ATF Professional spoke to Rob Smale, Non-Executive Director at e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management about his position within the company, the changes that have occurred since the e2e rebrand and where the company is heading.
Rob began at e2e in April 2019, just after the rebrand (from National Salvage, which incorporated NSG and NSA), something which he said was part of the attraction for him to join. He felt e2e had looked at its context, market and customers and formed itself into a company better designed for the future rather than where it had come from, but at the same time still being mindful of its history.
Other factors for joining were his understanding that e2e wanted to strengthen the board in terms of marrying up the excellent experience of their board members who come from the member companies and who had forgotten more about salvage and recycling than many people know. They wanted to bolster it up with the expertise of the insurance market; Martin Holman, who had already joined, came with this background. Chris Guillaume, former Group CEO of OpenGI has expertise in IT. Whereas Rob’s forte was more on the claims side. It was to support the board, in particular, Neil Joslin, Chief Operating Officer, with the specific knowledge that the three of them have.
We asked Rob what was the remit e2e set out a year ago and what achievements have been made.
He told us that it is well into a planned journey, the first few months concerned raising awareness of e2e and making sure potential insurance partners fully understood what they do and what the differences are between themselves and some of the competition.
He said that there’s always an awkward period during a rebrand. They need to make sure everyone understands and remembers the legacy of the previous brand and also understand that something different is going on. So far, they have been delighted with the level of recognition the brand is now getting; social media plays a big part in this. Through LinkedIn, their engagement rate is higher than their competitors; their followers have increased by fourteen times. The message is coming through loud and clear with the rebrand.
They have been keen to make sure people understand the structure of e2e, in terms of it being a network of expert members in the field, which makes for a strong partner. They have the strength of lots of companies with different funding arrangements rather than an insurer just partnering with a single company with one source of finance.
One of the things the three new guys and Neil, with his background, have been keen to reinforce is to make sure the risk management and compliance aspects of e2e are very much in place.
He told us, as regulated companies, insurers have a duty to audit and manage their supply chain and are very conscious of reputational risk – customers reputational risk, financial risk and all other legal risks that are potentially there. As a network, they must be able to demonstrate that all their members are following the same standards and protocols.
Was a reason for the rebrand so that existing and potential customers could understand the process a lot easier?
“I think that’s one of the things we wanted to do, yes, absolutely. And inherent in the name, it does what it says on the tin – it’s a ‘total loss vehicle management’ company.”
The literature available from e2e is supported by their website, which is clear and can be understood in terms of what they do. The outward focus has been about getting the brand recognised, but inwardly, there’s been a lot of work going on to make sure all of their policies are up-to-date and coherent with the new brand.
They have made sure protocols, and the way they approach things are in place. Service levels have been rewritten and relaunched which e2e expect their members to live up to, and minimum standards and member agreements have been updated. When it comes to talks with insurance partners, all of this is important as there is an assurance that insurers are putting their customers into a professional and well-run network of businesses.
At the same time, e2e has been out and about talking to insurers, making sure that when they next review their salvage operations, e2e will be involved. They’ve met with a lot of insurers who have started tender processes, and e2e is quite confident that throughout 2020 they will be announcing partnerships with new customers.
Since the relaunch, have there been any new customers or is this something that takes time to achieve?
There have been a few new customers. There is a lot of work in progress, but as yet, due to the slow procurement process with insurers we cannot yet announce a new deal, however, we are pretty sure we will be making announcements over the coming months.
The e2e rebrand has reinvigorated the momentum in gaining new customers who were lost to the old NSG/NSA banner. In terms of how they get themselves in front of insurers, it’s a mixture of e2e contacting them and being invited into tenders; this is achievable because they have a considerable network within insurers and other companies.
Currently, they have 30 members so as far as gaining new members, there is no capacity at this time.
Have there been any changes for the e2e members?
The relaunch has given their members much more clarity from what is expected of them through the e2e network such as, the relaunched minimum standards and the service level agreements.
It’s all about reminding members to put forward the e2e brand; for example, the e2e brand will appear on trucks. It’s about making sure that outwardly they are a collection of different businesses that operate in the same way and bring in a consistent, professional approach to the business of total loss vehicle management. There’s no difference in customer experience regardless of which e2e member business customers go to throughout the UK.
How are these standards achieved?
The standards are there but not there to stifle innovation or initiative. They are there as minimum standards and e2e have a team of engineers who regularly audit members. We also have KPI data coming in from the members showing how they are performing against each other. This is fed back to the members, so they can see how others are performing.
Even the audit process is not a one-way process – it’s very much a learning process. They are aware that one member might be doing something slightly more innovatively, this is then available to be spread across the group. There’s starting to be more of a collective feeling. They have levelled up.
In November 2019, the online auction platform changed, which has taken time to get used to. Still, the extra functionality and the more robust software that the platform is built on is now well established.
What are the challenges for the future?
New technology is coming; AI, machine learning will form a more important part in how businesses are run in the future, and they have to make some big decisions on how data is organised. It takes a lot of brainpower and muscle to make sure potential opportunities in the future are not closed off, but this does not phase Rob as he has had experience with this from his previous role with Ageas UK.
In terms of future challenges, there will be the usual regulatory challenges and environmental issues. People will want assurance that when it comes to their end-of-life or total losses, they are dealt with in a responsible, professional way which doesn’t damage the environment. Still, for Rob, personally, the quantity of rich data they have within the network can be accessed and used as a compelling reason to choose e2e as a partner.
One of the big things for the future is keeping the momentum behind the use of reclaimed parts and making sure that both the public and insurers are confident that reclaimed parts are a sensible option and that’s a process of influencing, talking to insurers, talking to customer representatives and making sure that everybody is comfortable with the use of the parts.
In the past, total loss has been a bit of a side issue, lots of effort and words expended around the repair issues but very little around total losses. e2e, in its new form, is keen to be seen as an influencer – working with insurers and insurer representatives. e2e would like to speak to vehicle manufacturers to ensure they understand what happens to their vehicles when they come to their inevitable end of life. They are hoping to help lobby politicians and be more of a voice in the market to make sure that when decisions are made in the motor claims arena, the whole business of total claims loss and all that goes with it is remembered.
Marc Swain – Pic Up Spares, Swansea said:
“Since the rebrand and the influx of new staff members at e2e we have turned a corner in our professionalism. We are now showing the marketplace that we are a unified group of like-minded recyclers who are focused on providing the best service possible with the added advantage of a head office team who are in tune with the requirements of large and small clients alike”.
Julie Mitchell – Auto Spares & Salvage, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire said:
“A noticeable change since rebranding to e2e is the dynamic of the people who have joined the group who have been able to utilise their experience from not only insurance company backgrounds but other industry sectors in order to help restructure the way the salvage industry is perceived and can complement one another’s industry but utilising everyone’s diverse skills.”
David Horsnell – DLH Autorecyclers Ltd, North Walsham, Norfolk said:
“Being involved with motor salvage and recycling for over 25 years DLH Autorecyclers Ltd are proud to be a member of e2e. We see them as the most progressive network of vehicle recyclers today. The collective experience and forward thinking of network members together with e2e’s new approach to salvage management is moving vehicle salvage and recycling into the next era.”
To find out more about e2e total loss vehicle management go to www.e2etotalloss.com