GroupTyre partners with S&B Motors

GroupTyre partners with S&B Motors

PMM’s Freya Coleman sat down with Sean and Natalie from S&B Motors in Watford find out about how the independent car wholesaler GroupTyre has bolstered their business.

Just down the road from the PMM offices. I arrived at S&B motors, a family-run independent garage and Bosch car service centre. I was greeted by Natalie Morton-Boyce and Sean Regan, two of the eight members of staff. It was clear from the off that they run a well-oiled machine of a garage, with other technicians hard at work and phones going off constantly – a sound I am sure is familiar to many of our readers.

Consisting of six bays, the garage offers MOT tests, electrical vehicle repairs, servicing, tyres and new exhausts.

Once pleasantries were exchanged, we began to discuss the realities of running a workshop. Like many garage owners, Sean expressed concerns about the speed at which cars are evolving and how the garage has “always tried to evolve with the new technologies and equipment”, especially concerning diagnostics and EV training.

One philosophy both Natalie and Sean both subscribe to was never wanting to turn customers away. According to the pair, this can involve “investing in your business but not necessarily using that investment straight away”. I believe this to be something many garages can adopt; staying ahead of trends to increase customer base.

I was extremely happy to hear that one of the ways they try to keep up with trends in the industry is through trade magazines, which they say help them understand what to invest time and money in next.

It was also clear to see how both members of staff appreciate the value of tyres, with Sean emphasising that they are “the only thing between the car and the road” and so it is essential they are safe and in good condition.

We also spoke in detail about the importance of using excellent quality, branded tyres as they are quieter with better grip. On top of this, we discussed the importance of communicating this to your customers, so they know what they are paying for and what is best for their vehicle.

Sean joked about how many customers come in looking for ‘mid-range’ tyres but these simply do not exist, and he even lamented about a customer who was over the moon about buying a second-hand tyre (from somewhere else) for so cheap before Sean pointed out how worn it was.

He added that around 98 per cent of the tyres they fit are from premium brands, most of which they order in from GroupTyre, who also provide the garage with accessories.

GroupTyre partners with S&B Motors

Relationship with Grouptyre

GroupTyre claim to be the UK’s leading independent tyre wholesaler, offering a comprehensive one stop shop for tyre retailers. They stock well-known brands like Continental and Goodyear, enabling you to save storage space in your workshop – only having the tyres you need in order to serve your customers. S&B Motors has been working with GroupTyre for at least 14 years, receiving deliveries of between five and 20 tyres twice a day, with the company also collecting their scrap tyres.

Both Natalie and Sean spoke highly of the speed and cost of the service and the easy-to-use online portal, allowing their staff to easily order tyres online. This online portal allows the garage to keep those previously mentioned phone lines open for customers.

They can also easily ring up the wholesaler if there are any delays in the orders and they are always willing to comply – after all, traffic is something we only wish we could control. Each of GroupTyre’s trucks have trackers on them, so anyone you enquire with on the phone will know where your delivery is and when to expect it.

Despite not spending as much as some of their other customers, Natalie and Sean both agreed that the wholesaler offers top-notch customer service, treating them like the important customers they are. Natalie said they “keep on top of making sure they come in and physically see us face-to-face and this makes a huge difference”, stressing the importance of putting a face to a name.

Moreover, there is also a regular golf day run by Grouptyre which Natalie’s dad (whilst he is now retired) is an attendee of!

Fixing a problem…

The staff at S&B motors are early risers, often starting work at around half five in the morning, so any tyre orders are done early in the day, often putting five cars’ worth of orders in before eight in the morning. Whilst the morning delivery cut-off time used to be eight o’clock and would show up at the garage at around nine thirty, GroupTyre changed the cut off time to five in the morning around a year ago.

This was a move to cater more garages that stay open late. However, this meant that anything Natalie was ordering even at five fifteen would not show up until about half two, or even three which she described as “frustrating”.

To combat this, GroupTyre visited and did a report to discover what tyres the garage ordered most and in which months etc. This allowed the wholesaler to offer the independent garage imprest stock which they only pay for as and when they use the tyres.

As this is the only problem the local garage has encountered with Grouptyre and the wholesaler did what they could to alleviate the problem, it is clear to see why both Natlie and Sean from S&B Motors would recommend the services to any local garages.

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