The loss of high-profile names such as Rover should be looked upon as an opportunity rather than a threat if the region's automotive supply chain businesses are to survive, a conference has heard.
Leadership & Management - Making the Right Decision, was the first in a series of four masterclasses organised by Business Link Black Country which aim to equip automotive supply chain businesses with the skills to survive and grow in the future.
A number of Midlands firms attended the event at the Copthorne Hotel, Brierley Hill, which was led by business management expert Richard Denny.
He said: "The biggest opportunity facing every business in Britain is to provide awesome customer care.
"You don't need the best products or prices but if you provide an outstanding service you will win and take the market share.
"The key is finding new opportunities and making sure that your business has the capacity and skills to be better than the competition."
The masterclasses follow on from the 2005 Moving Up a Gear conference facilitated by BLBC, which aimed to identify how it could best support businesses affected by the collapse of firms such as MG Rover.
The findings of the 2005 conference were used as the basis for the four masterclasses taking place between June and October.
Organiser Sandra Harding said: "Each event aims to give manufacturers and their suppliers the practical, nononsense, useable knowledge and motivation to be able to achieve all this and crucially to win new business."
The three remaining masterclasses will cover Innovation & New Product Development (July 6); Capacity Building (September 12) and Sales & Marketing (October 17).
Terry Somerfield, of ZF Lemforder UK, based in Darlaston, one of the delegates at the first masterclass, felt he was able to pick up a number of key points which would help him take his business forward.
"We are a supplier of automotive parts for customers including Aston Martin and Jaguar and it is essential that we continue to develop skills and ideas to meet the changing needs of the industry. I've taken at least ten pointers away with me which I am going to use to develop the business," he added.
Mike Burrows, of Burcas, which manufactures and supplies precision engineering products to the automotive industry, also found the masterclass helpful.
"I am normally rather sceptical about attending these things but this master-class was very beneficial. It was reassuring to know that I am doing the right things - I also noted down some things which I know I can use to improve the business."