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2023, what a year it’s been!

Wednesday 27th December 2023

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As we head towards 2024, I’m really not sure where to start with my review of 2023, because it’s been one of our best yet!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to our customers for entrusting us with their vehicles, year after year. Our team try really hard to provide the best experience possible and this is shown through our customer satisfaction NPS score again being 94 for the entire year from 664 customer surveys – a staggering number in NPS terms because it goes from -100 to 100. While 95.8% of our 664 customers are “Very Satisfied” with us overall, we don’t get everything right and we’ll all be working hard to continue to develop, improve where we can and most importantly maintain the high levels of service we aim for.

Our team have done brilliantly in terms of industry recognition again this year, as Oldfields were shortlisted for 3 national awards finals. Automechanika “Garage of the Year”, Independent Garage Association “Community Engagement” and for the second year running “Top Garage.” This year we WON Top Garage 2023. Reaching any final in a national competition is an amazing achievement for the team and for us to actually win the most prestigious award in the country for our category is fantastic recognition. We’ve just been told we’ve reached another shortlist for February next year, so we’ll be looking to continue this progress into 2024.

We’ve continued to develop our Team with Chris gaining EV & Hybrid Level 3, Sam becoming an MOT tester and Katie attending The Road to Technical Service Advisor training at Tech Topics. We’ve also introduced two team staples to our month, BBQ Friday and Chippy Friday – it’s been so well received, it happens even when I’m not there.

We continue to contribute to the local community sponsoring Leominster in Bloom again, supporting the Food Bank and St Michaels Hospice as our Christmas Donation in lieu of cards and we’ve continued to support Luctonians Rugby Club, this time by agreeing to be Main Sponsors of the Female Team, Luctonians Vixens for the next 3 year years as they entered their first competitive league season. I’ve really enjoyed going down to support them, they are a great bunch and are developing and improving quickly!

It’s not all been positive though, Andy who has been our main MOT tester for nearly 10 years retired, a little earlier than expected and primarily due to health concerns. I hope he is able to enjoy his retirement; spend time on his hobbies and with family when he can.

Personally, I’ve had a lot of opportunities this year. I’ve been able to support some brilliant charities with some amazing friends. Five of us hiked a Marathon in the Wye Valley for Macmillan, raising nearly £5500 and over 50 of us hiked a challenging route through the Peak District for BEN – The Automotive Charity raising over £12,000. I’ve also Run as Santa with my family and friends for St Michaels Hospice. Next year will be interesting because I’ve agreed to do another hike and I will also be able to complete an ambition of mine to run the London Marathon with my friend Gareth, receiving a place through BEN – The Automotive Charity. We’ve already started fundraising and are sitting at just over £7000 between us, just in case here’s a blatant plug for sponsorship > Tim’s London Marathon Sponsorship

I’ve been invited to speak at several Automotive Industry event’s through the year The Blend Conference, Schaeffler RepXpert Academy Live and Automechanika to name a few along with visiting and working with some brilliant companies and organisations in the Automotive Aftermarket to help provide a garage perspective on the industry. I was able to attend the F1 British Grand Prix in possibly the best seats on the circuit and a Palmersport Racing Day thanks to the LKQ Euro Car Parts and I had the opportunity to visit the HQ and some production facilities of Original Equipment supplier Schaeffler, finding out about their history, quality processes and production scale in Germany, along with Sinatec in the Netherlands to understand their concept for consumables and how this will work in the UK.

I want to finish by thanking our suppliers who have been integral to our business development and of course our amazing team, without them none of this would have been possible. Let’s look forward to 2024 and the opportunities it will bring – we’ll see you on the 2nd January!

Best wishes, Tim