LV= GI Award Win for AW Repair Group

Proud winners at this years’ LV= GI Claims Partner Awards is AW Repair Group, just eight months after opening its first LV= Sole Supply site.

Scooping the award for Best at Living LV= Values demonstrates the true partnership between the two entities committed to providing a seamless service for motor policy holders.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “We have been working with LV= for many years but opening the sole supply site has allowed everyone at the Derby branch to focus wholeheartedly on the values and service this particular insurer strives to promote. This is another fabulous achievement for AW Repair Group.”

The award criteria was looking for supply partners across all sectors of their insurance portfolio (car, home, pet, travel) who demonstrated that they “Inspire Trust by being honest, credible and reliable; Be Brave by doing what’s right rather than what’s easy; With Heart by being passionate and proud and Nurturing by working together to achieve more.”

Branch Manager of the Derby Site Wayne Oakes was delighted. “This is a great accolade for the whole group and particularly here at Derby where the team really does work together as one to ensure we are an extension of the LV= brand to our mutual customer.

Added Group Operations Manager James Dunn: “I’m very proud to be at the forefront of this relationship and we are looking forward to taking this winning formula forward even further.”

The Best at Living LV= Value Award comes just a year after AW Repair Group won LV= GI Community Award at the 2018 ceremony.

Watch AW Repair Group’s recently released dynamic video celebrating their exclusive arrangement with Liverpool Victoria General Insurance (LV=GI)

AW Video Boasts LV= Dual Brand

AW Repair Group have released a dynamic video celebrating their exclusive arrangement with Liverpool Victoria General Insurance (LV=GI).

The group’s Derby location opened six months ago and repairs 35 vehicles a week solely for LV=GI customers at the dual branded site.

In the video, which features LV=GI’s Director of Motor Claims Brian Hodge and Network Manager Michael Golding, along with key AW personnel, Michael comments: “This is very unique to AW and I believe the industry as a whole. I believe it’s the dedication to the customer and the quality of work that they provide – that for us stands out from what we see in the industry. The good brand AW have been able to build over the years supports the LV= values very well.”

The dual-branded purpose designed bodyshop has the latest technological advances including skate & rail vehicle transfer system, PPG refinishing system, 10m drive-through Junair booth with QAD drying technology and full downdraught eliminating cross contamination, allowing multiple vehicles and off-panels to be painted different colours simultaneously optimising efficiency.

Commenting on the dual branding Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “From a customer point of view they definitely see the claim and repair journey as a true extension of their insurance purchase and insurer relationship. And by carrying out our part of the process efficiently this of course leads to brand loyalty.”

Since opening, the site has employed three multi-skilled apprentices to join seven more in the second intake for AW’s Training & Apprenticeship Academy. The academy now has 19 recruits across the group.

The addition of the Derby LV= Solus site boosted AW Repair Group’s annualised turnover to £17m.

AW Support National Apprenticeship Week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and what better way to recognise our commitment to developing and investing in young talent than introducing you to the latest intake into our Training & Apprenticeship Academy and sharing what they have been up to since joining AW Repair Group.

These ten students joined us in January, following the successful Showcase Event held at our purpose designed LV= solus site in Derby in November 2018. Their multiskilled college course is due to commence in two weeks at Emtec College, Nottingham.

The year one apprentices have been partnered with a skilled technician mentor and have had a rounded view of the whole repair process ahead of attending college. Each apprentice has been stripping cars ready for repair, removing items such as bumpers, interior trims, diagnostic sweep, wheel alignment and some light panel work.

The youngest apprentice in this year’s intake is 17 year old Thomas and the oldest is 23 year old Jamie. We also have 19 year old Artur, whose native tongue is Polish and 21 year old female apprentice technician Summer.

It’s an absolute pleasure speaking with our latest apprentices who are all grasping the opportunities before them and enjoying being part of the AW team.

One commented: “I’ve never felt like I ever fitted in anywhere. That made school difficult. But already I feel like I have a purpose here at AW and part of a team where I can make a difference and feel valued.”

Our year two students are also becoming an integral part of the AW team carrying out moderate repairs independently such as doorskin and quarter panel replacement. All eight passed their year one with flying colours and and are looking forward to the next stage in their career development.

AW strengthens Group Operations Team

AW Repair Group has made a new addition to its management team with the appointment of Ian Pearson as Group Operations Support Manager.

Ian joined the crash repair industry as a multi skilled apprentice in 1979 and leaned towards his forte as a panel technician. He progressed into management in 1998 holding several assistant and general manager positions.

He joined AW in 2007 as general manager of the Denaby South Yorkshire site and was later instrumental in setting up the Chesterfield site in 2014 which he has been running to date.

Ian, whose alternative career option was to become a maths teacher, has now joined the operational team as Group Operations Support Manager where his love of figures and statistics, combined with his wealth of industry experience, puts him in an excellent position to analyse best practice across all departments.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Ian into the ops team. His work will be wide ranging across the whole business providing support to the Operations Manager James Dunn. Ian has a wealth of knowledge and this was an obvious choice in our succession management programme.”

