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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

IAAF Briefing Session highlights changing landscape

Date: Friday 15 October 2021

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has hosted its first ever hybrid Industry Briefing Session at Autotech Group’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.

Mike Smallbone, IAAF Head of Membership Development, kicked off the event thanking the physical and virtual audience for their attendance before introducing guest speaker Lee Colman from SBD Automotive.

Coleman provided an insight into the ‘garage of the future, highlighting the investment made by vehicle manufacturers in software as vehicles become ever more complex. Coleman also addressed the evolving role of diagnostic tools and cloud-based services.

Focusing on ADAS, mobile repairs and access to data, Coleman concluded that a repairers’ activity will be heavily focused around providing services via the laptop, and that in order to compete garages will need to invest heavily in training and equipment.

Francis West, from WESTTEK, then gave an overview on the threats – specifically to garages – around cybersecurity. He said a business was hacked in the UK every 19 seconds and made the distinction between IT companies and cybersecurity protection.

“Hackers target vulnerabilities not organisational size,” West said, before offering 7 preventative steps businesses could take to protect themselves from hackers.

Gavin White then gave an update on Autotech Group, using the platform to announce the formation of the Automotive Recruitment Alliance, comprising Autotech Group, Glen Callum Associates and KPI People, designed to streamline the recruitment process for the aftermarket.

Finally, Smallbone provided an update on the widespread activities undertaken by the IAAF, including UK AFCAR, Northern Ireland MOT consultation, Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation, SERMI and access to data. He also gave an insight into member initiatives that can be shared with other members and the upcoming IAAF Virtual Conference, taking place on 2 December 2021, which will continue the theme of “Aftermarket for the Future”.

Smallbone said:

“It was great to host a meeting in person and we will look to continue this hybrid approach going forward. This latest Industry Briefing Session was a great teaser four our upcoming virtual conference, which will look deeper into the challenges and opportunities for the Aftermarket of the Future.”