Spartan Motor Factors

Origins

The main motivations in starting the business were based on the assumption that garage customers were not receiving a high standard of customer service. Existing motor factors were frequently providing a slow service and poor quality parts. Spartan’s philosophy was that by embracing technology and training staff appropriately, service levels in the industry could be raised thus improving the reputation of independent garages. There are major barriers to entry in the industry such as the superior buying power of national competitors, the reluctance of suppliers to offer credit terms to new businesses, the large stock holding (ideally over 200,000) needed to compete, and the investment needed in IT infrastructure. Despite all these the factors, the biggest challenge has been persuading some garages that Spartan can provide a suitable level of service and offering the reassurances needed to just get them to try.

Success Factor

The key success factors have been investment in staff, technology and processes to ensure accuracy and minimise errors; fostering a personal relationship with customers ensures that any issues or problems are openly discussed and resolved quickly; and access to excellent support in terms of advice, finance and infrastructure through being part of the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme.

The Future

The opening of a central distribution hub in 2019 will enable the firm to turbo charge its growth over the next five years due to creating a completely new and unique business model within the industry. The size and structure of the hub has enabled the creation of a partnership programme with key suppliers which now enables it to provide unrivalled levels of support to its branch network and ultimately the customer. The aim is to offer national coverage within five years with up to 100 branches throughout Wales and England with plans for a training academy in 2020 which will provide courses on emerging technologies such as hybrid engines to mechanics across the south of the UK, and plans are currently being worked upon to open an export department in the latter half of next year.