Directors Marc Haley and Stuart Raikes have brought huge success to the Alliance business. With a new face at the helm, remanufacturing has never looked better
Operators will likely be more familiar with the name Alliance Electronics than Alliance Transport Technologies. The 25-year-old business was rebranded only recently in response to an expansion of services to provide a wider range of aftermarket solutions.
Much else has happened since Directors Marc Haley and Stuart Raikes joined the business in 2017. By growing the divisions in the Alliance offering, the pair have managed to triple the business’ turnover and double its staff, all while striving for a full end-to-end solution for its customers.
Alliance: A specialist provider
Alliance has become a specialist in the parts business. That is quite surprising, Marc says. But the way in which Alliance has engaged with the market is in an end user approach. Whether large or small, Alliance strives to understand its customers’ business and relate to them. By understanding the issues that operators face, Alliance can help efficiently and effectively, adding value both from a financial point of view and an aftercare, support and advice one.
Partnership has been key for Alliance’s growth. It recognises that its customer base is primarily small operators. Trust has been key to maintaining relationships.
“Customers share that trust because we listen and understand what their problems are,” explains Marc. “All the customer feedback and reviews we have had suggest that we go above and beyond what users expect.”
There is competition in every division of what Alliance does, but Alliance says its strength is being able to provide support in every area of a customer’s business – from parts, to aftercare, remanufacturing and emissions retrofits. But it will not promise anything it cannot deliver – instead it will act as an advice service and point its customers to an alternative and trusted solution.
“Turning the business around was the biggest challenge… It did well, but we gave it new vision, and a new identity in the marketplace”
A trusted solution
If customers were once tentative about trying Alliance’s new divisions, they need no longer worry. Two years after the evolution of Alliance Electronics the credibility of the business is established and is constantly being reaffirmed, both through the sourcing of new products and by the investment in people.
“Turning the business around was the biggest challenge you can imagine,” Marc says. “It was relatively small when we took over. It did well, but we gave it new vision, and a new identity in the marketplace.”
Customers who were loyal to Alliance Electronics had their experience enhanced. Fleet operators which might previously have used Alliance sparingly are growing fully aware of the business’ capabilities and the support it offers. Alliance has introduced its customers to parts and service as well as the benefits of remanufacturing.
Alliance is set to exhibit a revamped electronic commerce platform this year. It will also offer a ‘track and trace’ for the remanufacturing side of the business, intended to offer customers a better online experience.
It is also helping to educate on the remanufacturing side. Marc acknowledges that some operators take a negative view of remanufactured products, which has prompted an awareness campaign. Retailing remanufactured products also has its challenges, as items are usually sold on a case-by-case basis.
In terms of where Alliance hopes to be in the future, Stuart explains that the ultimate dream is to offer a full end-to-end service centre, where operators are able to bring their vehicles in for repairs and remanufacture while they wait.
Alliance is also hoping to contribute, at least in the short term, in ensuring companies are fully staffed. It is partnering with operators to deliver secure workforces rather than relying on contractors. “Companies are struggling with engineering resource,” Stuart says. Alliance already has a resourcing division and is working with partners across the bus industry to ease that situation.
Of course, Stuart acknowledges that there’s always improvements to be made in driving the business’ focus. Right now, the company is concentrating on having the right people in place. It is finding ways to make the work it does easier, and make the lives of its customers easier, whether that is being able to track an item during the remanufacturing process or book a field service visit easily. Alliance is being defined by its flexibility.