Phil Stubbs: The First Interview

AI Assistant's new Chief Revenue Officer, Phil Stubbs, discusses his first few weeks in the role, his immediate priorities, future plans and more.

As part of its accelerated growth programme, AI Assistant was delighted to welcome Phil Stubbs as the latest member of its senior management team.

With more than 35 years’ experience in the automotive sector, both in the UK and overseas, including working with customers in more than 60 countries, Phil is responsible for developing AI Assistant’s commercial model to grow its customer and reseller base.

We sat down with Phil to discuss his first few weeks in the role, his immediate priorities, future plans and more.

Transcription as follows:

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Yeah, I've worked in IT all my career, initially in technical roles, and I've been in the automotive space for over 35 years working with customers in 60 countries, spending time really understanding, you know, every aspect of their business.

How did you first hear about AI Assistant?

Well, I've known Ritchie and Carl and other members of the team for quite a long time and they've got a proven track record of building businesses and products in this space. So I've been keeping a watching eye on this for the last few years. And it's really pleasing to see that the business has now matured.

What was the deciding factor in making the move to join the team?

The team, the products and I think the opportunity to really change the automotive industry with AI and automation and it's all sort of converged at the right time for me.

It’s early days in the role but how have you found things so far?

Good. I think the team's enthusiasm, knowledge and speed of development are very, very good. So far we've been working with a group of forward thinking dealers and we can now demonstrate value on a daily basis in the automotive industry. I think this gives us a good base camp to push on from.

What are your immediate priorities?

We are moving from startup to the next phase, and growing our customer base and resellers is key to the next step.

What will success in your role look like?

Firstly to guide and advise the automotive industry on how to use and embrace the technology. Secondly, we need to expand our customer and reseller base and to enable full adoption of our products and services.

Why are AI Assistant products so important for automotive retailers?

Our technology enables dealers to get more out of the existing teams they've got by dealing with the mundane and repetitive aspects of the business. Therefore, combining people and our technology will provide dealers with increased CSI, profits and revenue increases. They're going to be able to deal with the people at the right time in the sales process whether they're selling a car or a service.

Where should dealers start with AI and Automation?

Retailers that use technology to free up their people to do what they do best in interacting with people at the right time to close deals and sell other services, leaving the technology to deal with the repetitive aspects of the business. Traditionally, the industry has not done very well when it's been in the lead up to or post sale of a vehicle or a service, and we can address those issues consistently to deliver better CSI. It makes perfect sense to me to let the technology take care of the mundane and repetitive items, freeing up the humans to do what they do best.

Who is typically involved in the purchase decision?

Our technology touches every part of the retailer's business. One aspect though, is the potential reduction in external marketing spend, so it's important that people like the Managing Director, Financial Director, or even the Marketing Director, are the sponsor for its introduction. Of course, we need to work with the IT teams to enable the introduction of the technology.

How will automotive retail change in the next five years?

Predicting the future is obviously not an exact science, and there are a number of factors that will affect the industry moving forward. I think the first one is the introduction of the agency model, which largely impacts the UK and Europe. In other parts of the world, it won't be introduced or there will minimal impact.

That's definitely gonna make a change.

Secondly, I see the continued expansion of the Chinese brands into the UK and into Europe to join the likes of MG, BYD and Great Wall. We've seen that in other parts of the world - The Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. In these geographies, their first priority has been to grow the vehicle parc, which makes a lot of sense. The arrival of such a large volume of new brands is bound to impact the industry as we see it today.

Thirdly, AI and automation will enable retailers to grow their business, revenues and profits with about the same size of team, if not a little bit larger, than they have today.

What role will AI Assistant play in that?

I believe with our blend of automotive experience and technology, we can lead the automotive industry in harnessing the power of AI and automation.

For more information about how we can help you embrace AI and automation to boost profits in your dealership, email or call us on 01488 757447.

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