ATF Professional speaks to Jamie and Millie Davies, owners of Davies Salvage Ltd, near Nottingham, to get an update on what changes and developments there have been to their vehicle recycling business five years on.
It was in August 2017 that we first came to visit you in Nottingham. The business was eight years old. What developments have happened in this time?
We are now in our 12th year. A lot has changed; staffing has nearly tripled, scrap car collections have gone from around ten a week to around 120 a week.
We have recently invested in upgrading our buildings, including our office, our depollution bay, which has been extended from 50 m2 to 150 m2 including a new All In One Depollution System from Green Car Depollution. And our most recent purchase was a Powerhand VRS.
Did you expect this amount of growth in that time? Has it always been the plan, or has it surprised you? Also, in your journey, what has been the most surprising thing that you have experienced?
Although we have always aimed high, it has surprised even us the growth that we have had. We have a great team who care as much about the industry as we do.
The most surprising thing that we have experienced is at the start of the pandemic, we halted vehicle collections due to the uncertainty in the metal market. This lasted for approximately three weeks, but then very quickly, business accelerated to the levels we are currently dealing with.
At the same time, what differences have you seen within the auto recycling industry?
We’ve noticed that people’s expectations have changed, far from the days of old clambering on or underneath vehicles to obtain your own parts. People now expect quality, clean, graded, compatible green parts delivered to their doorstep the next or at times, the same day.
As well as changes to the yard, you have also been involved in creating some software to help you operate more efficiently. Something that you feel is so helpful that you are letting other vehicle recyclers have the opportunity to use it. Can you explain what inspired this, what the software does, and how it helps you operate more efficiently?
With our business seeing substantial growth from having just 10 to 120 cars a week now entering the yard and an antiquated way of collecting data, we needed to develop a system to make this process more efficient, so we came up with the idea of ScrAPPmate.
The app made sure the organisation of ELV collections became more straightforward, and this enabled us to increase capacity by 50 per cent easily and without increasing staff or costs.
Not only has this improved the way we book cars, but now we have so much more spare time to improve other parts of our company.
Looking forward, what plans do you have for the future? Also, what foreseeable factors do you think need to be considered to keep the business growing and continuing to be a success?
Plans for the future, well, we have currently got planning in for a warehouse which will be racked out to expand our green parts portfolio.
We have already invested heavily in EV training, and the HGV licensing is in process. Looking to the future, we intend to offer apprenticeships and continue with plenty of team building. We really believe that our business is only as good as the people that work in it.
To find out more from Davies Salvage Ltd, visit daviessalvage.co.uk