I love Claims recently talked to Sophie Trenouth, Data Analyst at e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management, about her role, and her thoughts on where the salvage and automotive recycling industry is headed.
Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?
I am a data analyst for e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management, a salvage and automotive recycling network which manages total loss vehicles on behalf of its clients, including insurers and fleet operators.
I collate and analyse data sourced from within our business and across our network of salvage and automotive recycling agents, together with data provided by our clients. I produce a series of reports every month for our management team which supports them in making informed business decisions and enables them to provide our network members with valuable insights on service demand and performance.
For our clients, I design and supply monthly performance reports which are tailored to their specific business needs and relate to agreed KPIs. Always, I provide insights to help understand what the data is telling us, and I’m encouraged to recommend remedial actions to improve performance and results. Insights might include: the length of time the client is taking to provide clearance on a vehicle, which is key to them realising the value in the asset and avoiding depreciation; or the turn-around times from the e2e engineering service regarding e.g. salvage categorisation.
Sometimes, our highlighting of a potential process issue for a client is the first they are aware of it, and I see that as us adding real value through our data analysis.
I produce a high number of regular monthly reports related to the above requirements and at the same time I deal with ad hoc data requests when perhaps a client wants to review the efficiency of one of its internal processes or the e2e management team is exploring opportunities to innovate. I enjoy the variety that this brings to my role and I get real satisfaction from identifying insights and trends that help to make a difference to our clients, our network members and our business. As an example if I see a trending rise in cancelled collections for a client, this is an opportunity to investigate the causes and address any issues, so that they avoid incurring unnecessary costs. I also get a big buzz from supporting our business development team by producing data that verifies the value an existing client or prospect could gain from our services. I recently produced a report demonstrating the savings a client could gain from using our Recovery & Storage Negotiation service. They have since extended their service requirements to take up this additional offering. That was hugely rewarding.
I find understanding how people best assimilate information incredibly interesting and I think this knowledge is pivotal to businesses being able to get maximum benefit from their management information. At e2e we work closely with our clients to understand the most effective way to present their information which may be spreadsheets, graphs, tables or written commentary.
Data is now the world’s most valuable commodity and therefore it is no surprise that companies are now more than ever taking an interest in their data and ensuring that they have the right people in their business to fit their data needs. I feel lucky to be given the role that I am in and there is always something new to learn in the world of data, with ever-changing technologies and systems I am eager and excited to develop my skills and see how my role progresses.
What made you want to work in this industry?
Having joined the company at the age of 18, as an apprentice studying Business Administration, I really knew nothing about the motor insurance or the salvage and automotive recycling industry. I was interviewed and secured a one-year work placement with e2e when I was working towards my NVQ Level 2. At the end of the placement, I was formally offered a job and jumped at the chance; it’s almost 13 years later and I’ve never looked back.
I originally started as an administrator for our Management Information Audit and Compliance Team looking after member licencing and compliance audits. Around four years ago our new Chief Operating Officer saw the unique data opportunity presented to the business as a UK wide network and introduced a strategy to maximise our data capabilities to add value to our proposition for clients and network members. I was delighted to be brought into the data team as a Data Analyst. The business is acknowledged in the market for its data services and the opportunities to develop our data offering and my role continues, which is incredibly exciting.
What do you see as the biggest challenge to your industry in the next year?
I think I’m with everyone when I say that our biggest challenge remains recovery from the effects of COVID-19. Despite the successful vaccine roll
out and hopefully the end of the national lockdowns, there remains a huge sense of uncertainty for what the future holds and if we will ever see claims volumes go back to those of ‘pre-covid’.
I believe the pandemic has really changed the way many businesses and their staff work, with some choosing to transition from office working to working from home full time, or a mixture of the two. This has clearly had an impact on claims volumes, and it will be interesting to see how this progresses as and when companies begin to open their offices.
At e2e we were consulted on returning to the office, hybrid working and working from home, with people’s individual circumstances taken into account. For me personally, I’m really looking forward to getting back to the office. I can’t wait till we can all be together again, it’s been a long time coming! We are a close team who care passionately about our clients and our network members and even though we’ve worked remotely really successfully, there is a fantastic energy that comes from being alongside each other in person.
How would you like to see the industry improved next year / 5 years / by the time you retire?
I’d like to see climate control and sustainability be at the forefront of everyone’s agendas. Transport is such a huge contributor to CO2 emissions. As salvage and automotive recycling businesses, our network members are playing their part with carbon-reducing operational initiatives including solar energy, water harvesting, recycled packaging for parts and electric delivery vehicles. They are also supporting insurers in their carbon reduction goals through the provision of reclaimed parts. Insurers too are focusing on green initiatives and have made ESG policy commitments. We have the UN Climate Change Conference – COP26 – in Glasgow later this year in November. I’m interested to see how our industry and clients will respond and how we can work together to achieve even greater impact. I would love to see an attitude of ‘what more can we do together to reduce CO2 emissions?’ become the norm.
If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
At 16, leaving school, I lacked confidence and felt a little bit lost with no real clue of what I wanted to do. It seemed like everyone had it all figured out except me.
I would tell myself that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a plan, as long as you apply yourself in whatever you do, have a good work ethic and are kind to others.
Eventually, everything will fall into place. Trust yourself and when other people believe in you, have the confidence to believe in yourself. Find a job that stretches and interests you in a company that demonstrates genuine care for all its stakeholders and watch yourself blossom.