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Why Use a Consultant?
Business Strategy
Retailing
Distribution
End of Life Vehicles
Interim Managers
Research
Sample Projects
Opportunities

 

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 our clients, 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 difference.

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 financial interest.

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 First Place?
Business Strategy
Distribution
Interim Management
Retailing
End-of-Life Vehicles
Research

Why Use a Consultant in the First Place?

Well, there maybe one simple reason, or a combination of reasons.  These could include;

  • 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. 

Business Strategy

  • 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.

Distribution

  • In Europe and north America in particular, this is a time of exponentially increasing change in the structure of vehicle distribution.   For example;

    • 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.

Interim Management

  • 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 required.

Retailing

  • 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'.

End-of-Life Vehicles

  • 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. 

Research

  • 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.

 

Send e-mail to chip@mikewattam.com with all questions or comments about this web site.
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Last modified: January 10, 2013