25 Feb 2024

The Holly and the Arthur

Christmas is upon us again here at Parkit Motors. A time of joy, the Season of Goodwill, twinkly lights and a tree in Reception, winter checks reminders decked out in red going out via email, and the staff Christmas party to arrange. Well, I’m not too sure about some of this. To be honest, with the rising cost of energy, and everything else I think we will have to pass on it this year. No, don’t call me Scrooge, I’m not completely stone-hearted. We could probably afford sausage rolls with a sprig of holly in to give to the staff before we close on Christmas Eve. Maybe a glass or two of Mulled Wine too, for those who are not driving…

The ironic thing is that this has been one of our best years for ages. The MOT surge has meant we have been taking on MOTs for other businesses through the Autumn, and with people looking at their mortgage rates and deciding to hold onto their existing car for longer, we are pretty well booked up. I mean really booked up; Three weeks in advance. Admittedly this will be counter-productive in the medium-term so I am looking at ways of creating efficiencies in the workshop so we can cut this right down. After all, with the way things are going we do not want to put off customers from heading our way.

A lot of it is about making sure we don’t block up the bays with cars that do not move as parts have yet to be forthcoming. With anything involving electronics I am looking to make sure they go in one of two bays, and keep the other two moving faster. This has been working and the thee-week backlog is coming down. It is all about working with the situation we have, what with supply chains and all that.

Then there are the bills, which are high. Really high. Very high indeed. You know all about this though. I’ve become like some sort of World War 2 Air Raid Warden yelling “PUT THAT LIGHT OUT!” whenever someone comes out of the storeroom back-lit by the surprisingly expensive glow of the 40w lightbulb hanging there naked. We have striplights in the workshop itself are going all LED everywhere else as soon as possible. It makes me wonder why I agreed to having Christmas lights in Reception at all this year. Well, Mrs P does know how to twist my arm. They get switched off as soon as we close though. It’s a small saving, but I’d rather be a Grinch about festivity than have to make cutbacks where the real work lies.

If I had a New Year’s Resolution it would be to cut costs, if I was not doing it already. As I look towards 2023, with bills not likely to come down for some time, for us or anybody else, the trick will be to keep up the momentum, while also looking to exploit every income stream going; EVs, ADAS, we are set up for it all, and I think we are organised correctly. Fingers crossed eh?