Autoglass to close all 100 branches; loss of around 180 jobs

Autoglass, Britain’s biggest supplier of replacement car windows. has announced that it plans to become a mobile repair business, with the loss of about 180 jobs in the UK. The cutbacks are expected to take place in March next year.

The news that all 100 branches at Autoglass are set to close with the loss of about 180 jobs is a devastating blow to staff as it comes at Christmas.
Autoglass plans to axe its entire branch network and turn itself into a mobile repair business to cut costs. Customers will phone to make an appointment for repairs done at their home or work rather than driving to the nearest branch.
The changes at Britain’s biggest supplier of replacement car windows are expected to result in about 180 branch-based customer service workers and managers losing their jobs.
It’s the biggest ever shake up at 42 year old Autoglass, which employs more than 1,000 technicians, back-office and call centre staff in the UK.
The cutbacks, expected to go ahead in March 2015, come only three years after the company laid off a number of workers and shut down a string of branches as part of “operational changes to improve efficiency”.
According to a worker at Autoglass, technicians were also being switched to ‘flexible hour contracts’ which, while not affecting their pay or the number of hours they work, would make it more difficult for those with young children at school to plan holidays.
Autoglass, owned by Belron, a family-run business based in the US, said the latest changes followed a company wide review of its operations.
A spokeswoman said: “Autoglass is a business with customer service at its heart. We strive to constantly evolve our business model to ensure that we continue to offer the best possible service to our customers. As part of our ongoing commitment to customer service and quality, we have been reviewing our operational processes to ensure that we deliver the level of service expected by our customers now and in the future.”
“As part of this review, we’ve identified opportunities to bring our service closer to customers and have concluded that the role of our branch network as a customer service centre may no longer be required in order for us to provide an efficient service to our customers.
She added: “We are entering into a formal consultation process to discuss this proposal with our people whose roles would be directly affected by this change. We can confirm that we are consulting with 179 branch-based employees regarding proposals to change our operating model. We appreciate this will be a difficult time for the individuals affected and as such we are making every effort to provide the appropriate support and identify new opportunities for our people.”