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Countdown to CARS2016

CARS2014
This is our world and CARS2016 will bring it all together - so we can make new contacts and find new ways to make more out of our products.
It’s only a fortnight away and atfPro editor, Chris Floate tells us what he’s looking forward to at this year’s show.


Where to start; if you’ve been to CARS before, then you’ll have an idea of what to expect but what always amazes me is the unexpected. Being editor, I tend to hear about developments in the industry pretty quickly, especially on the machinery and services side but there’s always that something that I wasn’t aware of. Might be a new piece of kit, a new way of extracting that extra couple of quid out of the hulks, or maybe a new or improved bit of software that makes listing easier or track prices of competitors better.
A chance to find new business
One stand I’m looking forward to visiting is AFF Vehicle Services. This is a relatively new company specialising in salvage direct from the insurance industry. The men behind AFF are Bruce Compton and Ben Demetriou. They are doing what I feel many others in the industry should be doing. They have booked a stand at CARS so that they can make some new contacts and build the business; that’s what CARS is about, not just looking but being there. As Bruce put it, "we are looking forward to meeting existing and new contacts to discuss the many business opportunities that the salvage industry has to offer" - I do like positive people. The markets are not the best but there’s always an angle if you dig deep enough!
Finding ways to improve profits
One person I am really looking forward to meeting is Steve Tapner from Australia who is presenting at CARS this year. You may be aware of him from the articles he has written for atfPro, looking at how best to use technology to make your business better. Easy to overlook this and underestimate the value of information but Steve’s the guy to talk to, and I’m looking forward to it.
A workshop not to be missed
All the workshops are something to get excited about. Last year, the workshop on the ARA’s quality system impressed me. It was well presented and easy to follow. If more of us used a set standard, then not only would we have better control and understanding of our stock, but trade outlets would have something they can work to, rather than hit or miss on quality, depending who you buy from. No wonder this market has never grown to its true potential.

This year we have a workshop on delivery issues and the problems associated with sending parcels. Two presenters are lined up; Jason Bishop from FAB and David Goodlife from Partspeed. FAB has set up their own national delivery for those troublesome parts and hopefully we shall find out what they do to keep their return rate the lowest in the country. Anyone who knows David Goodlife will be aware that he is a forward thinking guy who operates his business in a unique way, selling everything through the net. If anyone has some good ideas, David will. The workshop takes place from 11.00am to 12.00pm on the Thursday so make a date for it. There will be plenty of time to ask questions and talk about the issues after the two presentations.
Old friends and new contacts
This is so much what CARS is about. So many people you talk to throughout the year but only get the chance to catch up, eye to eye at places like CARS. I am sure I’m not the only one who has made many friends in the industry over the years and it’s just so good to meet up. And what about all the people and businesses you bump into that may offer new opportunities and friendships for the future - I don’t want to miss that.

Don’t forget the Gala Dinner on the Wednesday evening. You need a couple of beers to keep the mouth going after so much talking and joking. If you haven’t booked a ticket then do it soon. If might seem a bit steep at £75+vat but it sounds like a good night and you can always claim it against tax! It’s also a great opportunity for companies who sell to the industry to treat some of their good customers as a way of saying thank you.

I could go on and on as there is so much to see and do over the two days. If you haven’t registered yet, do it here for free. Meet you all there.

July 2016

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