A brand new mobility shop in Long Eaton and a new dedicated call centre are Parkgate Mobility’s latest moves to reaffirm its position as one of the UK’s largest dealerships.
The new store will be Parkgate’s 15th retail outlet and continues the company’s pattern of opening shops along the spine of the M1 motorway, which allows it to stock and service its branches efficiently from its warehouse based in Sheffield.
The business is also opening a new call and service centre at its base in Rotherham, which will house around 20 staff dedicated to customer service and equipment maintenance. Business manager Tracy Simmons revealed to AMP that the call centre will allow the firm to raise its customer service level, which already boasts a Motability score of 9.8/10, rather than act as a base for sales calls.
Mr Simmons explained that Parkgate’s expansion plan centres on safe moves and efficiency. “Apart from the odd site like Worksop, our business runs down the spine of the M1. We basically expand down that route. We can get around all the shops in the South one day and all the shops in the North in another day. You manage your resources and it makes it efficient when it comes to deliveries. Deliveries and managers aren’t running backwards and forwards.”
Speaking on wider plans for the business, Mr Simmons said the company is generally consolidating and streamlining to ensure efficiency and firmer foundations. Parkgate is achieving this through meticulous analysis of performance statistics.
The mobility retailer now has bases between Leeds and Derby which house around 62 staff and operate about 36,000 products, distributed by 25 vans. But Mr Simmons ensured it will not be moving into an Ableworld-style franchise model anytime soon.
“It’s something we have talked about in the past. We’re not a limited company, we’re a family run business. But it’s got to be self sustaining. I call it a retirement plan – not because I want to retire but because I want business to run without much intervention. You’ve got to make sure everyone’s doing their bit. People are managing themselves and enjoying the job, we’re not micro managing.”
Parkgate was set up by Mr Simmonds and owner Steve Holland around 20 years ago and has undergone significant rebranding and restructuring in that time. It has branches in Barnsley, Batley, Beeston, Castleford, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Derby, Doncaster, Handsworth, Hillsborough, Mansfield, Rotherham, Wakefield and Worksop.