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  Automotive Industry Skills

  #  CIP Programme

  #  Common Sense


  Happy Birthday!!!

  #  Saudi Arabia

  #  Process Management





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Saudi Arabia

A long term client of ours has experienced a very exciting new vehicle sales expansion over the past few years and this has put much pressure on the after-sales departments. So, they are undertaking a massive expansion programme, including building several new after-sales facilities.

Any expansion programme puts much pressure onto the existing management team as the expansion itself requires a great deal of attention whilst the existing facilities need greater than usual management support to ensure the increasing demand is responsibly met.

Thus, during the CIP visit we prepared a proposal suggesting the ways in which we could support the Group during this period to help ensure all the demands of the business are professionally met.

During the visit to Saudi (the first for a few years) we were surprised and impressed at the extent of development that is currently taking place in the country making some areas virtually unrecognisable.



Ian visited Dubai during the first half of June to coincide with Automechanika. It was a most successful visit and we had numerous meetings with a number of companies from the UAE and surrounding countries. It was good to absorb the fact that it seems that business is continuing to improve in the region as whole.


 Happy Birthday!!

This Autumn CIP celebrates its 20th Birthday. Over the past 20 years we have completed contracts in over 20 countries throughout the world ~ just over an average of 1 country per year!! And in that period we have completed an average of just over 5 projects per country ~ so not a bad average for a two-man-band, bearing in mind that many of those contracts lasted several months!!!!


CIP Programme

Through our many channels of information we understand that as new vehicle sales continue to improve, following the recession, pressure is being experienced by the after-sales departments trying to keep up with the increased demand. This is not surprising, but, before considering an expansion of facilities, wouldn’t it be prudent to ensure that the maximum potential is being achieved from your existing investment? This is one of the main benefits of the CIP Programme which is designed specifically to increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, increase employee loyalty and, consequently, to maximise your group profits. See some further details on the dedicated page on our website. And don’t miss out on our special ‘money back’ offer!

Common Sense

 Contributed by our Athens based associate, Peter Kerridge, FIMI

 Tomorrow is Now . . . Have you ever noticed how time flies?

 If you are in business properly, you must plan for the future; is there a proper way to do this?

 There is but some work without this plan, seeming to rely on money received on the day; others rely on their gut feelings!!

 In one country where I have worked you could buy some consumables, i.e. cigarettes, milk, papers, etc., or major items, in some cases receiving more change than correct and in others receiving no receipt or invoice. How do they reconcile at the end of each day or do they bother?

 No, for your own benefit, this cannot be the correct way, whatever the country, culture or size of purchase. Surely, when in business, the only way to work is to know that either you ARE covering your costs or that you are NOT covering your costs.

 However, to do this you must first know what your costs are and this is where it is essential to plan ahead because tomorrow is NOW and now maybe too late, as the bills and taxes are due and there’s no money to pay them!!

 Isn’t it common sense to plan ahead, even if it’s only to protect yourself? If you don’t plan ahead all, of a sudden tomorrow has arrived and it’s too late!

 This leads us into the subject of Process Management which follows.


 Process Management

 Contributed by our Athens based associate, Peter Kerridge, FIMI

 This is a condensed version of the complete Process Management Programme ~ contact us for further details.

 Identify the market

 First, establish the needs of the business and then of the culture, i.e. – is the product you are selling needed and is it in a dynamic society where everything is expected now and for the future? Or is it selling in a non-dynamic market where the clients or consumers need to be educated into buying the products or services? i.e. – identify the market forces. In order not to waste time, knowledge of the culture is very important in the search for fulfillment of the objective.

 In third world countries, they often rush to get the information from consultants, etc., and when they have it, they sometimes take forever to digest and assimilate before they take action, by which time the moment may have passed.


 Of course, in tandem with this knowledge, is the need for money. No business, unless financed in some way, can exist. No one company can continue to exist without money or credit and this is where contacts or influence are essential.

 Return on Investment (R.O.I.)

 In all cases, R.O.I. is the objective because no one will invest in a project or company unless they can see some personal gain. If a company is not well managed and regulated, where auditors follow well defined rules, how do the prospective investors, be they employees or shareholders, know if a company is going to have growth and pay a genuine dividend or not?


 Now we come to management. We have established the objectives and the needs, none of which is relevant unless we have management who are capable of comprehending and using this knowledge. They must research and plan for the now and the future and must have the support of the shareholders. After all, it is the shareholders that directly or indirectly select the management, be it a privately owned company or a P.L.C..

