Nationwide Vehicle Contracts

Company background (What’s your story? How did you get here?)

Nationwide Vehicle Contracts is one of the UK’s largest providers of car and van leasing. Since 2002, we have helped more than 135,000 customers get behind the wheel of a new vehicle. As a digital and customer-focused business, we are committed to developing innovative and competitive solutions to drive the industry forward and meet the ever changing needs of our customers. To achieve this, we hold four core values close to our hearts: competitiveness, innovation, expertise, and growth.

What were the highlights of the course?

The course offered a well-rounded and comprehensive overview of AI. We came away feeling better equipped to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of this exciting and dynamic field. The online workshops were particularly insightful, offering a great opportunity to learn more about AI and its practical applications in real-world environments. The expert talks were also a highlight of the course, and we particularly enjoyed the session on chatbots.

Impact - How has being on the course helped you as an individual?

The course has been a fantastic investment in my professional development. It allowed me to expand my skills and knowledge in the field of AI and gain a deeper understanding of different knowledge areas, such as machine learning, natural language processing, data science, ethical AI and data privacy. The practical workshops, in particular, have helped me to develop a more hands-on understanding of AI and its various applications, and I feel better equipped to apply these concepts in my day-to-day work.

Impact - How has being on the course and the further support through the technical assist helped your business? (For example, efficiency improvements, unique selling points)

The course helped refine ideas about how we could use AI in our business, but it was the technical assist that really helped turn those ideas into a reality. We were able to access expert guidance and support to help us navigate the complexities of implementing AI in our business. This included helping us select the right tools and technologies and providing ongoing support and training. The end result has been transformative for our business, and we’re already seeing the benefits in terms of improved customer satisfaction and internal efficiency.

Is there anything you do now in your business that you wouldn't have otherwise done?

As a business that values innovation, we believe that we would have eventually explored the potential of AI and its applications in our business. However, being on the course has enabled us to get to grips with this technology much sooner than we would have otherwise and has given us an edge over the competition. We’ve been able to explore a range of different AI technologies and their applications in our business, and we’re now using these technologies to drive improvements in customer service and internal efficiency. Overall, the course has given us a broader and more in-depth understanding of AI and its potential applications, and has helped us to become a more innovative and forward-thinking business as a result.

Would you recommend the GM AI Foundry to other people? Why?

Absolutely. The GM AI Foundry provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to explore the potential of AI and gain the skills and knowledge needed to implement it effectively. While some may be hesitant or even fearful of AI, the truth is that it offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries.

Have you had any recent successes in your business as a result of the programme? (For example, winning new business, recruiting new staff)

We were recently awarded the inaugural Broker News award for “Best Innovation in Broking” for our AI tool, which is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the innovation of our team and GM AI Foundry. The AI tool has also helped us to deliver better service to our customers and has enabled us to streamline many of our internal processes, which has had a significant impact on our bottom line.

Do you have any advice for other small to medium-sized businesses?

We would advise other small to medium-sized businesses to be open to funded opportunities that can help them upskill their staff and gain knowledge. The GM AI Foundry programme has been a fantastic opportunity for us to develop our AI tool and to gain valuable skills and knowledge in this area, which has had a significant impact on our business.

We would also encourage businesses not to be afraid of AI. Many businesses may be hesitant to embrace AI due to concerns about cost or complexity, but the truth is that AI can be an incredibly powerful tool for driving innovation, improving efficiency, and delivering better customer service.

What was the best thing about your partnership with the universities?

The best thing about our partnership with the universities was the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest minds in the field of AI. We were able to work closely with staff and students who had a wealth of knowledge and expertise in AI and related technologies, and who were able to provide us with valuable insights and guidance as we developed our AI tool.

Keith Hawes, Director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts receives the Innovation in Broking Award trophy from Loopit’s Andrew Mortimer