Friday 20 April 2018

'The motor industry is fast-paced, which is something I thrive on'

What's your own background?

I have worked in the motor industry for more than 15 years. I started out working for a major secondhand car importer and then moved to Motor Importers (BMW, Mitsubishi and Hyundai distributors at the time) in 1998.

I spent five years there working in different roles relating to aftersales, service advising and warranty. When the BMW group took over its Irish distribution in 2003, I moved across to head office and was responsible for aftersales and warranty.

In 2005 I started in Merrion Fleet Management and developed into my current role as head of the driver services department.

What does your job involve?

I am responsible for running the department that looks after our drivers on a day-to-day basis.

This involves ensuring that all drivers receive the highest level of service while at the same time controlling costs. A major part of my role is to negotiate contracts with our major suppliers to reduce costs.

What are the major concerns of the drivers you deal with in relation to their cars?

Reliability. Drivers want downtime to be kept to a minimum.

Some of our pro-active measures to ensure this happens are the scheduling of routine services and maintenance in advance. We then follow up with the driver the following day to ensure all the work was carried out to their satisfaction.

What are the most popular fleet cars at the moment?

We provide our clients with vehicle recommendations based on a whole-life cost analysis. This calculates the expected depreciation, maintenance (including road tax, tyres, replacement vehicle etc) and fuel costs based over a given term and mileage.

The manufacturers that are competitive in these areas are BMW, Volkswagen, Opel, Ford, Audi, Skoda and Toyota.

What do you most like about your job ?

The motor industry is a fast-paced environment which is something I thrive on.

My job is wide ranging and includes dealing with customers, suppliers, negotiating new contracts and introducing new processes.

With manufacturers constantly extending their range of technologies, every day brings a new challenge.

What's the most difficult part of your job?

Watching a lot of long-established dealers and service outlets close their doors due to the current economic environment.

If you could work in another industry, what would it be?

I would like to develop my languages, so maybe in an industry where I could apply another language, such as German.

If you had a limitless budget what would be your dream car?

BMW X5, elegant and yet practical, just like me!

olive keogh

Indo Motoring

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