginning the new venture with GSF Southend in January 2019, the branch is already enjoying veritable success.
With the area around Southend not previously covered well, Mark saw a perfect opportunity to improve the service offering in the area. He explained: “We needed to go and see our potential customers and educate them on the brand.
“Since then, we’ve found a pricing structure that provides the OE (original equipment) products customers want at prices that are competitive with aftermarket parts supplied by rivals.
Move to OE products
“People have been choosing OE with GSF for its parts range and availability, and that’s something I’ve immediately noticed being a part of The Parts Alliance.”
The work ethic and culture of the group to deliver what branches want and need has surprised Mark, and it’s exactly what GSF Southend needed to hit the ground running. He noted: “I can’t fault The Parts Alliance.
“The way in which they approach and engage with you is really positive and completely different from anything I’ve ever worked in.
“They want to support us and have provided us with some great promotions early on to ensure we deliver.”
As well as the support, Mark was buoyed by the growth of The Parts Alliance. He said: “It’s great to see the direction they’re going in.
Best in the country
“They’re moving on very quickly.
“The people are great – really friendly, and that is the secret to their success.”
The new branch already calls upon 12 members of full-time and agency staff and utilises four vans, in a mixture of sales, driving and warehouse roles.
Emerging product trends
Local popularity has been so strong that Mark is already spotted some emerging trends in the local market. He revealed: “We’ve had quite a lot of high end demand so far, and that has led Brembo discs and Milwaukee products selling particularly well.
“We’ve already got a reputation as being the best provider locally for quality OE parts and these products reflect this.”
Despite the branch’s relative infancy, demand has already been strong, and has been driven by the customers themselves, showcasing the need for a quality, cost-effective parts distributor in the south Essex area.
Dominating the area
Although ambitious, Mark is aware that he wants to cement a good reputation with existing customers before branching out too far. He explained: “A lot of business has been coming from the customer end, as they’ve heard of us, but we want to be reserved and not overpromise and underdeliver for existing customers.
“In time, I want to dominate our corner of Essex.
The Parts Alliance as a group has been key to the branch’s quick acclimatisation.
Staff have been trained in group systems, and existing group processes have supported the immediate ability of the branch to deliver.
The branch manager said: “When you’re completely new, you shadow an existing branch to learn about basic routines and systems, which helps me train staff at our branch.
“My staff are then led around the system alongside constant support from The Parts Alliance.”
The Parts Alliance is set to announce several other branch openings throughout 2019.