Established in 1961, APS Group is an international marketing services business providing integrated communications and customer experience programmes to local and global brands. With seven international offices operating across 64 countries worldwide, APS serves some of the world’s biggest brands in automotive, retail, financial services, charity, public sector, healthcare, hospitality and leisure.
APS has been exporting for decades, yet its commitment to international expansion has seen the business double in size over the last five years alone, achieving a 105% increase in turnover in the last three years. This ambition for growth has resulted in expansion into new and existing markets to meet demand, including North America, Benelux, the Nordics, and France.
As well as exploring opportunities in new territories, APS has diversified and broadened its service lines to deliver end-to-end marketing and communications solutions for global clients such as Philips, A.S Watson Group, adidas and Ford.
International success: delivering a showroom upgrade programme for Ford
The automotive customer journey has undergone considerable change in recent years and the showroom now has to offer a more consumer-friendly and immersive experience. Ford realised it needed to adapt and set out a new showroom environment, yet this was no easy task. With thousands of different dealerships across Europe, many of Ford’s showrooms differed in terms of offering and services as well as look and feel.
Ford tasked APS Group with delivering a premium showroom upgrade programme across its European dealerships; providing multi-lingual customer support, managing communications, manufacturing, procurement, logistics handling and implementation for materials, such as free-standing walls and in-dealership furniture.
Ford needed a partner who understood the complexity, scale and geographical reach of the project and who could deliver a complete end-to-end solution across a vast retail estate.
Working with Ford’s design agency, APS Group created four interactive ‘zones’ consistent in each showroom that set out to guide the customer through the decision-making process as simply and efficiently as possible.
With multiple large sites across a range of geographical locations, communication was key in ensuring that implementation ran smoothly. To meet the needs of Ford’s global communications strategy, APS paid close attention to the cultural and marketing differences across various markets, as well as the physical requirements of each location.
From providing dedicated multi-lingual customer service teams, to producing installation guides in multiple languages, APS Group managed every possible detail. The project has been delivered to over 3,000 stores in 21 different countries.
“It’s a tremendous honour to have won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise,’’ said managing director Nick Snelson. ‘‘Our ‘make more possible’ strapline is intrinsic to everything we do for our clients and winning this award is testament to this ethos. I’m immensely proud of this achievement and would like to thank the fantastic teams we have in place all over the world, as well as the continued support of our customers and supply partners.’’