My journey started in 1978 when I left school and started an apprenticeship - I always had a love of cars and I wanted to start work as soon as possible so took the apprenticeship route rather than staying at college and university.
Spent a number of years working in the retail side of the industry and ultimately became After Sales Manager, responsible for service, parts and collision repair and reporting directly to the dealer principal before joining Norwich Union, the UK’s biggest insurer as a vehicle damage assessor.
10 years later I joined Bluecycle which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva (the new name for Norwich Union) as Compliance Manager and spent 13 wonderful years as part of the team that took the company from a start up to a multi-million £ business dealing with all Aviva salvage vehicles and a number of other contracts for salvage. Bluecycle was at the forefront of internet auctions for salvage and changed the marketplace in the UK in a very short space of time.
We were told that Bluecycle was being closed and all our work was being outsourced and this meant that all staff members were out of work - faced with this dilemma I decided to bring Salvage Wire into a going concern.
A few years previously I had spent some time with my sister and she asked me what I would do if I was ever out of work, I had no answer. Over an 18 month period we built a business plan and decided to register Salvage Wire as a company and make it dormant, so if the need arose I could bring it into a going concern. Why Salvage Wire? My sister ran her own company called CAD Wire so it made sense to mirror her company name because we could be part of the same group if the need arose.
We very quickly realised that there was a need in the automotive recycling industry for quality training, especially on high voltage (electric and hybrid) vehicles, so training was written, it was sent off to be accredited and we started to deliver high voltage training that was specifically designed for vehicle dismantling and recycling.
There was a lot of training out there for vehicle repairers, for technicians who diagnose faults, make vehicles safe, repair the faults, put the vehicles back together and make them work again, but nothing for recyclers to assess the vehicles, make them safe, strip the high voltage parts, store and ship the parts. We aimed to fill that gap.
I completed more training for myself and also got accredited to deliver training to vehicle technicians, collision repair centres and mechanical repair shops for a number of organisations, and in 2019 we were approached by TUV Rheinland and asked if we would design their electric and hybrid vehicle training programme, which we did in 2020 - unfortunately a global pandemic made the launch of this programme slightly more difficult.
TUV Rheinland are a certification company who deliver training and certification on a global scale, so over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to travel across the world delivering their training. Salvage Wire now work for the vehicle scrap and recycling industry at one end of the process, for universities, research and development companies and vehicle manufacturers at the other end of the process (so we know what is being designed and will be coming into production in a few years time that will ultimately end up in a salvage or dismantling yard), and everybody in the middle - mechanical repair, collision repair, motorsport, vehicle converters, first responders, boat manufacturers, aeronautical industry and more helping them all to become more competent, have a better understanding and knowledge of high voltage vehicle technology.
We also still do consulting work and event planning, but training and development is the core of our business, and this is where our focus will be for some time as we develop new training, new accreditation and start to deliver globally certified technical, managerial, and leadership training to the vehicle recycling and dismantling industry in the future.
Our global training network is growing, more programmes are being launched, more training is available and Salvage Wire will coordinate all of the training, maintain standards across our training network and give consistent, quality training wherever the client is based with a certification that is recognised globally.
Looking forward Salvage Wire have more ideas and innovation to bring to the marketplace, and we also want to resurrect some previous ideas that we allowed to drop due to pressure of work and a global pandemic.
Salvage Insight was relaunched recently with a new focus on helping the salvage
industry with ideas, issues or problems they face. Have you ever had an idea but didn’t know, or didn’t have the time to implement it? Talk to us and one of our consultants could assist you to resolve that issue or bring the idea into being. More details at https://www.salvageinsight.co.uk/ where you can book your free one hour consultation.
Depollution podcast was an idea we had during covid, and went really well for around 12 months, but time constraints have meant that it hasn’t been our main focus so this
is something that we want to bring back very soon. Invitations to be a guest on the podcast will come out first - if you receive one please respond quickly so we can get you on the podcast.
I would like to say that I had a business plan that worked - I did have a business plan, but like many this got adapted, changed, scrapped, re-written, adapted, changed, scrapped…. and we are now where we are. What I did learn was never to be too prescriptive and detailed on the business plan and be prepared to try something, fail, learn, change and try again. Never be afraid of failure, use it to learn and move forward.
I have been blessed, I am doing better than I deserve, but I am never satisfied, I always think I can do better, change, improve and develop. But one thing I do know is that my faith has been an integral part of this journey and without my church family, my mentors, the bible and Jesus I would not have got this far - have a look at https://carvauk.co.uk/ for more on how you can be recycled.
Salvage Wire’s mission has always been ‘Helping automotive recyclers become leaders in their industry’ and this remains the case as we move forward into our next 10 years; we want to help the vehicle recycling and salvage industry be recognised globally as a professional, qualified, safe, respected and efficient industry, an industry that can be trusted and become an equal partner with vehicle manufacturers, vehicle repairers, regulators and legislators.