ONE of Blackpool’s biggest employers has pledged to continue training staff – despite a downturn last year.
David Sandhu, chief executive officer of Ai Claims Solutions Ltd, which offer support to insurance companies, said helping staff better themselves remained a key priority for his Blackpool Business Park-based firm.
The Gazette revealed last month how the firm’s revenues fell by 21 per cent to £47.5m, with hire income reducing by 25 per cent and repair income by 14 per cent, due to the lack of a cold snap – the traditional time when road accidents rise.
But Mr Sandhu said the firm still remained highly profitable, and its staff were its main asset.
He said: “This lovely spring weather means we’ve not really had a winter – and that’s when we make our money.
“It’s great people have been able to drive safely though.
“The main thing is we remain profitable and have renewed customers throughout the year.
“We certainly aren’t cutting back on training and development for our staff.
“I’ve been here 11 years and success is down to having the right staff. Making that investment in people you get a better return on them.”
The firm recently signed a new three-year deal with insurance firm ULR Additions (ULR). The deal will extend the partnership to 2015.
Ai commercial director Chris Shaw said: “This is fantastic news for Ai. We have worked alongside ULR to provide their credit hire and credit repair needs for the past two years, and we were delighted to be able to take our partnership to a new level.”
Mr Shaw said Ai and ULR had already forged close links through shared IT links, which enables both firms to manage a customer’s vehicle provision and repair seamlessly and from one phone call, significantly improving the customer experience in the unfortunate event they have a road traffic accident.
Mr Shaw added: “Total claims management – where the insurer or broker can give authority to a trusted partner to look after the motor claim to settlement – is the future, and Ai is already exploring how we can extend our expertise and efficient market performance in credit hire and repair to other parts of the process.”