 Policies & Procedures

 Governments have a large part to play in forming a company’s policies and procedures. What is allowable and what is not allowable against tax?  Which expenses are justified is the decision of management. However, the rate of tax and tax allowances that should be applied to a particular company is the responsibility of the Chartered Accountant.

 Management Accounts

 The objective is to ensure that each department makes an Operating Profit. An O.P. is each department’s gross/net profit generated by the day to day activities of the company. This information is vital to the directors for forming the policies and procedures of the company. The clarity of these guidelines must be evident from the beginning so that the next part of the equation can be dealt with efficiently. The figures produced must be absolutely honest & accurate.


 Now, after the selection of the top management, the most important part of any company is the selection of staff at ALL levels.

 Job Descriptions

 Accepting that both management and peripheral services must be very capable, it is essential that the job descriptions are defined to include responsibilities, in order for management to manage and staff to know their parameters.


 Having covered the initial requirements of the project, we now come to the essence of the company’s requirements – the 5 P’s:        Personnel         Product             Premises          Price     Promotions

 For example, if you have the right product at the right price, selling from the right premises, with the right promotions, it could all go to pot if you don’t have the right personnel.

 The key to success is responsible personnel at ALL levels.


 It has been proved that the best form of advertising is through the services given at all levels ~ a smile is worth a fortune! Of course sometimes adverts are essential, eg. The opening of the company or a special drive for pre-holiday checks, etc. However, the expense can be kept to a minimum with good management.

 Human Resources

 Human resources and personnel development are an essential part of the development of an organically growing company.

 An overview

 In most cases, the people responsible for the ideas of a company are not necessarily the best people to run the company. Their entrepreneurial abilities are generally instinctive and once an idea has been developed, they move on to their next project. In this case, it is essential to employ the services of PROFESSIONAL managers who have the ability to make and define policy and secure the employment of the correct people to take the company forward.

 Business Planning

 Budgeting, and monthly management or operating accounts, are essential to the successful development of a company, whatever its size. For example, a sales manager who doesn’t know and understand the consequences of his actions is of no value to a company. Therefore, they must be trained to understand and appreciate the consequences of their actions.


AUTOMOTIVE Industry Skills Development Programme

As a result of discussions with European and Middle East Automotive Aftermarket SMEs, CIP management has become acutely aware of the need specific training for targeting profit optimisation and it is clear that, whilst franchised dealers have access to training provided by the Automotive Manufacturers, independent SMEs do not have access to such training.

We have discussed with our associate in the regions the need for a programme to address industry skills shortages both now and into the future.

In view of our expertise in this area we will be happy  to support independent Automotive industry retail workshops with a programme that focuses on optimising profit potential.

Such a process management system, focussing on profit potential is outlined below:


For any company to prosper in today's business climate it is vital that its operations are managed in a manner which ensures complete co-ordination between marketing, sales, production planning, purchasing, quality and production in line with International best practice which, in the current competitive environment, focuses on managing the whole process rather than individual departments. CIP identify what is needed to bring the company up to international levels and establish what are the appropriate strategies and systems needed, secure agreement to action plans and implement necessary action in accordance with the output as identified.

CIP Input

To be competitive in today's environment management at all levels must understand that everything they do has a cost and must be factored into the product price build up, and that cost analysis systems must be based on real time situations and by monitoring issues addressed in the development of the management team.

·        All staff must be included in the battle to eliminate waste and reduce non productive time through a Continuous Improvement Programme

·        It is no longer acceptable practice to simply mark up the cost of a product to achieve profitability – prices should reflect perceived customer value and therefore should be market driven

·        Good product brand image has considerable influence on product pricing levels

·        Team work enhances productivity and incentive schemes should be developed to encourage team work and pride in performance at all levels

·        A state of the art operation requires highly developed planning which, in itself, controls cost of time, materials and logistics

·        Business plans need to be fluid and action plans constantly reviewed and updated to improve efficiencies, eliminate waste, reduce cost and, most importantly, increase profitability

·        Good communications at all levels are a key factor in the success of any company in this changing world of high technology super highways, so staff should all be encouraged to improve their communication skills

·        The importance of the learning experience needs to be encouraged throughout any company so that everyone takes advantage of the investment in training and skills development

CIP will be happy to review this process with interested parties


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