A R C Coachworks

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by A R C Coachworks's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from A R C Coachworks is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.arccoachworks.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | ARC COACHWORKS
Managing Director Gary Clark
30,000-square foot
workshop
ARC Coachworks appreciate that for any given fleet
manager, time off the road means a loss of turnover.
It’s for this reason that they place such high priority on
repairing fleet vehicles as quickly and as flawlessly as possible.
Testifying to their success in this area is the fact that they
routinely cater to large corporate brands, including Sainsbury’s,
Tesco and Ryder. Alongside this core service, they also provide
national repair solutions for fleets, including roadside rescue
as well as fast and accurate estimates. It’s not just fleets that
they repair, however; they also have a range of accident
repair services for – among others – private motorists, vehicle
dealerships and insurance companies. Managing Director Gary
Clark tells
The Parliamentary Review
more.
The beginning of ARC Coachworks’ journey
ARC Coachworks began with the humblest of origins: it was just me on my own,
working from the back of my house. In these early stages, my work was entirely
freelance and attained through word of mouth. Gradually, however, I worked on
increasingly sophisticated projects and within increasingly large premises, to reflect
the growing stature of the projects I was involved in.
I now have 30,000-square-foot premises and employ approximately 35 people. In
this setting, my team and I work on large and often complex commercial vehicles
for companies such as Sainsbury’s, Ryder, Tesco, Waitrose, Asda and Fraikin.
Furthermore, we provide all of these services across the southern regions of England.
FACTS ABOUT
ARC COACHWORKS
»Managing Director: Gary Clark
»Established in 2010
»Based in Ashford, Middlesex
»Services: Accident repairs,
primarily for commercial
vehicles
»No. of employees: 35
ARC Coachworks
33ARC COACHWORKS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
Our place in the market today
Our role has evolved considerably
over the years, and we now repair
high-priority vehicles, including
HGVs for large, logistically complex
companies. As an example of the
sort of project we might receive, we
could be asked to repair a Sainsbury’s
refrigerated vehicle for home deliveries
that has suffered considerable
damage through a traffic accident.
It’s worth remembering that these
are vehicles that are indispensable to
the modern logistical effort of quick
homedeliveries.
This is a unique area in the vehicle
repairs industry, which requires from
us a rare and specific skill set. This
is because we are repairing vehicles
with unique parts in them, including
computers and refrigerators. Therefore,
we are not only fixing chassis and
other generic aspects of motor
repairs; we are also fixing unfamiliar
mechanical components that many
other repair services cannot. Doing
this requires significant experience in
thesector.
Difficulties in employment
and regulation
Employing skilled people is a hugely
difficult issue at the present time.
There are simply not enough young
people and apprentices entering into
the profession. Too many do not see
this as a desirable career path – an
issue that I believe is generational, and
not something with a quick and easy
fix. The path to work for a lot of young
people is interrupted by frivolous
distractions, which contrasts starkly
with what was the case when I was
young. Decades ago, you would begin
thinking about work in your mid-
teens and decide fairly promptly on a
course of action. Although I am not
advocating a return to such times, I do
think there are lessons to draw from
that era regarding employment.
Whatever the case, I and my company
have to contend with this new reality.
Part of this recognition entails not
advertising in local papers, as these
are no longer used as a means of
gaining employment; instead, job
agencies are today’s place to go for
recruiting young people. However,
many of these agencies serve only to
exacerbate the problem by playing
companies off against each other –
getting people hired in one place, and
then drawing them to another place
of employment. They do this because
of the commission they receive
from getting the person employed.
Josam HGV cab bench
Josam HGV chassis
straightening jig and
wheel alignment
These are
vehicles that are
indispensable to
the modern
logistical effort
of quick home
deliveries
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | ARC COACHWORKS
Inotherwords, the incentive structure
is aligned in such a way as to ensure
young people do not stay in a single
place of work to gain and develop
experience. This is harmful not only to
companies like ours, but also to the
young peoplethemselves.
Another difficulty for us to wrestle
with is health and safety regulations.
Although these are a force for
good in many areas, we feel that
they can unduly stack up to the
detriment of affordability (for both
us and customers). Sometimes,
the government will implement
these changes without sufficiently
recognising the burden it will place on
companies; many in Whitehall have no
intuitive sense of how difficult it can
be to keep up with these demands.
To help overcome this, government
should perhaps seek to involve more
small and medium-sized enterprises in
the consultation stages.
Aside from that, the only other main
challenges we face are the sort that
businesses more generally have to
deal with – for example, banks can
be too demanding in terms of their
requirements for loans. This can
hamper some of our plans, but not
insurmountably so. Indeed, in spite of
the issues listed in this article, we have
an optimistic view of what the future
holds for us.
Looking to the future
The future will contain challenges,
but in the same way it will also bring
us opportunities – opportunities
that we hope to take advantage of.
For instance, with the government’s
increasing commitment to phasing in
electric vehicles, we can expect more
and more of these vehicles to come
into our premises. We have therefore
prepared for this change in the motor
landscape by vastly improving our
IT skills and by spending roughly £1
million on a new body shop venture.
Staying ahead of the curve in this
way will secure us a strong future – a
future that I and ARC Coachworks
look forward to.
Government
should
perhaps seek
to involve
more small
and medium-
sized
enterprises in
the
consultation
stages
State-of-the-art spray
booths

www.arccoachworks.com

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister