TMO Talks To Mark Sutton, Proprietor
Conveniently situated for motorists in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Polegate and Pevensey, Suttonz is a local family-run garage located on the Westham Business Park in East Sussex that aims to provide a quality service for all makes of car, 4x4s and light commercial vehicles. The garage has two working bays and an MOT station, thereby enabling them to provide an efficient service to customers. We caught up with Mark Sutton to find out more.
TMO: How long have you worked at Suttonz?
MS: I have worked at Suttonz for eight and a half years (since it opened in August 2010).
TMO: Why did you choose to work in the automotive industry?
MS: I have always had an interest in cars. I built my own Lotus Seven-style car from scratch before deciding to do this as a career.
TMO: What do you most enjoy about your job?
MS: I enjoy knowing that the cars we look after are maintained to the highest possible standards possible, and developing relationships with customers, so that they know they can come to us for advice any time.
TMO: What are your career highlights?
MS: I think it has to be seeing my business grow from just a one-man band with help from my family, to having five other members of staff, which gives a nice family atmosphere.
TMO: What do you do to encourage more women to take up a role within a garage or the motor industry?
MS: Having a female technician is always a good talking point for customers, and she is regularly asked questions about her career.
TMO: How many female staff work for you, and in what roles?
MS: We have two members of female staff – one workshop manager, and one in office administration.
TMO: What do you think the main challenges will be for your business this year?
MS: We are growing at a rate of over 50% year-on-year, and finding the right team members that fit in with the atmosphere of the business will probably be our biggest challenge.
TMO: What approaches do you use, or what events do you run to make female customers more at ease with using a garage like yours?
MS: We run our “Car Care Courses”. They are one-hour events which see small groups learn about the basics of car maintenance, from replacing light bulbs to changing a wheel.
More information on our forthcoming events can be found here.
TMO: How does your business benefit from being accredited to The Motor Ombudsman’s Motor Industry Codes of Practice for Service and Repair, and Vehicle Sales?
MS: Having a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)-approved Ombudsman working solely for the motor trade gives our customers peace of mind that we follow a Code of Practice and offer high standards of work and service.
Interview conducted in March 2019