Added Ian: “I am ready to take on any challenge to improve processes and best practice. And I’m delighted to be the management mentor for our training and apprenticeship academy. Bringing new skill into the industry and guiding the development of our young people is very satisfying and a part of my own career that I recall very well.”

Ian’s position as General Manager at Markham Vale has been taken up by Johannes Hattingh who has been production manager since 2017 after joining the AW team three years earlier as an experienced prestige manufacturer trained MET technician.

TEN is the magic number

TEN new apprentices are now geared up ready to start their career with AW Repair Group.

Following the success of AW’s Apprentice Showcase Event in November, ten eager youngsters who attended the event have now been appointed and started on their apprenticeship journey.

The new recruits who, had been at their posts for just five days, recently gathered together to enjoy an introduction day at AW’s Nottingham site. They were able to meet each other, talk to last year’s apprentices and were introduced to the company’s ethos and philosophies by Managing Director Andrew Walsh.

“Key to key, cycle time and average repair cost are phrases you will come to hear frequently,” Andrew told the young people. “We spend the insurance company’s money for them so we have to spend it wisely. Our brand is well known and we protect it; we are proud of what we do and what we have achieved. You have been chosen to join the AW Apprentice Academy, it will be like joining a new big family, and given a great opportunity. Now it’s over to you.”

Ian Pearson, who will be administratively mentoring the apprentices within AW added: “You have been given tablets to record and evidence your progress and you will be creating a portfolio for each module. There’s a lot of change in this industry, we are now entering the hybrid era, with lots of opportunity and you have a great future here.”

Jake, Artur, Summer, Thomas, Jamie, Bradleigh, Hegert, Owen, Declan and Jacob will be working across the group’s 8 sites and follow on from the 2018 apprentice intake boosting AW’s Training and Apprenticeship Academy to 19 recruits.

The young people each received their corporate blue and orange uniform, personnel handbook and electronic tablet, AW branded satchel, plus the added bonus of tooling vouchers to get their beginner toolbox started.

James Dunn, Group Operations Manager for AW Repair Group: “It’s encouraging to see how many young people are interested in the vehicle repair industry, we have some really engaging and inspiring young people with us who are eager to learn and ultimately repair cars. Having provided each apprentice with a senior technician as their hands-on mentor, we are giving them all the support and guidance they need in order to succeed.”

The 18-20 year olds will be completing their multi-skilled apprenticeship at Emtec College, Nottingham, where they will have their own independent AW class, learning the disciplines of panel, paint and MET. The three-year course incorporates six 1-week training block release classes per year where the apprentices will learn elements of MET (Mechanical, Electrical & Trim) initially, followed by panel and finally paint.

“We invest in our apprentices and provide them with all the support they need to make it work and we are really looking forward to watching their careers progress and grow with AW and taking forward all the opportunities that arise,” added Andrew.

 

PPG support AW Apprentices

 

In November eight of our current apprentices who are following the multi-skilled apprenticeship route attended PPG training centre in Stowmarket for a two-day hands-on paint experience.

Our apprentices who range from 17-20 all found the day thoroughly enjoyable and all had great feedback from their experience.

“The day at PPG was great, we were allowed to manipulate the paint process by applying too much and not enough which really helped us see how to do it properly” said Charlie, year two apprentice at AW Nottingham.

The PPG technical team moved through topics such as how is paint made and the PPG Core Product list to help our apprentices understand the background and why certain processes are in place.

Plenty of practicals took place over the two days including; sanding of panels and understanding the correct application of filler to ease the primer application, preparation of panels for the application of Basecoat and Clearcoat, masking and blending techniques and the hardest of them all, three stage pearl application.

Josh, year two apprentice at AW Newark commented: “This experience really has opened my eyes to the world of paint, I was really enjoying the panel aspects but I already can’t wait to get into the paint shop back at Newark to see what else I can do.”

A huge thank you to PPG for hosting our apprentices over those 2 days.

Working in partnership with Ben

 

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Ben, the independent charity which is dedicated to providing life-changing care and support services to the people working in the automotive industry. Not only can this support you, but your family dependents also.

What Ben do
Ben provides information, advice, guidance and managed referrals (where appropriate) to their partner organisations which include debt advisors and mental health charities. Funding may also be provided for counselling, home adaptions or short breaks for families dealing with life-limiting or terminal illness and immediate help for those in crisis.

What is Ben
Ben is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with the automotive industry to provide support for life to its people and their family dependents. The charity focus on the four main pillars of peoples’ health and wellbeing: financial, physical, mental and social.

Who Ben help
Everyone who currently works or has in the past worked in the automotive industry can access their confidential, free support services for themselves and their family dependents. Their depth of knowledge and holistic approach helps protect the automotive industry’s most valuable asset – its people.

Most recently we supported ‘HatsOn4Ben’ where we put on some fancy hats to raise the profile of the charity.

Click here to view Ben’s website

 


 

 

Dynamic video captures AW’s buzzing Apprentice Showcase

AW Repair Group has released a dynamic video of highlights from their recent Apprentice Showcase.

The company welcomed more than 100 people who enjoyed a fully immersive and hands on experience of a modern high tech bodyshop.

