Real Voices: Tina Drayson

There are so many more opportunities than you would think.

My background is in finance. After studying accountancy and statistics, I stopped working and studying to have a family. Four children later, I wanted to go back to work and got involved with a local garage who were looking for someone to manage their finances. This was 24 years ago. As the company grew, so did I. As I gained more knowledge about the industry, I took on more responsibilities and found myself doing more and more. CCM reached a bit of a plateau and did not quite know how to reach the next level. So, we took on a business mentor and liaised heavily with industry experts and with their help we have achieved great things. Part of this process was my move to Operations Director and developing a ten-year strategy. My role now involves me managing business systems, data, and day-to-day operations. I am also a co-owner and shareholder in the business – and we are always looking to expand.

The best part of my job is the satisfaction I get from training and inspiring new team members. I love providing them with the autonomy they need to flourish and make the job their own.

My previous role was in finance at a brick manufacturing company, and my greatest transferable skill was data analysis. This enabled me to look at the different services CCM were offering, such as MOT or servicing, and identify which services were making us the most profit and refine our offering based on this.

The biggest misconception of the sector is customers underestimating how much knowledge and skill is required to be a technician. Even for a ‘simple’ job, the technician still has had extensive training and experience, which must be accounted for. Technicians have expert knowledge not only as mechanics, but also as electricians, plumbers – often reading complex diagrams on a daily basis. The perception that technicians are less academic is wrong – after your home, your car is the most valuable asset you own and as such should be maintained by experts.

There are so many more opportunities than you would think within the automotive industry, from logistics and distribution to marketing and management. If you have transferable skills, you could step into an independent garage and transform it – whether that’s with website or social media development, finance, data analysis, you can really make a difference.

The automotive sector is a really unique group of people. The industry is extremely supportive, with everyone coming together to help and support each other. Everyone is facing the same challenges and you’re never short of somewhere to turn to for support, for example there are loads of online forums you can ask questions in where you will get plenty of replies. It really is an amazing group of people that make up the sector.

Tina’s words of wisdom

“If you have transferable skills, you could step into an independent garage and transform it!”