How it all started…

After a rapid progression through the ranks of other businesses, David Clarke felt ready to start his own business at 25 years old.

He says: “I’d always enjoyed selling and really wanted to run a business. I’d always had that entrepreneurial streak running through me, and wanted to progress and achieve more. It was a big gamble for me, but I really wanted to do it.”

With his first job out of school being a paint mixer, Autosupplies naturally started as a supplier to the refinishing and paintwork industry in 1990.

As ever, David’s enterprising spirit meant the company didn’t stay still for long.

He saw many of his customers didn’t just want refinishing products – they wanted general parts as well, and were forced to go to other sources for them.

So, in 1999, he bought an acre of land on the edge of Bolsover in the belief that “we either had to move up or move out.”

The company moved into its new purpose-built home in 2003, and in the following four years Autosupplies expanded its components portfolio, but from the beginning David insisted on carrying only top-quality brands.

At the heart of the independent aftermarket

Twenty fourteen proved to be an important and significant year in the development of Autosupplies. It marked the company’s 25 years in business, servicing the independent motor trade in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. At the heart of the business, established by David Clarke, is the essence of providing service and products of the highest quality and this approach has defined and supported the growth of the company.

Autosupplies, as a company, has seen sustained and progressive growth over its 27 years in business. Back in 2003 the company moved into purpose-built premises, a defining moment in the company’s history as it enabled the business to maintain its growth pattern and provide customers with an industry leading level of service. Importantly the area purchased for the new warehouse and offices allows for additional expansion as and when necessary. Supporting all of this is one of the best developed websites in the automotive aftermarket with arguably the widest selection of products offered by any other motor factor.

A further underpinning of the company’s growth, according to David Clarke, is the range and extent of the substantial stock holding, which has been built and maintained over the life of the company. Added to this is the strict monitored adherence and commitment to delivering products to customers regularly and crucially, on time. Some 15 years ago the company achieved the ISO accreditation, increasingly important in today’s competitive marketplace, setting
standards for management systems and procedures. In effect, Autosupplies is leading the way and helping to improve the image of motor factors and the automotive aftermarket in general.

Today Autosupplies employs 100 people and uses 55 vans from its Chesterfield base, covering a 40-mile radius from the town – and taking in such diverse territories as Nottingham, Doncaster, Sheffield, Barnsley and the Peak district.

The company also has one of the best-developed websites in the industry, with possibly the widest selection of products offered by any factor.

The ‘onwards and upwards’ approach has clearly paid dividends, as the split in sales between refinishing products and components is nearly 50/50.

Not bad compared to those early days, when the company employed two people and used one van!

David Clarke MD
Autosupplies in 1989
Building the future
The big move
Autosupplies in 2016