Hopeful apprentices, including four young women, tried their hand at paint spraying, filler application, virtual welding, spot welding and sanding.

“It was a superbly successful event,” said Managing Director Andrew Walsh. “We have already progressed 14 young people to the next stage of one-to-one interviews. It was great to see our current year one apprentices demonstrating their skills and I was so impressed with how they articulately shared their enthusiasm for their job and the industry with our visitors.”

The showcase, supported by AutoRaise, BEN, LV=GI, Emtec College and numerous supply partners, was held at the group’s latest site in Derby with some keen youngsters travelling from the furthest site in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Bob Linwood, CEO of AutoRaise, said: “This is a unique way to show how the modern bodyshop operates. This particular event has been well organised and the young people are engaged and focussed and see the benefits of an apprenticeship, earning while they learn, and can see the bodyshop industry is a career for life.”

Added James Dunn, Group Operations Manager: “Hopefuls had pre-registered for either the morning or afternoon session and rotated through the demonstrations and experiences but by lunchtime they were so enthused by what was on offer the morning attendees wanted to stay for longer!

“Each group was chaperoned by AW volunteers from across the whole group and a variety of job roles to ensure everyone’s questions were answered fully.”

Jade Johnson, AW Business Relations: “We can’t thank all the supply partners enough for their support – PPG, LKQ, Upol, Accident Exchange, Soper of Lincoln, Car-o-Liner, PowerTec, Stanners – the demonstrations were informative, hands on and really engaged the young people. The smiles on their faces say it all – the whole place was buzzing.”

The Apprentice Showcase video can be viewed on our YouTube channel by clicking here

AW open site eight in an exclusive arrangement with LV= GI

AW Repair Group is delighted to announce the opening of site number eight in an exclusive arrangement with LV= General Insurance (LV= GI), taking the company’s annualised turnover to £17m.

The 12,000sq ft facility is located in Derby on the Ascot Business Park adjacent to the group’s recently opened Derby Fast Finish Centre.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “We are very proud to be working in partnership with LV= GI as a solus site covering Derby and the surrounding areas. While this is a new style of venture for AW Repair Group we have a long relationship with LV= GI and a new team who are excited to be working together to achieve excellent results.”

The site, formerly occupied by an electronics company, has been refurbished & branded to create a state of the art environment with efficiency at its heart including another 10m drive-through Junair booth with skate and rail system, QADs and full downdraught to eliminate cross contamination when painting multiple vehicles using PPG refinishing system.

Chris Payne, Networks and Engineering Manager at LV= GI added: “We’re delighted to appoint AW Derby as a solus site, having worked with Andrew and his team for nearly 10 years. Our companies’ ethos and philosophies are well aligned and Andrew is always keen to push the boundaries to improve ways of working.”

Manager of the site Wayne Oakes has worked for AW Repair Group for over 7 years in three previous sites in procurement, as a production manager and previously as a VDA – where he worked under James Dunn who is now AW’s Group Operations Manager.

“I really enjoy being part of AW as the company continues to evolve and taking on the first solus site is a great privilege,” said Wayne. “I have a great team here, many joining us from other AW branches, who are all very focussed and dedicated to quality repair and customer experience.”

The Derby site is also equipped with Car-O-Liner jig and Car-O-Tronic measuring system, mid-riser lifts, Nitrogen plastic welding, PowerTec Miracle Pull system, 12 module integral Minden dust extraction with three phase, eco-friendly radiant heating and 1000 LUX LED lighting throughout.

AW would like to thank everyone involved and to the dedicated team of usual contractors who brought the project in on time once again.

Multibooth centrepiece at AW Derby

Monday (6th August) marked the opening of AW Repair Group’s second Fast Finish Centre.

AW Fast Finish Centres (Derby) is a state of the art repair centre specialising in triaged small to medium repairs and cosmetic damage supported by the group’s accident repair centres in the area.

The 6,000 sq ft advanced bodyshop is located on Longbridge Lane, Ascot Business Park, Derby, two miles from the City Centre and less than one mile from Pride Park.

Managing Director Andrew Walsh said: “Our Fast Finish concept is attracting much interest for direct work steams as well as a triage process to minimise cycle times. We are very much looking forward to working with the new Junair three-way multibooth. This is the next step on from the tried and tested skate and rail double length booth which we have already had great success with at our Nottingham site.”

Along with other rapid repair processes and multi skilled technicians working as a team the Fast Finish Centre will provide the fastest possible cycle time for minor damage triaged by AW’s Central First Response team.

Other facilities include a dedicated area for alloy wheel repair with Wheel Blast Unit and Wheel Lathe, Nitrogen Plastic welding technology, PowerTec Miracle Pull Repair Systems, PPG low energy Compact system, integral Minden Dust Extraction, mid-riser lifts, 1,000Lux LED lighting and radiant heating providing a quality working environment.

The site will also employ an onsite VDA and Customer Liaison Advisor.

AW Repair Group was last month listed in the London Stock Exchange 2018 directory of 1,000 companies to Inspire Britain and its Nottingham site has been shortlisted in the final three of Bodyshop Magazine’s Medium Bodyshop of the Year.