Phil Roberts of Flexible Vehicle Contracts answers Barker's Dozen
30 January 2012
BusinessCar's Paul Barker puts 13 testing questions to another victim
1. What was your first job? Working in a fleet office within Alfred McAlpine PLC - my very first insight into the politics of the company car.
2. What was your first company car? A Peugeot 205GRD with 71,000 miles on the clock, and full of cigarette ash. I vowed never ever to let a company car driver be given a two-and-half-year old car in that condition again. Little did I know that 10 years down line this experience would help form the basis of my business.
3. What did you listen to on your last car journey? A mixture of Radio 5 and Paul Weller.
4. What one thing do you wish you could do better? In a word, delegate.
5. What's your biggest achievement? Keeping my hair 15 years after starting this great business.
6. Who are your role models? I'm not a role model person I'm afraid but I respect those who give a lot and have a little, not those who have a lot, give a little and then tell the world about it.
7. What's the stupidest thing you've done? Not pay enough attention to those who have used any variation of our business name over the years. We were the originals in 1996 to trade with the name and we didn't protect it enough.
8. What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting? Why don't fleet managers change supplier when: a) you're cheaper; b) you know your customer service levels are better; c) trading terms are identical. I couldn't give you the full transcript of the meeting because the words used would not be printable.
9. What's in your garage? An infrequently used running machine, rowing machine and set of golf clubs, and a much-used wine cooler.
10. What's the worst thing about your job? We don't build what we sell, so control over stocking can be testing.
11. What one law would you make or change? Pre-pack agreements - there really should be an in-depth investigation into each one.
12. What keeps you awake at night? Podcasts on the iPod.
13. Who is your ideal celebrity date? Cameron Diaz, Cheryl Cole and Beyonce - yes, I am shallow and greedy.