Festive Focus series: Bdaily chats with DealTrak’s Steve Lees
It’s that time of year again. The Christmas rush. The manic high-street shopping. The alarming convenience of one-click online purchases. The nail-biting potential for drama at the staff party.
All that aside, December’s a time when we’re able to reflect on our achievements and failures of the last 12 months, and look ahead with a bit more foresight and wisdom than we had this time last year.
The Festive Focus series we’re running this month will look to highlight all that and more. Throughout each week in December, we’ll be sharing insights from key businesspeople in the North East, Yorkshire & Humber and London.
This morning we have Steve Lees, operations director at Leeds-based DealTrak.
Can you introduce yourself and your business to our readers?
“DealTrak has been the market leading F&I platform in the UK motor and asset finance sectors for over a decade. As operations director, I take responsibility for delivering outstanding service to clients, providing leadership and direction to both the client services & development teams as well as supporting the strategic focus of the business.
“Prior to joining DealTrak I was a partner at a top 100 law firm and one of the first people in the UK to be appointed as a non-legal partner. I then spent two years at a surveying company but ended up leaving there – without another role lined up – as the brand ethos really didn’t fit with mine.
“I was introduced to DealTrak’s managing director Martin Hill by a recruiter, who knew the company and thought the two of us would work brilliantly together. The rest – as they say – is history.”
What was your company’s biggest achievement of the year?
“Personally, I think what we’ve done as people has been incredibly important. We’re currently working towards an Investors in People accreditation, and the amount of work we’ve put in as a team has been staggering. For me – whatever the result – the achievement is already there, as it’s made sure DealTrak is genuinely focused on its employees.
“Secondly, the key to maintaining our digital relationships is trust. We’ve just been awarded ISO27001 accreditation for the second year running. This international standard is vital for any business that handles data – be that for customer insight or data capture – which most dealerships, brokers and insurers do.”
How would you approach 2018 differently, given the chance?
“I wouldn’t. The past 12 months has been a year of change at DealTrak as we collectively focused on attracting (and retaining) the right people. The entire organisation was involved in the process, and it was key to establishing the right approach and culture as we move into the new phase of growth.”
What are your company’s plans for the new year?
“We have a very ambitious growth strategy starting in 2019 which – over the course of the next three years – should see us making positive changes within the F&I industry, and growing significantly as a business.”
What’s your favourite Christmas song?
“Let It Snow. It’s part of the soundtrack to Die Hard and – let’s face it – Christmas only starts when you’ve seen Hans Gruber fall off the Nakatomi Plaza tower for the umpteenth time.”