In a recent interview with OPI, Paul Musgrove, Managing Director of Nectere discussed the recent closing of Superstat’s managed service offering, Cadabra.
Here is what he had to say:
OPI: What is your reaction to the Superstat comments that the managed services model has “fundamental flaws”, that it “isn’t a solution that caters effectively for the demands of the dealer in such a challenging industry” and “isn’t sustainable”?
Paul Musgrove: This was certainly true of the model that Cadabra adopted. I believe they fundamentally misunderstood what is needed in a managed services model. It has to cover end to end all the things independent dealers need to compete and survive in our changing market; it has to cover all the activities that take dealers away from their key role as independent sales people; it has to free the dealer to be entrepreneurial and remove the day-to-day chores that strangle growth; and it has to take responsibility for seeking out and delivering new market opportunities for its dealers to easily take advantage of new market sectors.
When the managed services model is delivered in this form, as Nectere does, the flaws are removed and the dealer is given all the backing, knowledge, tools, price file, marketing and time to thrive. The sustainability of the Nectere managed services model is proven and not in question.
OPI: Why do you think Superstat has stopped Cadabra? And to what extent do you think was it down to their own implementation and/or underestimating what was required?
Paul Musgrove: I am actually sad that Cadabra failed – it would have been a good thing for independent dealers to have choices. Unfortunately, it seems that a managed services model needs a number of things: massive initial investment to put all the required infrastructure in place, and an end-to-end service provision which does not leave dealers with costs, time-wasters and resource issues for all its business (not just the bits that the provider thinks are core or easy to do).
Fundamentally, unless you start from being an independent dealer and truly understand what it takes, the detail and the day-to-day graft required, you will not be able to deliver what the dealers need. It’s certainly is not just about systems and a few highly-paid people; it’s about process and infrastructure and resources – people who actually do the work.
Therefore, I think Cadabra was not in a position to understand what was really required as they came from a dealer group [perspective], not a dealer. I feel they got the model wrong and they totally underestimated the investment and time required to get it working. It is a classic example of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ – from a dealer group perspective what they did appeared right.
OPI: What, for you, have been the major factors in the continued growth of Nectere over the past few years?
Paul Musgrove: At Nectere we started with the fundamentals of what independent dealers do and knew we had to cover all of it. We got the fundamentals right first and we ensure our dealers retain their independence and their identity; we don’t turn them into agents.
As we grow, we enhance and add to the services we provide without increasing costs to our dealers. We constantly invest in new technology to provide continuous improvements and additional capability for our dealers.
We leverage the benefits that scale brings and deliver the results back to our dealers. Fundamentally, we support our dealers in the sales activities they continue to do and we do everything for them that takes them away from that role. We don’t just do the easy bits or ignore the dealers’ need to provide personalised service to their customers.