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Celebrating 15 years : Spotlight on Nigel Eayrs

As part of our 15th anniversary interview series, we catch up with renowned change management specialist, Nigel Eayrs, who has worked with KCS both here and in the Middle East.

To celebrate KCS reaching its 15 year anniversary this summer, we are taking a closer look at some of the people and organisations who have played a key part in the KCS story over the years. In this interview, we meet Nigel Eayrs – a renowned change management specialist who has worked with KCS Director Ritchie Kelk both here in the UK and in the Middle East.

Nigel and Ritchie first crossed paths in 1997 when Nigel joined motor retail giant Inchcape as IT Director. The major project at that time involved implementing the Kerridge Autoline system across the whole Inchcape business, bringing all sites onto one centralised digital platform.

Nigel commented: “There was some trepidation when we first embarked on this project – this was about much more than just getting the technical side right which, in itself, was a huge task. Taking everybody onto one dealer management system was going to involve a major cultural and managerial shift and so it was integral that we gained the support of the wider organisation so they would be willing to go on this journey with us. A massive part of this project was winning over the hearts and minds of our Inchcape colleagues, particularly easing the transition for those who were resistant to change.”

The project involved the technical implementation and changes to procedures at over 70 sites and the training of over 1500 users. It also included the setup of central infrastructure and the introduction of new group-wide policies and management practices. Ritchie played a major part in this development, particularly in the aftersales side of the business.

So successful was the roll-out that when Nigel took up a new post as Group General Manager of the Jaidah Group in Qatar in2005, he knew that he could rely upon Ritchie to help implement a multi-site, multi-brand dealer management system in the Middle East.

Nigel adds: “Running a motor group in the Middle East presents quite a different challenge to running a dealer franchise here in the UK. Cultural differences, including a variety of language and work process differences, mean that adaptability, patience and sensitivity are in high demand. The Jaidah Group is a private family business and covers a large and diverse range of brands which means that trying to bring all the different ways of working under one central system was a complex challenge.

“I knew Ritchie had the knowledge and the enthusiasm to make this happen and so I commissioned KCS to come over to Qatar to facilitate the integration process. It took an intense 2-week period to get this huge job done and Ritchie worked incredibly hard to carry out the technical improvements whilst also offering great operational advice for related work practices.

“Ritchie is someone who really wants to deliver the very best outcome for you and he cares about making sure everybody in the business understands what is happening and why it will make a positive difference. If your team feel listened to and that they have been part of the development process, they will be on board with what you’re trying to achieve. Ritchie has always had great empathy with those going through change, and a great willingness to go the extra mile to help people transition.”

Nigel concludes: “If I could describe Ritchie in three words, they would be enthusiastic, customer-focused and collaborative.He is keen to understand an opportunity or a problem and to identify the best possible outcome. In doing so, he listens well to people’s ideas and concerns, and adapts the implementation programme to best fit. And he ensures any wider efforts are coordinated and communicated, and everyone is working in the same direction. If Ritchie and KCS are providing your business with a solution, you know you’re in safe hands.”

To find out more about KCS’s consultancy services, contact us today on +44 (0) 1635 905 985 or drop us a line on enquiries@kcslimited.co.uk

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