MIWA representatives share their thoughts about what 2020 will bring for the industry.
“We’re anticipating that 2020 will bring with it a number of opportunities. Our first priority is to increase our member base, with good quality RMI and MIWA workshops. We’re also looking forward to helping the older workshops come up to standard, so that all workshops are ultimately able to meet the criteria for our five-star grading status. Of course, the year will also bring challenges. We need to educate members about our new logo, so that we can ensure that all workshops adopt the new branding, for instance. As part of this, we need to supply all workshops with our new branding and stickers. We also need to build members’ understanding of what happens in retention visits, and to ensure they’re aware of changes within the RMI. Ongoing communication between members and the association is of the utmost importance. Our local newspapers have a critical role to play here, and we’ll be taking ads in these publications for this purpose. Added to this, we need to address the challenge presented by roadside mechanics that take business from our accredited workshops. We’ve been working with the MIWA KZN Executive Committee to overcome this challenge.”
“I’m excited about our new look and feel, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it influences our marketing space. I’m also looking forward to seeing the results of MIWA’s strategy around branding and marketing, member retention and the collaborative meetings. I’m hoping that we can continue to adopt strategic partners to benefit our members even more. Going forward, it will be great to take part in motoring events and member engagement projects and meetings, and to see how the fourth industrial revolution impacts our industry. I believe that it will bring about change and new ways of doing things that may prove a challenge for some.”
“I think the new year presents a great opportunity to visit and assist our members. I’m particularly looking forward to events like the Moto Mech Show and the Mechanical Show (potentially taking place in May) and other occasions and channels which can be used to grow the MIWA brand in the Eastern and Southern Cape. I’m also excited about involving suppliers in product training at workshops, working more closely with the two regional MIWA committees, and the COS project, which provides a great platform for our industry and its future industry. In terms of challenges, we need to see member attendance grow at MIWA meetings. We had great numbers last year, but it’s time to set the bar even higher. I would also like to encourage suppliers to become more involved and to assist us in our goal of achieving greater membership attendance by, for example, sponsoring prizes. After all, this is an excellent network platform for suppliers, and a chance to have face to face interaction with their target market. All told, I believe that 2020 will be a great year for all our members and the MIWA brand. I would like the MIWA workshops to keep on with product training, apprentice training and maintaining great standards to uplift their businesses, their employees and our industry.”
“On a personal note, I’m excited that I have finally decided to complete the final year of my degree! I’m also excited to work with my new EXCO members. The RMI/MIWA is a growing brand, and there are a lot of businesses that are looking to join us. We need to be aware, however, that not all these business meet our criteria. We need to uphold our standards; so, for example, we may help a business reach accreditation by registering it as a basic member, then work with them to achieve accreditation within three to six months. From a general perspective, factors like load shedding and the state of the South African economy could hit some business hard. They need to prepare by, for example, investing in generators. On the plus side, I foresee a good year with new products and a lot of opportunities for members to take part in informative meetings, activities and social occasions.”
“It’s no secret that the economy is not in a good state. But, with people pushing to save money, new car sales are down, which means that people are trying to extend the life of their existing vehicle. This opens doors for independent mechanical workshops. What’s more, people are taking out more extended warranties, and those warranties require clients to make use of the services of MIWA members. This is great, because people have previously thought that a new vehicle is the way to go. It also poses an exciting challenge for our members, because they have to keep up to date with the evolving technology in cars and the improved oils that are becoming available, which make it possible for vehicles to last longer. This is also why the MIWA grading is so important, as achieving a star rating means that clients can expect a high level of quality, standards and professionalism. This is what sets MIWA graded members a step above the rest. In terms of challenges, independent mechanical workshops are small and medium enterprises and funding is not always available to improve a workshop, invest in the business and make the grade, which would allow owners to benefit from this potentially growing market. This challenge affects MIWA too, because potential members may not have the finances to come on board. We therefore need to take stock: a star rating won’t be achieved overnight. It’ll take time. Overall, I’m looking forward to the Inter-Associational Meeting taking place at the River Club on 25 February, as well as a chance for Western Cape members to introduce themselves to the public at a Cape Town motor show taking place later this year.”
“I’m looking forward to growing MIWA’s membership base this year. One of the areas we will have to address is the dissatisfaction many members have expressed pertaining to unregulated workshops – we need to make sure we have the right people on board, and with time, I am sure we can curb the issue. We also need to be aware of miscommunication between members and their clients. It’s critical to make sure that our members are giving their clients accurate explanations of the work that needs to be done. These matters aside, MIWA is in a stronger position than it has been in previous years.”