Maintaining a local presence in the big world of vehicle manufacturers has kept Qube Automotive at the top of its sector.
Commercial director Liz Walker proudly shares the news that the company earned a place in a national list of top 10 automotive consultancy services for 2019 – an achievement she says will be hard to beat “but we’ll try!”
The company was founded in Maidstone 21 years ago by IT expert Matt Seymour and remains in the town, now operating out of the Turkey Mill business centre. After a few years working in the finance sector, Matt spotted a gap in the market for designing software solutions for the automotive industry and he set up a specialist business to provide a customer-focused service.
Liz explained: “At first, the only clients were Renault and Nissan, then Seamus O’Donnell joined us bringing with him a wealth of automotive knowledge. Our reputation spread as we expanded our client base across the UK and on mainland Europe. We concentrate on providing an excellent service to our clients, offering automotive consultancy and strategic insight that enables them to improve their business.”
Qube draws on decades of experience in both the automotive and technology sectors. With a wide range of expertise it considers itself a “specialist” business, says Liz – providing vehicle manufactures with what its website describes as “the holistic, accurate and timely information they need to reduce costs and increase revenue”.
I confess I’m at a bit of a loss as to what this means in simple terms and commercial director Seamus O’Donnell steps in to explain: “We take data from a number of sources and offer vehicle manufacturers high-quality, bespoke software solutions that are tailored to their individual requirements. Basically, this means monitoring vehicles throughout their life, indicating where and when they are sold, how they are used and what parts they are likely to need.
“Being automotive specialists we are also consultants to the industry, as well as the business reporting systems,” says Liz. She says her colleagues are excited at the potential for “connected cars” – those that use technology to link vehicle performance via the internet.
“It’s the future of the business and we’re delighted to be in at the early stage,” she said. “Our consultancy service offers clients help in understanding how data analysis and reporting can improve their overall business performance. I’ve probably got as far as my simple brain can cope with after all this talk of technology and motoring trends, so I pull the interview to a close by asking both Seamus and Liz what they do in their leisure time.
It transpires that Seamus, who came south from his home patch in the North East of England to take up the job with Qube in 2013, enjoys listening to 80s music in his spare time and is happy to be teased for admitting it.
“It’s my era and I love to immerse myself in it when I’m away from work,” he says.
Liz has a more active life outside the office, enjoying walking in the countryside and skiing. She also acts as chauffeur for her daughter, who is making a name in competitive riding. Her other two children are off her hands, at least for the time being.
“I used to ride, but now I’m more often at the wheel of a horse box, transporting her and her horse across the country,” she says.