WE ARE delighted to launch the inaugural Workshop Magazine Awards – the most glamorous night of the year for workshop professionals. It’s our opportunity to recognise the best and brightest businesses and individuals who are working in what is known for being a truly tough industry.
The Workshop Magazine Awards – sponsored by the IGA – are the gold standard for service and repair professionals and business owners alike. They give you the chance to demonstrate exactly why you are the best at what you do!
As it’s the inaugural year of the awards, it’s an occasion not to be missed. The setting for the ceremony is The Brewery in London, where, on Monday, December 11, those in the running for a gong will be treated to a champagne reception, three-course meal and musical entertainment.
To enter online click here or read on to find out about all of the categories. You’ve got until October 31 to submit your entries!
We’re delighted to announce that our host for the evening will be none other than motorsport legend Johnny Herbert, who, as well as being a former winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is among an exclusive club of British drivers to have enjoyed a successful career in Formula 1.
If you’re triumphant on the night, we’ll pull out all the stops to give you the credit you deserve, with extensive coverage of the event in our magazine and video interviews as well. Check out the details below and you’ll see the categories you could be nominated in.
To be in the running, you’ll need to put yourself forward or be nominated by a colleague, supplier or customer. It’s as simple as that. Then you could be on your way to some well-deserved success!
If the Workshop Magazine Awards sound appealing to you, here are the categories you could win.
Car of the Year
There may well be other Car of the Year awards out there but this one will be unique as it will be influenced by professionals in the service and repair sector. Which car do mechanics enjoy working on the most? Which cars are easy to get parts for and which are the most straightforward to maintain and put right when things go wrong? Those are some of the criteria that will be considered here.
Lifetime Achievement Award
We’ll be looking for a big hitter in the service and repair sector who has been involved for many years, having enjoyed a long and distinguished career of note. Judging will be based on the nominations we receive, along with supporting statements.
Outstanding Achievement of the Year
This special award looks to recognise the personality in our sector who has achieved something truly remarkable, whether it’s a one-off act that really made a difference or a consistent effort that truly deserves this prestigious accolade.
Product Innovation of the Year
We’ll be looking for a great new product introduced to our sector over the past year that has proved to be a boon for the garages and workshops of the UK. If it saves time, boosts business, and is clever and convenient, it could be our winner here.
Workshop Manager of the Year
We’ll be looking for brilliant bosses who have really made a difference in their workshops. If they have driven growth in their department; helped turn around a struggling business; or introduced innovation and new ideas to help things run smoothly, we want to hear more!
Technician of the Year
Brilliant with brakes? Excellent with electronics? That’s what our winner in this category will need to be. We know there are thousands of talented technicians out there – we’ll be looking for the best of the best. Nominate yourself or a colleague you know and respect.
Independent Garage of the Year (Regionals) sponsored by IGA
Five regional champions will be crowned in this category. There will be awards for Scotland; Northern Ireland; Northern England; Southern England and Wales. Our winners here will have undergone a rigorous judging process involving analysis of feedback websites and mystery shopping.
Independent Garage of the Year (Overall Winner) sponsored by IGA
One of our five regional winners will take the overall crown and become our Independent Garage of the Year for the whole of the UK. This really will be something to shout about!
Specialist Garage of the Year
Do you focus on a particular marque or model, or perhaps cars from a certain country of origin? Are you a specialist in your field? And is your business thriving and well thought of by its customers? We’re looking for operators who are efficient, technically competent and well organised to lift this particular trophy.
Trade Tyre Retailer of the Year
We’ll be looking for favourable online reviews, a user-friendly and responsive website, and easy availability of leading makes of tyres. Great customer service, the option of mobile fitting and great aftercare will all be part of the mix too.
Classic Car Restoration Garage of the Year
With the definition of the word classic seemingly expanding to include more makes and models than ever before, the number of dealers in the field has grown too. Dealers who really know their onions, and are prepared to go the extra mile for their customers, will excel here.
Workshop Website of the Year
Gone are the days when a homepage containing just words and pictures was enough to cut the mustard. That all-important and crucial information still needs to be there, of course, but customers these days expect much, much more.
Social Media User of the Year
Social media may be a dark art to some but used effectively, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can really help build a business and take it to the next level. Using social media can be an amazingly effective form of marketing too – and we’ll be looking for the best practitioners.
MOT Centre of the Year
MOTs are the foundation upon which many a successful workshop is built. Of course, the rules and regulations mean everyone should adhere to the same standards, but there is still room for the best to stand out. As with other categories, we’ll be looking for great customer service, user-friendly websites and general all-round excellence.
Fast Fit Centre of the Year
Fast-fit centres occasionally attract negative headlines but we know they do plenty of work that is top-quality and fairly priced. Their websites tend to be strong, with investment from national companies behind them, but which fast-fit centre is the best of the best?
Apprentice of the Year
Do you employ a youngster who is a possible star of the future in the service and repair sector? We’ll be looking for someone who is just taking their early steps on the career ladder but who is already shows bags of promise and potential, keen to learn and willing to help.
Motor Factor of the Year
This one is for a supplier to the industry. Motor factors are invaluable one-stop shops for everything a workshop could need, from parts to tools to consumables. We’ll be looking for a company that really delivers – and we mean that quite literally! Quality products and efficient service will be key here.
Manufacturer Warranty Scheme of the Year
The best warranty schemes provide genuine peace of mind and turn promises into action when things go wrong. The factors the judges will be taking into account here include the duration of the warranty; the level of cover provided and any additional benefits that exist.
Most Reliable Car
The judging in this category will be based on our research into the least repaired / recovered cars over a 12-month period leading up to our judging process. We’ll be comparing actual numbers to the overall parc of each model to get a totally accurate picture, analysing data from multiple sources to ensure our winner is truly deserving.
Equipment Supplier of the Year sponsored by Snap-On
Ramps, tools, protective clothing… there is a lot to consider for any new workshop before the first car even comes through the doors. And of course, existing businesses may well be looking to upgrade and update their equipment on a regular basis. This is bound to be a hard-fought category – but who will take home the gong?
The Independent Garage Association is sponsoring the Workshop Awards, here is what director Stuart James had to say.
It’s high time the independent sector in particular enjoyed some recognition – and that’s what these awards will achieve. That said, workshops of all shapes and sizes will be in line for some attention here – and that’s great.
The servicing and repairs they carry out are delivered with an incredible wealth of experience and knowledge – and the quality of the work is second to none. Their flexibility, their approach to technical jobs on cars, is quite unique.
From an industry perspective, we’re hoping these awards will shine a light on the best of this sector. At the moment, the efforts of everyone within it go completely unrecognised. What we’re doing is pathfinding really, and bringing about a stronger awareness of a crucial part of UK Automotive plc.
We’re hoping these awards will shine a light on the best of this sector. At the moment, the efforts of everyone within it go completely unrecognised
I would urge everyone reading this to get involved, find out about the award categories, and make nominations. Winning a Workshop Magazine Award will not only give the individual or business concerned a welcome shot in the arm, but it will prove invaluable from a marketing and promotional perspective.
A particular highlight for me is the fact that there’s going to be an Independent Garage of the Year for five different regions of the UK – and one overall.
Independent garages have finally got a chance to showcase themselves and that’s great to see. We’re just so pleased to be doing this really. It’s long overdue.
So my message to independent garages – and all workshops, big and small – is get involved with the Workshop Magazine Awards, put yourself forward, and you could be lifting a trophy at the awards ceremony in London later this year.
These awards are going to be fantastic for our industry – we should all embrace them and get involved. The IGA is proud and pleased to be playing a central role.
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