Business Gateway Leadership Programme helps to refine thinking for motor dealer

Family-owned Click Dealer has made an impact in the world of motor dealers by providing affordable IT systems that support sales and underpin business operations. They already count 1,200 of the UK’s 6,500 independent dealers as clients, giving them much of the capability of bigger businesses and franchised dealers. Click Dealer currently employs 85 people at their Stoke-on-Trent base.

Driven by the acceleration in the use of online platforms for car purchase, Click Dealer is on the cusp of significant growth, and for Company Director Ollie Moxham, Keele University’s Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (MCIL)* programme came exactly at the right time. “Click Dealer is all about innovation so when I heard about Keele’s programme for innovation leadership in SMEs I was in,” says Ollie.

MCIL is a fully-funded programme available to leaders of Staffordshire SMEs who seek to grow through innovation. Summarising the programme as a whole, Ollie commented: “MCIL has been a totally positive experience. We’ve covered so much and, as well as some of the tactical elements, it’s helped me define our mission and goals as a company, so there are strong enduring benefits.”

One of Keele’s Entrepreneurs in Residence is assigned to each MCIL participant and helps to bring learning into business practice. Ollie has been working with Will Pritchard and regards the coaching as a key part of the programme: “Will runs a digital agency, and he knows so much about the issues we face. It’s professional-to-professional so we have pretty direct conversations about the business.”

“Working with businesses in the MCIL programme is a chance to refine thinking in companies that are already successful, feed in new ways of thinking and give guidance,” Will added.

The programme has helped Click Dealer to accelerate the development of a new product which enables customers to buy online through a dealer’s own website. For Ollie, the main challenge has been finding time to cascade everything he has learnt to the team back at their Stoke office.

ERDF portrait logo Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent businesses can benefit from a range of specialist support and funding opportunities through Keele University’s Business Gateway. Interested companies should contact 01782 733001 or email business.gateway@keele.ac.uk for more details, or visit keele.ac.uk/business.

*The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership (ref: 32R15P00229) is part-funded from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds England Growth Programme 2014-2020.