This Practice has been in operation for 24 years and currently has
working relationships with 29 Associates world-wide, each of whom has been
carefully chosen for depth of experience, quality and timeliness. In 24
years we have completed over 1300 projects from minor briefings through to
projects handled by many Associates over a long period of time. We are
fortunate in having very many repeat clients from world class car makers (for
whom we are 1st tier suppliers) through to the smallest tier suppliers and
after-market retailers. In every instance our clients have expressed
complete satisfaction to delight with our completed project results. On
occasion we have been asked to raise supplementary invoices in gratitude for a
job well done, or budgetary costs saved.
Our core activity is in supplying consultancy support services, project and interim management to
whether they be among the largest or smallest motor industry organisations, upstream
including tier suppliers - and downstream in distribution/retailing.
We often work with some of the largest automotive consultancy practices when they
need to import specialist expertise in the auto field to satisfy their
customer needs, or when our pool of specialists is required for
projects which need us to hit the ground running.
Most importantly, MWA is practical. This means we do not sit in ivory
towers, writing wordy reports which tell you what you probably know you are already
doing - and what you should be doing differently - without regard to practicality. Our approach is to listen to
your real needs and wants, and work on the things we can influence, with you. This means our
practical involvement in your business - not just in drawing up a wish-list of
future plans which would be impossible to achieve in practice - but in helping you to make
the practical, measurable steps really happen. We have one
simple formula for success - positive, expert and consistent effort makes the
In addition, we have a small range of publications for public
consumption, which are only supplemented when the occasion arises, rather
than being regularly churned out to satisfy any volume-profit
targets. An example of this is our participation in the future of car
'end-of-life' re-cycling - a very topical subject as many car makers are
only now (too late!) paying any serious attention to complying with long-ago
agreed implementation dates.
MWA is a 'virtual' organisation with Associates working from their own home
base in the UK, in Europe and in north America. Associates generally also work
on a freelance or retained basis
for other organisations and are used by MWA only when their unique blends of
skills/specialisms match our assignments, and they are able to deliver both
quality and timeliness.
If we are unable to assist you directly, we can suggest other consultancy
practices who specialise in your desired field - and in whom we hold no
We do not have business alliances or hidden commissions. This means we
have no undeclared interest in selling you third party software, any formulaic
'solutions' to time management, quality control or for that matter any other
subject we can think of. However, we might choose to steer you towards a
particular product or group of products if we genuinely believe it is in your
business interests. In such cases we will always endeavour to declare any advantage
or remuneration we are offered or receive.
Mike Wattam & Associates tends to specialise in automotive
'downstream' consulting - that is, the processes occurring in the automotive
industry subsequent to vehicle design and component supply, embracing the
infrastructure essential to enable vehicle
lean manufacturing, marketing, vehicle distribution, car retailing, after-market
operations and consumer affairs.
We summarise below our main areas of expertise - these are by no means
exhaustive as we are often able to assist clients when we have access to
Associates with manifestly proven success in specialist areas of the automotive
industry. To reach each paragraph, click on the hyperlinks below.
The heading of each paragraph is itself a hyperlink, in turn linked to further
detailed pages of relevant information.
Why Use a Consultant in the
Well, there maybe one simple reason, or a combination of reasons. These
- skills and knowledge not currently available within your organisation
- additional head-count to complete a process on time
- an independent view of current performance or future plans
- to lead and manage a finite duration 'one-off' project
The following summarises our activity areas - for more information on each
subject, click on each paragraph heading or any other embedded hyperlinks.
We are able to advise on a range of future activities mainly concerned
with vehicle ordering, distribution and retailing, when appropriate using a
selection of business modelling techniques. This also embraces the
supply chain where this is affected by changing distribution methods.
The forthcoming revisions to the European 'Block Exemption' regulations
is currently a topic on which we have been able to advise a number of VM's
and retail suppliers including parts manufacturers/distributors.
In Europe and north America in particular, this is a time of
exponentially increasing change in the structure of vehicle distribution.
Communications media are changing the way we arrange personal and
business movements - for instance buying a car or arranging a flight,
opening a credit card account or share trading
The move to minimise car inventories and meet customer needs better
are both tending to lead to a wish to 'build to order'
customers are now well educated and demanding - they now virtually dictate how we
should all do business with them
With these drivers dominating, we need to accept that multiple
channels are already with us, and can present a case for multiple
media retailing to co-exist if the formula is right.
Refer also to our publication 'From Own to
Use' representing an extreme future consumer scenario.
From time to time we are called upon to supply managers to work
full time within companies, possibly to manage specific projects, to
literally 'care-take' for client staff who are absent for whatever
reason, to lead or assist in profit recovery in all its guises from a
profit shortfall to company receivership administration.
- Our significant benefit is that our interim managers are able to hit the ground running,
and make significant contributions within the client company. This
applies whether financial, sales, marketing or technical expertise is
In view of what has happened to car and parts distribution in the
last few years, we hesitate to even define what retailing truly is any more!
Our position is that we believe there is room for most current and
would-be retailing entrants. However in the face of this excessive
competition only the super-lean and those able to consistently provide
exemplary customer service will survive in the longer term.
We advise on distribution strategy, both to entrepreneurial 'legacy'
car and after-market retailers and to other market players. We believe
the future lies only with those able to provide only superb service -
whether to the consumer, to other businesses or to franchise principals.
The depth of our activity embraces retailer interim management,
corporate recovery of dealers and dealer groups, through to retail campaigns
and 'mystery shoppers'.
We have strong (and we believe entirely logical) views on this, and have both lobbied
government and advised those who will be affected, at the
highest levels in the UK and Europe.
VM's are in general all working hard to design their cars to be more recycle-able.
The imposition of an EC regulation was unhelpful while this design process is
on-going, but having been decreed must be implemented in the UK and Europe.
The regulation is complex and requires a series of formal decisions not only
by car-makers but by government to facilitate the regulation and make it
work in practice.
The fact is that when a car is scrapped, in theory around 25% of the total goes
into land-fill - in practice this is much higher - and this is totally unacceptable in the medium/long
term. We support the move to reduce this fraction of land-fill firstly
to 15% and then to 5% in 2015. However, new technology must be
available to enable the 5% fraction, and the appropriate technology is simply
not in sight at present.
We have constructed an eco-financial model of the known options, with
their costs and opportunities. This is available for purchase as an
integral part of a survey which is regularly updated with the European situation
as currently known.
We have carried out many research projects to determine the
industry 'standard', to gather data to support future decision making,
and to enable competitor analysis.
While in many generalist market research firms, data-gathering is often
done by students without specific industry experience, we have found that
meaningful and complex data collection must be very carefully
managed. Thus, we only accept assignments where our associates can
actively participate in - and adequately control the quality of - the process, thus we will only use
automotive industry qualified
associates for critical research.