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Adapting to crisis: How new technology helped SYNETIQ keep moving

SYNETIQ reflects on the way its IT team implemented four new improvements to the way it serves customers


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Dave Harcourt

The last 12 months have seen dramatic changes to the way we live and work. For many businesses, adapting to change with speed and agility has been vital to continue operating.

As the UK’s largest integrated salvage and vehicle recycling company, SYNETIQ began 2020 with a clear plan of action, but no-one could have predicted the disruption that was to come. SYNETIQ’s Infrastructure and Development teams were immediately under pressure to help continue operating safely and compliantly, led by IT Director Dave Harcourt.

“We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation and technological development within our industry, but the huge disruption caused by COVID-19 certainly raised considerable challenges. Before the first lockdown, our contact centre was receiving thousands of calls each week – once it closed, we had to find a workable solution immediately,” said Dave.

“We implemented, tested and launched a Web Chat system within days, meaning we could continue serving customers safely. We’ve since found this to be a huge improvement, and we’re now preparing for the launch of a new and improved Web Chat system in Spring 2021.”

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With SYNETIQ switching to remote working wherever possible, Dave’s teams were also tasked with the roll-out of Microsoft Teams.

“Clear lines of communication between our departments became more important than ever, but not all of our people were experienced in using this new technology. We held regular training sessions and now the process is working fantastically well. Web Chat and Microsoft Teams were implemented reactively, but both are here to stay.”

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HSBC Payments

In the same year, SYNETIQ made several other improvements to customer experience, including HSBC Open Payments for users of its online salvage auction. The business was the fourth in the world to implement the technology, which automatically populates payment data to prevent errors and fraud.

SYNETIQ Auction customers also now benefit from a collection slot booking facility, which has reduced the amount of people on-site at once – reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

“I’m especially proud of my teams for the huge amounts of work we’ve done during the last 12 months,” said Dave. “We reacted to the situation in a calm, measured way, despite the pressures and uncertainty. We’ve improved the way we serve customers, changing our processes for the better while helping to keep us all safe.”


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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 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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