The main motivations in starting the business were based on the assumption that garage customers were not receiving an appropriate 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.

Our main challenges when starting the business

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 200k) 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 three main factors that have contributed to the rapid growth of the business are (1) investment in technology and processes to ensure accuracy and minimise errors (2) fostering a personal relationship with customers ensures that any issues or problems are openly discussed and resolved quickly and (3) investment in staff that who have bought into the family ethos of the company and see the business as their own.

The Future

Being accepted onto the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has provided access to specialists in various fields such as marketing, business change, finance, law and HR. Garnering this knowledge over the next year will enable Spartan to modernise it administrative functions and also present a uniform message across the company. A period of consolidation after five years of rapid growth will enable all processes to be improved upon before expanding into new areas and markets in 2018.