Tuesday, 5 November 2019

From field to your plate - Why do we only fit parts we supply?

You'd be forgiven for mistaking the above as a picture from space, but if you live in rural Herefordshire you will have identified it as a humble Potato. This actual one was leftover from the recent harvest of the field behind my house in Kingsland, but I would like to use it demonstrate some very important points for garage businesses like ours at www.oldfieldsgarage.co.uk.

Occasionally we get asked by customers if we would fit a part they have supplied and we have to explain that we don't fit customer supplied parts and this blog is intended to highlight some of the main reasons why. 

The right suppliers. We carry out a lot of work behind the scenes to carefully select suppliers who provide us with the right level of service at the right price and the quality of parts that meet and exceed the job requirements. We work with those suppliers to enable us to receive brilliant levels of service. Did you know that we have 20 + deliveries a day from just a handful of key suppliers? In some cases parts are sourced and available same day from over 60 miles away. If we don't support these suppliers, they won't be here in years to come. 

Traceable. Now I know where the above Potato is from, but it's very rare for us to trace exactly where things we consume are from. Imagine if that Potato was plastic? Our parts are sourced through a traceable supply chain so we know they aren't fake. Fake parts are becoming more prevalent and this can result in placing you, your family or your vehicle at risk of being unsafe or potentially causing unnecessary damage. 

The right parts. Our suppliers have invested £££s in systems that help minimise parts being sent incorrectly. We're all human and parts can be supplied incorrectly. Sometimes this is our fault. Sometimes this is our suppliers fault. Sometimes this is a manufacturers fault. The end result however, is that it's down to us to try and resolve. If we do have issues, we spend the time working with them to resolve the issue at no additional cost - sometimes this can take hours of time. 

Good old fashioned customer service. Parts issues are usually resolved the same day with minimum disruption to our customers. Where they can't be resolved the same day you will be kept informed and up-to-date with progress with a likely timescale. Subject to availability, we may even be able to offer a courtesy car to keep you mobile. 

Parts and labour warranty. When we fit parts we provide a minimum 12 months, 12,000 miles warranty against manufacturing defects. This includes parts AND labour. Our chosen suppliers often support us with parts warranty and also contribute towards the labour aspect and we pay for the remainder. We accept that where there is a shortfall that it is ultimately down to us to resolve. 

Investing in our future. Finally, we need to make a profit on parts. As a family business with the second generation now leading the way, we'd really like to be here for years to come. This isn't unusual or a terrible thing, every business needs to make a profit to be able to grow, invest in tooling, equipment, training & employ people from the local area. With profit we pay taxes, support local school and community events and ultimately put ourselves in a position to survive. 

Selling parts is a by-product of the work we carry out. Whilst we work with suppliers to ensure our monthly £££ spend means we benefit from trade prices, we realise that in some cases we are not able to supply parts at the same price as you'd buy online. 

Think about the cost of a Potato and then how much you pay for your meal. You wouldn't take this Potato to your local chip shop now would you? The same scenario can be applied to pretty much any business. 

I hope this explains why we only fit parts we supply, if you'd like to understand more please get in touch with me. 

Thanks for reading, Tim

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Oldfields Hire fleet expanded to 9 vehicles...

When we started hiring our VW Camper Van in 2017, we didn't envisage how much the Oldfields Hire part of our business would change! Jim Melia Car & Van Rentals retired and Bengry Motors were sold and Self-drive Vehicle Hire didn't sit within how they operate their business so we decided to add to what we offered.

We sold the Camper Van earlier this year (to the son of one of our long-standing customers) and the portfolio of vehicles has changed significantly! We may no longer offer Camper Van Hire, but we have 3 cars (with a couple more stand by options), 1 minibus and 5 vans!

Car Hire:
Dacia Sandero (2019)
Fiat 500X (2016)
Peugeot 108 (2017)

8-seat Minibus Hire:
Ford Tourneo Custom (2015)

Van Hire:
VW Caddy (2012) Small Van
Vauxhall Movano (2014) Medium Wheel Base Van, Semi High Top with Air conditioning
Renault Traffic (2014) Long Wheel Base, with Air Conditioning and Sat Nav
Renault Master LWB (2015) Large Van, Semi High Top
Citroen Relay Luton Van with Tail lift (2013)

For pricing details visit www.oldfields-hire.co.uk or to enquire about availability call 01568 612436

Friday, 1 March 2019

System Changes = Customer Service Improvements

We've spent the last few months evaluating how our management system works for our business and how effective it is at providing information for our customers.

After 10 years using MAM Software, we've decided to move over to TechMan in the coming month, which will result in some immediate improvements for our customers.

✔️ One system that helps us manage time, customer information and job notes
✔️ Text/Email reminders for Service and MOT
✔️ Text/Email booking confirmations
✔️ Text/Email reminders for bookings the day before you are due in
✔️ Easily understandable Vehicle Health Checks & Service Check Sheets that are printable, email-able and can include photos

Please bear with us while we implement these improvements, we're sure they will be worth the wait

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Oldfields Hire, Leominster

We've now added self-drive vehicle hire to the services we offer. We have an 8-seat Minibus, Caddy Van, Long-Wheel Base Renault Master and a Luton Van with Tail lift along with a Fiat 500X Car.

We will be looking to add to our list of vehicles as time goes on.

To enquire about availablility call 01568 612436 or visit our Hire webpage www.oldfields-hire.co.uk

Monday, 28 May 2018

MOT changes - New Items that come into the MOT test from May 2018

May 20th 2018 was an important date in the world of MOT testing as it brought some of the most significant changes to the MOT in recent times. 
Below are a list of the items that are now tested in the MOT. 
  • brake fluid contamination
  • additional braking device performance
  • daytime running lamps
  • front fog lamps
  • reversing lamps
  • bumpers
  • prop shafts
  • all rear drive shafts
  • cab security
  • cab steps
  • floors
  • passenger hand grips (quads and heavy trikes only)
  • noise suppression material
  • undertray security
  • emission control equipment:
    • oxygen sensor
    • NOx sensor
    • exhaust gas recirculation valve
    • other emission control equipment
  • engine malfunction indicator lamp
  • diesel particulate filter (DPF) tampering
  • fluid leaks - engine, transmission and so on

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

MOT Category Changes

May the 20th sees some major changes to the MOT testing system and the MOT test itself. Here is the first short explanation of one of the changes that are coming...

Firstly the update sees a change in the categories of "Pass, Fail & Advise." The principles are the same, but the new categories are as follows (with a summary of what it means):

Item resultWhat it means about the itemHow it affects the MOT result
DangerousA direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment.
Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired.
MajorIt may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.
Repair it immediately.
MinorNo significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.
Repair as soon as possible.
AdvisoryIt could become more serious in the future.
Monitor and repair it if necessary.
PassIt meets the minimum legal standard.
Make sure it continues to meet the standard.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Customer Reminder Improvements

We are delighted to have made some improvements to our free MOT and Service reminder service.

Our customers will now receive an automated text message 30 days before your MOT expiry and then a final reminder 7 days before your MOT expiry date. We will also receive a Service reminder 14 days before your annual service.

To ensure you are able to receive timely reminders, please provide us with your mobile number by contacting us. If you have changed your mobile number since you were last in with us, please also let us know.