TPS customers have proved among the ‘best in class’ at the Top Technician and Top Garage event with four separate independent garages securing awards.
The quartet of award-winning TPS customers – Cleevely Motors, Links Automotive, Oldfields Garage Services and Shaikly Motors - proved their quality to the expert judging panel to win four out of the five dedicated Top Garage award categories.
Organised by leading trade publication Aftermarket magazine, the Top Technician and Top Garage awards celebrate the ‘best in class’ for people and businesses working within the aftermarket, with the Top Garage categories particularly focused on shining a light on best business practice.
Following a successful first year as a sponsor of the Top Technician and Top Garage awards, TPS returned again this year as a sponsor for the 2023 competition. As part of the sponsorship, TPS Regional Performance Manager Tony Trotter presented the award for the Business with 10 plus employees to the team from Oldfields Garage Services.
One of the big winners on the night was Shaikly Motors, with the Colchester-based independent garage securing back-to-back award wins in the Multi-site category – their 2023 triumph making it an incredible two wins in three years of entering the awards.
Mick Shaikly, owner of Shaikly Motors, said: “It’s fantastic to win for the second year running. This time around we have become more accustomed to the judging process, which I think has enabled us to do ourselves justice in the category.
“It’s an excellent award to win as the judging is a comprehensive assessment of your business processes and services, with the panel conducting a full review of both the good and the bad within your business.
“The plan is to return next year and try to make it a hat-trick of awards. With some of the business expansion we have planned, including opening a new diagnostic technical training and development workshop, I think we might have a good chance of doing it.”
Shaikly Motors is a family-run business - founded by Mick Shaikly’s father in 1977 – and the theme of successful family-owned businesses continued throughout the awards evening, with both Oldfields Garage Services and Cleevely Motors, proving that family ties can help deliver the biggest awards prizes.
Oldfields Garage Services was first established in 1991 by Paul and Cheryl Benson, and both they and son Tim were in attendance to pick-up the Business with 10 plus employees award.
Tim Benson, Managing Director at Oldfields Garage Services said: “It’s the second year we have entered awards, and we are delighted to go one stage further this year and win our category.
“It was very special to have my mum and dad alongside me to receive the award. They and the rest of the team contributed to this success and without everyone that’s involved with the business we would not have been able to win this award.
“The judging was a very in-depth and rigorous process and I think in particular our commitment to strong customer service and use of technology helped to make us stand out among the finalists.
“We use a lot of digital processes to communicate with our customers including MOT reminders and online booking systems, which are in turn integrated into our garage management systems. The plan is to continue to strengthen that side of the business and hopefully we can come back again next year and do well again in the awards.”
For family-run Cleevely Motors, their win in the Top Garage Business with 7 -9 employees category proved to be a special anniversary celebration – with the award coming just over 60 years on from when John Cleevely, grandfather of current business operator Matt, first started the business.
Claire Cleevely, Finance Director and Matt’s wife said: “We have entered the competition for the last four years and it’s nice to win it, and so timely, just after celebrating 60 years from Matt’s grandfather John first starting the business.
“The different levels you have to go through as part of the judging process are very stringent and those different stages represent a really comprehensive audit of your business.
“It makes it all the more satisfying when you win as you know you had to go through a really detailed and intensive process in order to win the award.
“After winning this year, we are more aware of the judging process now and have learned a lot from each year we have taken part. We want to come back again next year but it might have to be in another category as we are looking to take on more staff, including an apprentice, as part of our business expansion plans.”
The fourth and final TPS customer winner on the night was Macclesfield based Links Automotive, which won the Business with 4-6 employees.
Duncan Conway, Director at Links Automotive, said: “We’re buzzing with excitement at Links Automotive to have bagged the prestigious Top Garage 2023 Award from Aftermarket Magazine.
“It’s a testament to the tireless efforts of our entire team and a nod from the industry that we’re steering in the right direction.
“The Top Garage Award isn’t just another feather in our cap. It’s a highly respected accolade in the automotive world, judged by industry experts who scrutinise all aspects of business performance, from technical proficiency to customer satisfaction. To come out on top in such a rigorous assessment speaks volumes about our dedication to being the best in the business.”
Catherine Baker, TPS Head of Group Parts Operations, said: “We would like to give our congratulations to all the award winners on the night at this year’s Top Technician and Top Garage competition, including our TPS customers who proved to be ‘best in class’ in the Top Garage categories.
“TPS is delighted to have again been a sponsor for the Top Technician and Top Garage Awards. For TPS, people are very much the beating heart of our business, as is also the case with our customers and their businesses. Putting people first and recognising their achievements is important to the way we work, and the Top Technician and Top Garage awards align well with such core values.
“The awards similarly recognise the best of people, either individually or as part of a wider business, and we are proud to support the competitions as they recognise excellence in the aftermarket sector.”
The Top Technician and Top Garage competition rounds took place over the spring and summer months, culminating in the finals on Saturday 14th October.
The results of those finals were announced later that day, at the awards evening at the DoubleTree Hilton in Coventry. Top Technician and Top Garage 2023 are organised in association with the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).
To find out more information on the competition, click here.