Jim Loughran, CEO of e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management explains his move to the salvage & automotive recycling industry.
I come to e2e after 30+ years in the technology sector. I’ve been asked several times, “What attracted me to the role? Why e2e? And what key learning do I bring with me to the industry?”
The role drew my attention for a number of reasons, firstly something that is close to my heart and that is central to the operation of any salvage business, sustainability! The two aren’t often linked, but to my mind reusing, repurposing & recycling materials is fundamental to the principles of sustainable enterprise. I’m fortunate to lead a business focussed on activities that are increasingly important in a time of Climate Crisis.
Secondly, we deal with cars and people. I have been fascinated by cars and automotive engineering since I was a small boy. That has continued over the years much to my wife’s amusement, including engine parts in the dishwasher and gearboxes on the kitchen table. I now have a workshop and this has seen a long line of ‘projects’ that I have repaired, rebuilt, restored and even on occasions raced.
So, cars are definitely a part of the attraction, but so are people. Throughout my career, I have been in customer-facing roles and I am passionate about delivering excellence to customers. When our members deal with our customers those customers are having a bad day. It’s up to us to make that bad day a little better. That principle permeates everything we do at e2e – customer service excellence is in our DNA.
But why e2e? Fundamentally e2e is a group of independent salvage agents that collectively offer more resources than any of our competitors… but you can read that on the website. To me, it’s the nature and the power of ‘The Network’ that is the attraction.
Networks are incredibly important and massively powerful. During my decades in the technology business, the industry evolved quickly, from the early days of large, centralised Mainframe computers housed in monolithic datacentres, replaced by distributed systems and desktop processing to where we have ended up today with ‘Network Computing’. The Cloud, The Internet, Mobile Communications. All examples of networks proving more powerful and successful than the single large monolithic mainframe of the past.
The beauty of a network lies in its inherent resilience, flexibility and agility. Its power is derived from the constituent elements, but it becomes much more than the sum of those parts. If one element is lost or damaged, the network will survive heal and continue to thrive. This is true in biological, neurological and technological networks and in business. It’s the essence of e2e’s success.
Just two short years ago WFH, Hybrid, Remote and Flexible working models were heavily resisted by many organisations. Workplace attendance was expected, it remained the norm to battle the commute at both ends of every day so that managers and colleagues had evidence that you were at your desk and working.
Flexible working models have been commonplace in the technology sector for decades. In fact, I struggle to recall ever having an allocated desk and I’ve certainly never had an office! Yet the adoption of these working practices was strongly resisted beyond the limits of a few sectors. That is until the global pandemic forced the point and the subsequent take up of new working patterns was transformational. What we’ve experienced in the last two years would have taken eight or maybe 10 years to achieve under normal circumstances. Accelerated adoption of new ways of doing things is how we adapt quickly in times of crisis.
To me, the key to the long-term success of any business is the attitude to change and the ability to adapt. This is the key learning that I bring with me from an industry where product lifecycles are sub three years, new entrants to the market appear monthly, global domination of a sector can occur well within five years. Industries will constantly be challenged by change.
The motor industry is currently experiencing unprecedented change. The EU are to ban the sale of new ICE cars from 2035 and the EV will become commonplace in the UK Car Parc. Innovative new entrants to the personal transport market will continue to accelerate the evolution of the segment. Those who adapt and demonstrate the ability to be agile, flexible and resilient, whilst continuing to deliver to the needs of our ever-changing marketplace will thrive; those who don’t will wither and die. The inherent power of our e2e network is the ability to constantly assimilate, change and adapt.
Set against this backdrop, my intent for e2e in 2022 is to unlock untapped commercial potential in the network and deliver enhanced benefits to our customers and our members through the adoption of emerging technology and the application of data and market intelligence. In my first three months, I have had some thought-provoking and inspiring meetings with clients, members and industry bodies, all of which serve to ratify and sharpen the company’s strategic commitment. We have created a new CTO role and appointed Martin Stevenson to lead our digitalisation and business process transformation agenda. We are talking to partners, building the tools and moving towards implementation. 2022 will see a number of exciting joint ventures and announcements from the network and we will be setting the service bar high for our competitors. Exciting times ahead!