New car marketNewsDealerprofileUsed car analysisInsight:RecruitmentPeugeot UKNewsdigestNew carnewsour brands and our geography."Vindis was told in a recent VW Group meeting in Milton Keynes that they thought he ran more pilot schemes for the German brands than the RAF.He said: "If there's an opportunity to be involved in a new project I will put my hand up because that's my thought process on business."My ethos is to challenge perceived wisdom because I think all too often in this industry we don't."Vindis believes the targets the group has been set are realistic within the brands the business represents.He said: "There are potential derivative challenges within that, but the overall mix I'm comfortable with."All of Vindis's showrooms are split, so it put them in a good position when block exemption regulations (BER) change next year.VW has decided not to terminate its dealer network as part of its preparations for a general BER. There are criteria in place that have to be met by May 1, including showroom size and capacity demands.He said: "It's been a fairly refreshing and less Continues"My ethos is to challenge perceived wisdom"Jamie Vindis, Vindis Groupreally ask for more in terms of the support we get."There are always occasions when there is a conflict. But it's all about how you respond to that conflict that defines you and your business."Vindis takes his brand relationships very seriously.He said: "I feel that if we as a network and a group are honest but thoughtful in what we're trying to achieve, then generally the brands respond to that."The German brands are ahead of anyone else in terms of what they're looking for from their network partners. But the important thing to recognise is that when those things are in place, they are the right thing for the business. They can feel on occasions challenging, but they're there for a reason and they're there to strengthen us as a business and as a network."If you're driving the volume and the return then it's worth it. At the moment we've been very fortunate with
Dealer profile Vindis Grouptraumatic for us than for some of the guys that have received written terminations or been given notice."We're ahead of most standards anyway. There are a couple of sites we're looking to develop further to give us more space."It has redevelopment plans for its Audi Northampton site which could be a new Audi Terminal corporate identity building.Customer serviceHaving a strong portfolio of brands is only one crucial element in creating as successful dealer group. Another essential is customer service.Vindis said: "Customer service is my all. A lot of businesses would say that, but what do you actually do operationally within your business to deliver that?"We work intensively with all our staff to give them a voice to feel valued and I believe that's the starting point for them to deliver a service."Vindis has the business mantra "help yourself, help us and help your customers".Vindis is aware it's easy to pay lip service to delivering an experience, but that culture has to be embodied ContinuesIf Apple makes it, Vindis has it. Jamie Vindis loves technology and brings that into his work life. He said: "Nearly everyone has an iPhone or a smartphone and iPads and yet we don't build them into how we operate."Vindis ran a VW pilot in 2011 based on the digital showroom, an interactive platform where customers walk in, configure cars and see features of products via iPads. Product is drawn out graphi-cally and animated. There are 15 iPads throughout the showroom, sales executives have one each and then each of the cars in the showroom has one too.He said: "Apple products are so well designed people can't help but play with them. We're trying to work that into every aspect of our business. We started it with the VW concept which is being rolled out, but I want to move that into everything we do."Vindis wants dealer management systems, all interaction and the systems that sit behind them in the showroom to be more engaging and more relevant for staff and customers.He said: "There are loads of systems that bolt on to The iPhone generationwithin the business to make it work.He said: "Culturally I have to thank my grandfather, my father and my uncle for that. They're the ones that have set the scene over 52 years for that to still be the way we work today. I care about how we treat people because that's the longevity of our busi-ness."Recruitment processCustomer facing members of staff, from hosts to sales execs, service advisers and managers, are recruited by an assessment centre. The group holds assess-ment days where the manage-ment team sits down with 40 potential candidates.Vindis said: "Every single member of staff comes through that. It's not just about skills sets; it's about personality and group dynamics. It's not an hour interview. I need a day of your time. If you're successful I will train you, coach you and develop you like no other business will."That's where our ethos starts with the setting of that expectation from the recruitment process."As a result of Vindis' recruitment process, staff turn-over is below 10%.Vindis has three of the top 30 VW sites in the UK and "We work intensively with our staff to give them a voice to feel valued"