Industry Leader Interview – Joe March, Head of Commercial & Network Management, Hills Salvage & Recycling

We caught up with Joe from one of our corporate partners – Hills Salvage & Recycling Ltd to catch up on the challenges and learning take outs from the past few months.

  1. What are the challenges are facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?

Like every business we are having to adjust to the change of pace. We’re finding claims volumes had initially slowed right down in an industry which is very much volume driven so as a result, we’ve focussed on reducing cost, utilising the breathing space to review and improve our processes and promoting how other companies can generate added value from our solutions.  

At the beginning of lockdown, some manufacturers closed down credit lines and their businesses which left repairers in a position of being unable to obtain parts. We increased our credit lines and continued to work, meaning we were able to keep the flow of repairs going when others were less inclined to assist.

As a result, we are finding more repairers embracing the opportunity to work with us as things are returning to normal, so the challenge now, has been trying to keep up with demand. Green parts have offered an opportunity to save money in an area which doesn’t often offer that opportunity.

  1. What has been your biggest business learning from the coronavirus pandemic?

Necessity is the mother of invention. Where we have needed to find a solution, we have found it. I was so surprised and impressed at the speed of change of working practices across the industry and the willingness to adopt new practises.

  1. As we go to a “new normal” what are you looking forward to returning to and practices will you keep?

I’m really looking forward to interactions with our customers face to face. Human nature needs that.

Regards what we want to keep, flexibility is something we will take from this; we have learnt we can achieve much more just by being flexible with our work. That, as well as trust in our staff who in this challenging time have raised the bar and proved to be our greatest asset.

  1. If you could go back to the beginning of 2020, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?

Don’t worry about the things you can’t change and focus on the ones that you can. We always worry about the little things in the business and in life, but those things feel insignificant on the back of the pandemic. We’re resilient as an industry so we can always overcome challenges.

  1. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2021?

I know we will be a much stronger industry having taken the learnings from this pandemic and I believe the adaptation of technology within all businesses will continue to grow faster than ever before. Continuing to find innovative ways of working to generate revenue, reducing our carbon footprint and sharing best practises will remain a key focus in 2021.

As a business we hope we have gained some goodwill, demonstrating the art of the possible and look forward to seeing this momentum increase with our customers into next year.


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