The headcount at DealTrak HQ has certainly grown over the past 12 months. And, in celebration of the faces both old and new – in terms of tenure, not age, of course – we’ve decided to give you the InsideTrak on a different member of the team each month, to learn more about what makes them tick.
This month we’re finding out more about Neil Watkiss, head of consumer credit, who looks after the relationships with DealTrak’s lender partners.
What’s the best part of your job?
It’s great when we get positive feedback from a dealer or broker client, particularly when they tell me that DealTrak has transformed their business!
Sometimes, it’s more specific, such as when an enhancement to a lender integration has led to a substantial efficiency gain. That’s when we know that the work the team has done has been well worth it.
Which one word do you think your colleagues would use to describe you?
And what word do you think best describes DealTrak?
What’s been the most satisfying moment of your DealTrak career so far?
The creation of the head of consumer credit role and being appointed to the position.
I knew that DealTrak needed someone to take responsibility for the lender relationships, because they are of critical importance to what we do on behalf of our dealers and brokers – and I wanted to be that person.
What do you love about the DealTrak office?
Who couldn’t love this building? It is a brilliant place to work. It was great that all the staff had input into the design of the office before it was fitted out, so it’s absolutely our space. I’m particularly proud that one of my heroes – the wartime codebreaker Alan Turing – is honoured by a meeting room being named after him. That was my suggestion!
If one of your colleagues could win an award (industry or office-related) who would it be and why?
I honestly could name any of my colleagues. We have a very diverse team, all of whom bring a variety of skills and expertise to the table. I learn lots from all of them. I actually cannot pick only one. Can I select three?
If so, I would select James Holden, our technical manager. He has a fantastic knowledge of our lender integrations and, indeed, of all technical aspects of DealTrak. He is also the most helpful person I have ever worked with.
I would also select Natalie Dews, our broker relationship manager. Natalie has developed a fantastic relationship with our broker clients and she is passionate in ensuring their voice is heard in our internal meetings. Trust me, when Natalie makes a point, there is no possibility of it being misunderstood!
My third colleague is definitely an unsung hero. Kirstyn Thomas, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of our various development projects, and ensures they all progress through to completion. I am delighted that this has been recognised with her recent promotion to the position of Product Owner.
What are your hopes for DealTrak in the coming year?
I wish to ensure that the functionality of the DealTrak platform continues to evolve at any ever-increasing rate, driving forward productivity gains to lenders, brokers, dealers and, ultimately, to promote better outcomes for end-users.
What is the biggest challenge facing the industry over the next 12 months?
Another part of my role is to ensure that DealTrak stays ahead of the curve on all changes in the Consumer Credit environment. However, as far as 2019 is concerned, it is difficult to look beyond Brexit for the biggest challenge.