UK Enterprise Awards 2018

SME NEWS / UK Enterprise Awards 2018 131 , Company: ABL (Redhill) Ltd Contact: Sue Morriss Address: 35 Homethorpe Avenue, Redhill, RH1 2NQ, UK Phone: 01737 770040 Website: Best Vehicle Repair Specialist - Home Counties Abl (Redhill) Ltd UKE18097 ABL Accident Repair Group is an innovative chain of car repair specialists supporting a range of clients. Sue Morriss, Managing Director, talks us through the company and the unique solutions it offers. our technicians so that most vehicles coming in to a 1 Touch Centre are repaired by 1 or 2 technicians. This encourages our valued technicians to take responsibility for their repairs and thus our repair quality and job satisfaction improves naturally. We have scrapped time saved bonus in all our bodyshops which always causes friction between our estimators and our technicians and replaced this with a profit share bonus to encourage the team to work together for the benefit of our customers and allows more than one technician to work on the vehicle as required by our customers. “Spotting the gap in the market, we presented the idea to one of our strategic partners in around 2013 and they were brave enough to support us in changing mindset. After several discussions and refinements, we eventually opened our first 1 Touch site in 2015. This insurance partner has supported us throughout and we have worked together to develop an efficient repair process which is scalable and customer focused. We now have five 1 Touch repair centres in Luton, Basildon, Reading, Sevenoaks and Redditch. They are around 5,000-6,000 sq. ft. mostly situated on retail parks. The aim is to give our customers a dealership experience in a bodyshop environment.” Today, both ABL and 1 Touch collectively undertake around 53 repairs a day and employs 168 staff. These staff are vital to the firm’s ongoing success, and as such Sue takes great pride in them and works hard to cultivate a supportive internal culture. “Finding the right people with the required skill set is one of our biggest challenges. ABL has invested in a training manager and a Training Academy to upskill technicians so that they are multi-skilled and trained in ABL’s processes. Our family ethos and cultural values are very important to us and therefore attitude and the ability to work as part of a team are as essential as skill level and we are happy to invest in as much training as required for the right person. To secure our workforce for the future, we have developed a future leader’s programme in order to be able to promote from within as much as possible as new opportunities arise.” This future leaders programme will be incredibly important over the coming years, as ABL has many plans for further growth and enhancement, Sue concludes. “With regards to the future, ABL’s board of directors have very ambitious growth plans which will offer us many exciting opportunities. We have agreed that we want to grow 100% in the next three years, so that means another five sites, and we are looking forward to opening these and sharing our expertise with even more clients over the years to come.” ABL Accident Repair Group and 1 Touch Repair have nine car body repair centres in the South and Midlands stretching from Portsmouth to Redditch. The head office is in Redhill, Surrey and five of the sites are fast track 1 Touch Repair Centres, which were launched in 2015. Sue discusses how far the firm has come over the years thanks to its collaborative approach and vast industry experience. “ABL Group began 23 years ago in a small bodyshop in Redhill. We moved in stages and by 2008 ABL was working in partnership with many of the top 10 insurers ; With support from our partners we opened a site in Portsmouth in 2010 and two years later another site in Kent. We have been fortunate in working with innovative and forward-thinking partners whose success helped give us resilience in the recessions.” Three years ago, the firm created 1 Touch, a visionary approach to body repair which has reshaped the entire process, as Sue is keen to highlight. “1 Touch is a new concept in vehicle body repair, which uses systems thinking to do away with the all the various separated departments within a bodyshop process. The repair process is to strip, panel, paint prep, paint, polish and refit. Having such a departmentalized process causes delays and can cause a lack of ownership. As such, we have invested in multi skilling