Showing resilience

Pandemic Lessons Learned

By Martin Hill, Group, Director Of Strategic Partnerships

Almost 19 months have passed since the initial UK lockdown for COVID-19. The impact was commonly referred to as ‘unprecedented’, and for the motor industry and support services, such as those provided by the AutoProtect Group, this was unarguably true.

Reflecting upon how the dealer community survived, the case studies in this feature reveal a series of approaches were embraced. In common are resilience and an agility to pivot longestablished business models. Dealers moved to embrace digitisation rapidly and became leaner.The broad but not universal result was that whilst turnover may have dipped, profits rose.

Agility in action meant changes in sales, service and the customer experience. The initial and noticeable difference was the shift to online and home delivery and then, as premises re-opened, a move to omnichannel retailing. Optimising assets was another common thread; reviews of real estate/premises, changes (in part forced by stock shortages) in inventory management and for some, a re-evaluation of staffing both in
numbers and in roles.

Against the background of urgency were moves to better collaboration. Working with dealers through successive lockdowns and the rapid changes it has brought across the AutoProtect Group, we are working more closely than ever before with dealers. Closer collaboration is helping us to accelerate product development and the creation of our new digital platform. Crucially, it has enabled us to have different conversations  about the developing role of added products in enhancing customers’ journeys, trustbuilding, retention and customer lifetime value.

Good habits are formed in bad times. Nobody wanted the pandemic, but the business models, digitisation, collaboration and ultimately, increased profi ts are outcomes that have seen the sector evolve successfully.

To read the full story, please click HERE.