ILC Rising Star: George Pangborn, Product Specialist, Solera | Audatex

Tell us about your role, and what aspect of it has surprised you most?

I’ve been in a product specialist role since October 2021, following on from four years as Implementation Manager and two years on the service desk. So I’ve been in the industry since the start of my career. However, working predominantly with body shops, what I’ve found surprising is the complexity and number of touch points in the repair cycle. There are so many different people you get involved with in a body shop, all using different systems and having unique challenges.

What has been your proudest professional achievement, and why? 

In 2019 I was nominated and recognised as a 30 under 30 rising star. I was new in the role as well as the industry. I felt like at that time I was doing a lot to get myself up to speed so it felt like a big achievement, and great to get the recognition from my colleagues and friends. 

How do you see your role changing in the coming 5-10 years?

Much more remote. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of the work we do can be done with tools like Teams sessions, which initially was a struggle for myself and the team to adjust to. But now it means we can deliver a much better service. Our customers are now used to, and seem to prefer, this approach. Now I am able to speak to and help more customers without the time wasted travelling across the country. Before I may have only seen a handful of customers in one week. Now we can reach much more than that. 

What do you see as the industry’s greatest strength, and its greatest weakness?

Strength: The number of people, from suppliers, to body shop owners, to VDAs and consultants who all are so passionate about the work they do and keeping the trade alive. Wanting to hold their work to a high standard now and into the future.

Weaknesses: There is sometimes an unwillingness to change old habits and processes when things could be done better, and also the divide between repairer and insurer priorities – that relationship is key and needs strengthening for the sector to thrive.

What does job satisfaction look like to you?

I love helping a customer create a solution for a problem, or creating a process for an area of the business that was missing and seeing the proof that the particular solution has benefitted even one person in that business. Being able to see that one thing I have done or spoken about has made someone’s workday a little bit easier. 


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