We are proud to be The AA’s managed learning solution provider. We work closely with The AA to ensure their workforce consistently receives the right training and continual development to keep the UK’s motorists on their journeys. Often business solution providers (like ourselves) talk about how the partnership is important to them. Tara Davies takes her role as the Head of Partnership for our client The AA incredibly seriously. Below you will read how spending a day visiting The AA at the British Car Auction (BCA) helped Tara gain better insight into the needs of The AA teams.
As part of continually nurturing our partnership, I met with Howard Curle Head of Operations and Simon Drown Regional Manager at The AA HQ in London. Our primary focus of the meeting was to discuss their training and development needs, business priorities and how Optamor can support them as their business evolves. Whilst sitting in a meeting discussing options to enhance the training and development for The AA we all agreed I would gain a broader understanding spending time within the various areas of Simon’s team. By doing this, it would provide me with a greater understanding of the training and development needs which would enable me to suggest alternative training and development solutions.
We arrived at the British Car Auction (BCA) site in Bedford at 9am, greeted by Simon Drown, Regional Manager and David Kent, The AA Inspector Team Leader. I was chuffed to bits when David presented me with my very own bright yellow AA high-vis jacket, which was definitely big enough even in a size small.
Let's see how it's done...
I was shown around the site and taken to see where The AA team are located within BCA. David talked me through what his team also do at BCA, he explained how and what the team do as part of the service to BCA. Cars that have been selected by the auction are usually under eight years old and the mileage is typically under 120,000 miles, then each car has to pass the rigorous BCA 33 point check. This 33 point check, which covers a number of things: does the car start, engine noise, smoking or leaking from the exhaust, brake testing as well as 1st gear and reverse test drive (20 miles an hour test). Once all the checks have been completed, The AA compile a one-page report for each car which details what works and what may need attention this is the BCA report and is valid for 48 hours from collection of the vehicle. During my visit, I was also able to meet some members of Davids’ team they were all keen to discuss alternative options of training and development which could benefit the team.
I had learned so much and there was still so much more in store. Simon arranged for me to continue our visit onward to The AA Vehicle Inspector who works onsite at one of the car dealerships demonstrating the great partnership The AA have created. We arrived at the site and I was introduced to Cliff Ball who had previously been an AA patrolman and for the past year has been working in three dealerships carrying out a robust 128 point check on the cars which the dealership have brought and are reselling to their customers.
Cliff and Simon explained the detailed 128 point inspection covers front suspension, steering and underframe, fuel system, engine compartment etc., these checks are more in-depth and have a strict pass or fail criteria for each of the 128 points. This inspection is to establish if there is any work identified that needs to be completed, this is carried out and then the vehicle is retested to ensure it meets the standard required. Once an inspection has finished, a report is completed to show all the areas have been covered and this is provided to the customer when the car is sold.
The driving force...
Just spending one day in the life with The AA has been an eye-opening experience; for example, it was fascinating to hear about how different it is to work on an electric car! Now knowing all this insight, it's no surprise to me why training and development is incredibly important for The AA.
Overall this day was crucial to gain valuable insight into the day to day operations of The AA, enabling us further to deliver a truly strategic managed learning solution, which will undoubtedly evolve over time and be tailored to both their teams and business needs.