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Copart continues to thrive even amidst COVID-19

Copart UK Managing Director, Jane Pocock tells us how the industry leader in used and salvage car auctions online have handled the COVID-19 situation so far and what they will continue to do, in order to maintain the company’s smooth running.

 

Copart continues to thrive through COVID-19 Jane Pocock post

We are certainly experiencing unprecedented times…but the word ‘unprecedented’ suggests being unprepared, and while of course, Copart was not expecting this pandemic, we’ve proven ourselves to be incredibly resilient and adaptable during it. 

Deemed an essential service to the insurance industry, we had to react very quickly to the situation and ensure we could protect our people at the frontline while continuing to collect vehicles from around the country. 

Having Operations Centres at 15 UK locations meant that we could keep our people social-distancing and operating safely; and we knew that in the event of a COVID-19 related issue at one of our locations, we could close it if necessary and disperse the vehicles to another. 

Although we carried on collecting vehicles on behalf of our insurance customers, we took the difficult decision to close our Operations Centres to our Members. Normally, Members have the option to collect vehicles won at our online auctions, but in adherence with Government advice, we had to stop allowing access. What we did do very successfully, and continue to do, is focus our UK wide fleet towards deliveries, enabling our Members to continue buying. 

We take the safety of our people very seriously and have invested in as much PPE as possible so that anyone in an exposed position is looked after. Our senior management team reviews the situation daily and we are communicating updates externally and internally. It’s been an incredible learning experience for us all and we’ve taken the opportunity to execute on our Business Continuity Plans, re-visit processes and improve our way of doing business. 

As our processes are primarily digital and our ‘customer journey’ is a completely online experience, our customers experienced almost no disruption. At the frontline, we provided additional layers of protection for our people, adapted to contactless interactions where needed and switched to a delivery-only service for vehicles won at auction. Despite the wider crisis, a relatively smooth transition. 

Many of our insurance customers have complimented us for how we have continued providing services – a testament to the Copart team. I’m incredibly proud of all the people that work at Copart for how they have carried on with such resilience.  

Over 150 Head Office employees not directly involved in operational processes have reverted to remote working, which our IT team worked around the clock to facilitate within a single week. 

Being a global business, we were already well practised at using technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and we’ve fully utilised these tools to communicate regularly with remote workers. Video technology has allowed us to be part of each other’s lives and even meet each other’s families. I certainly feel it’s made working relationships stronger and deeper in a period of our lives we will never forget. 

Technology has played a huge role in helping us to continue operating throughout this period. On the ground, we’re a logistics business, but we’re also very much a tech business. From the moment we’re assigned a vehicle, it’s a digital journey. We have apps to arrange collections, vehicles are documented digitally, and they are sold via our online auction website. We even arrange delivery and collect payments online. We’ve always had innovative tech solutions, but we’ve taken the opportunity to accelerate the introduction of new projects to further support a fully contactless service for our customers, including our Transportation App which enables contactless processing and speeds up Total Loss decision making for insurers. 

As for securing new business, we haven’t let the situation slow us down, but we’ve had to adapt our approach. Previously, we could engage with new customers in face to face visits to our Operations Centres, but with social distancing measures in place, we have quickly adapted to show the services we provide as a virtual journey. 

As we have patented auction technology unique in our environment and a global buyer base, we can demonstrate that more effectively via video content; showing customers our technology and the size and scale of our facilities. It’s new and innovative and it’s got people thinking in a very different way. 

In the future, I think Copart will stand out as a great example of managing a business through a significant crisis. Although we have shown our resilience through previous events, COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that Copart really is robust and adaptable in a crisis. True traits of a market leader and I’m proud of what we, like many of our customers, have achieved during COVID-19.  

Visit Copart UK at www.copart.co.uk

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction www.salvagemarket.co.uk drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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