In July Dealer Principal Craig Andersson celebrates 30 years at Sci-Fleet Motors. We sat down with him to reminisce on his time in the business and how things have changed over the years….
Do you have any first day memories? I still vividly remember walking up the stairs of Head Office on my first day with pleated pants and a tie. The computers were all dumb terminals, and the server was sitting on the floor in the back of the room, only the GM and Financial Controller had PC’s. The fax machine was receiving in the background and making that sound that only people who used fax machines would remember.
What is your favourite part of the job? Working closely with the staff and our loyal customers, a number of which have been around for the same amount of time as I have.
How has your role changed over the years? I started as the Assistant Accountant and in those days dealerships were run by people with Sales backgrounds. We were one of the first groups to look at running the business from a different perspective and put more focus on benchmarks and the parts and service divisions, it set a new trend.
What are some of your favourite moments from your time at Sci-Fleet Hino? Working with so many great people to help build the business that we have today. I had no knowledge of trucks to begin with, however with the patient help of some very skilled truck people I was able to gather a good working knowledge.
What are some of your biggest achievements? I was part of acquiring a number of businesses that have gone on to be very successful parts of the Group, but I think the greatest success was taking Sci-Fleet Hino from a demountable at Kedron with 4 staff plus a small Service Department to the largest Hino dealer in the Country for both Truck and Parts sales.
What is a major challenge you’ve faced in the last 30 years? Watching good people retire or move on to find other challenges and having to replace them. It’s difficult but satisfying when you watch the next person flourish under the challenge.
Can you share a key lesson you’ve learnt over the years? If a decision does not need to be made, then be patient as the answer will often present itself without being forced.
How has the business changed over the past 30 years? Mobile phones are probably the big one which means you are accessible 24/7 if you let yourself be. The fundamentals of great customer service and building rapport has not changed even though our Group has gone from 150 staff to over 500 in that time.
What are your goals for the future of the business? In this industry we are always striving for perfect imperfections. You can get close but with so many moving parts it is like a golf swing you have never really got it totally under control.