A firm which is one of the UK’s biggest motor repair management companies has now expanded its workforce and its services after taking over part of a national brand.
Vizion Network says it has safeguarded more than 40 jobs with the acquisition of the former NFU Mutual claims centre in Wellingborough.
Vizion, which already employs about 100 people at its headquarters in Hull, also expects to create more than 100 new jobs at the new office during this year.
Chris McKie, the company’s managing director, said: “At the moment we have 42 people in Wellingborough, using about 20 per cent of the building’s capacity.
“We expect our team there to increase to about 150 by the end of this year.
“There is gradual recruitment going on now and there are conversations going on about how quickly that will progress.”
NFU Mutual announced in October 2016 that it would close two of its regional service centres – Cardiff and Wellingborough – as it consolidated its operation.
Vizion Network took the opportunity to continue an expansion programme which has seen the company grow from just one member of staff in 2009 to become the biggest tenant at The Deep Business Centre in Hull.
Mr McKie said: “We’ve got two offices at The Deep giving us 5,000 square feet and we can’t really expand any more there without compromising business continuity planning, but this acquisition not only substantially enhances our operations at The Deep, it is also about geography and services.
“At Wellingborough we’ve got 15,000 square feet over three floors and it gives us a good footprint in the Midlands and a base for expansion into the south.
“Hull will be our primary call centre but the Wellingborough office will support our growth forecast of 18 per cent this year and will also help us introduce additional services including providing replacement vehicles and providing additional services for customers with claims arising from the total loss of their vehicle.
“We already provide a 24/7 service for recovery of stranded vehicles and we plan to do the same with other services.
“Wellingborough will also be the hub for web-based and app-driven features such as registering claims and transmitting images, helping us to provide drivers with a seamless and less frictional service.”
The total annual number of claims received by Vizion Network has climbed from 78,210 in 2014 to 221,000 in 2016 as the company has struck partnerships with household-name insurers including Aviva, Allianz, AXA, LV, NFU Mutual and Markerstudy, with a client base of manufacturers which includes BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Renault, Subaru, Volvo and VW Group.
The company expects to process 265,000 repairs this year.
Mr McKie said: “We have got where we are as a result of ethical, honest and transparent trading, delivering on our promises and providing services which enable our customers to interact rapidly and repeatedly with their customers to the highest standards.
“That helps our clients increase their business and others within the industry are encouraged to collaborate with us, whether they are insurers, vehicle manufacturers, brokers or fleets.”
Freya Cross, business and corporate manager at The Deep, said: “Vizion Network’s expansion is great news for the people in Wellingborough who have kept their jobs as a result of the acquisition and for the people in Hull who have helped to build the business.
“Our mission at The Deep Business Centre is to help our tenants become established and then to grow, and Vizion is a spectacular example of what can be achieved.
“They started with one person in an office of 250 square feet and have become a major player in the motor repair industry.”