Rising Star Interview with Andreia Afonso – Performance, Quality & Inventory Manager at Copart

  1. Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?

I am the Performance, Quality and Inventory Manager at Copart UK. I am responsible for assisting in the drive of continuous service improvement by ensuring that all opportunities to improve service, processes and quality are reviewed in a timely manner.

I am also responsible for the reporting and analysis of performance. I provide reports to the business on the performance of our internal KPIs and SLAs. By tracking performance, it allows Copart to have an insight into areas where improvements can be made, which then allows me to review processes and implement changes where required.

As part of my job role, I look after the following departments:

  • The Insurance Customer Service team, which is responsible for ensuring that enquiries are dealt within our service level agreements and processes, and that responses are of good quality.
  • The Inventory team, which is responsible for ensuring that vehicles move through our processes smoothly and efficiently.  
  • The Quality Assurance team, who are responsible for ensuring that our internal audits are completed in a timely manner. They monitor, evaluate, and report on performance and put audits in place to ensure that our processes are working efficiently and effectively, and are meeting our high standards.

What I find most interesting is that every day is different, particularly when dealing with complex issues and projects.  I love working my way through reports to highlight areas where improvements could be made and making recommendations on how to achieve this through the necessary training or process changes.

  1. What made you want to work in this industry? 

I must be honest, I sort of ‘fell’ into the vehicle remarketing and recycling industry as opposed to actively pursuing a career there. But I’m very glad that I did, as it’s been an amazing journey so far with many fantastic opportunities available to pursue.

From a young age, I have always been very ambitious and set myself targets along the way.

One of my targets was to become a manager by the age of 25, which thanks To Copart I completed before turning 23!

This industry fascinates me, and I can guarantee that if you work within it, you will never get bored. Our business continually evolves and changes, so it certainly keeps you on your toes!

  1. What do you see as the biggest challenge to your industry in the next year?

Firstly, I have to say that one of the biggest challenges over the last year has been Covid-19. However, Copart has done a phenomenal job at adapting to the pandemic. Not only have we adjusted our operations to the ‘new norm’, but we have also ensured that it’s always been ‘business as usual’ for all our customers.

That resilience and determination is something to be very proud of. It’s been great to be part of such an amazing team and experience such positivity throughout a challenging period.

The biggest challenge I believe we will see over the upcoming year is how the industry will adapt to the rise of electric vehicles. We see more and more adverts each day on electric vehicles, so it will be interesting to see how this is managed throughout our industry going forward.

Having said that, Copart is already ahead of the game, as we’ve already been handling electric vehicles for many years. With safe handling practises already established, it will be interesting to see how we continue to evolve, adapt, and improve our operations and training in line with the changing requirements. We certainly have many exciting plans in the pipeline!

  1. How would you like to see the industry improved next year / 5 years / by the time you retire? 

Technology and science have significantly improved our lives in so many different ways. Although we must remember that the human touch will always be necessary, I do believe that we could use technology a lot more to improve our industry.

Recycling is extremely important to protect our planet and within our industry we have an important role to play in supporting environmental issues. I am glad to work for a company that is fully committed to recycling and sustainability and enables the recycling of vehicle parts, whole vehicles, waste, water, plastic and much more, as part of its CSR programme.

Over the next few years, I would like to see the profile of recycling raised even higher across our industry, and for it to become the ‘norm’, by all working together to identify greener solutions for the repairing and recycling of vehicles. 

It would also be great to see more women in senior roles within our industry. I think there is still a perception that the industry is male dominated, and although this is starting to change, more still needs to be done to attract and recruit women.   

I feel very fortunate to work for a company that offers many opportunities for advancement, regardless of gender. Copart has many female managers across the business, and I have been promoted internally to a management role myself. It would be great to see this as ‘the norm’ across our industry going forward.

  1. If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Never take life too seriously and find a moment each day to look back at how far you have come


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