NBRA’s fourth instalment of Membership Spotlight takes a trip to Gloucester to meet Ben Pollard, of Martin Pollard Bodyshops…

Name: Ben Pollard

Company Name: Martin Pollard

Year Established: 1980

Number of Staff: Currently we employ 8 full time, and have an apprentice completing his level 3 this year.

  • What made you get into crash repair?

My father, Martin, founded the company in 1980, initially on his own working out of a mechanical garage and then he moved into our current premises in 1988. I had always worked here as a kid on Saturdays and then once I had left school, I joined the family business and did an apprenticeship with Remit. I think I had always wanted to work with my father from a young age.

  • Have you ever had a “nightmare job” and how did you fix it?

We have had a few over the years! And it is not always the ones you expect! The only way to put these sorts of jobs right is to work through them and concentrate on the end result, once a job turns into a “nightmare job” the only thing that matters is the end result and keeping the customer happy.

  • What’s your biggest industry fear?

 – “There are a few big fears, but I feel the main one is the lack of skilled staff available. We carry out a lot of work on classic vehicles alongside our normal accident repair work, and it’s the skill set to repair these vehicles that is dying off.

  • What aspirations do you have for your business?

That’s a hard question, especially coming off the back of the Covid Pandemic. I think maintaining our current position is the immediate aspiration and continuing to operate with customer satisfaction being the number one priority.

  • What’s the most significant change you have experienced since you started?

 – “Without doubt the biggest change is the advancement in vehicle manufacturing, from the changes in materials used right through to electric and hybrid vehicles.

  • Best piece of advice anyone has given you?

 – “As cliché as it is sounds the best piece of advice is “the customer is always right”. A businesses reputation is so hard to build up but only too easy to ruin, especially with social media being so important in today’s world.

  • What is you biggest money making/saving tip?

–  This has to be investment. If you invest in the latest equipment and your staff, you can then can carry out repairs on almost any vehicle which in turn increases profit and productivity.”

  • What advice would you give someone entering the industry today?

See it as a good career choice! Nowadays, to be a good vehicle repair technician involves a lot more than just being good on the tools, it takes a lot of technical knowledge, try to do an apprenticeship and get your qualifications then continue to gain knowledge and qualifications as much as you can throughout your career.

When did we first hear about the RMI?

“We were always members of the RMI and knew about the NBRA but were not members, it wasn’t until a representative called in and explained it to us, we joined there and then!”

What was most surprising about the NBRA?

That it came with so many benefits!

What would you say to anyone considering joining the NBRA?

Go for it! The benefits you can access hugely outweigh the cost of joining.

Are you interested in becoming the next Membership Spotlight?

Email NBRA at bodyshops@rmif.co.uk