Having packed up my house in central Auckland about 6 years ago, having had some boxes in storage since, I recently unpacked a couple that I had put under the stairs of my new home. In fairness they had been there for the past 2 years, but with a it of time on my hands during the August Lockdown here in NZ I took the plunge and opened them up.
At the bottom of the box I found a couple of manilla envelopes and a plastic folder of some memorabillia from my time at Unipart DCM, who I left to emigrate to NZ in 1997.
I’d saved a copy of the company newsletter, which from memory was a big day as HRH Prince Phillip was attending a celebration of all things Unipart and to see what we were doing to be competative in the global market place.
I had been invited to HQ in Oxford(Cowley) for this Expo as one of my teams had been working on a “stakeholder circle” to improve order delivery quality by striking up a relationship between the customer and pickers based at the Bagington Jaguar distribution centre. “Adopt a Dealer” was the brainchild of Eddie Waddell, one of my team, who had gained inspiration after visiting the USA and seeing communities “adopt a highway”.
The team made visits to dealerships to understand how they would like their orders presented and the team made it all happen and resulted in a huge improvement in customer satisfaction a reduced credit requests on damage and losses.
All together it was an amizing day, and at the time I think Unipart was around 3,500 employees and we all felt that we were part of something special. As I look back on what was 26 years ago, this certainly holds true. we invested in poeple, we understood what our customers valued and using the combined wisdom and common sense of the people that did the work, continuously improved.
I actually ended up shaking hands with HRH after Eddie made our presentation to the gathered audience, which I would say was a real career highlight. I recall HRH was really impreseed with the whole day. Unipart of course was born out of the spare parts division of British Leyland, which had been privatised and subject to an MBO led by Sir John Neill.
I’d be really interested to hear from anyone else that was here on the day? What are your memories?