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Here, we interview Lisa Adams, Product Manager at Opteven, to discuss her role within the company, the creation and evolution of new products and what sets Opteven apart from its competitors.

What does your role entail?

My day-to-day role is divided into several key areas including the maintenance of our existing product portfolio and the creation and evolution of new products. To do this, I work with colleagues across the business to develop and build a product and then construct the books and training materials around it. I also spend time representing product in cross-functional and pan European projects, which could be in support of our existing corporate clients and partners.

What do you like most about your role?

I particularly enjoy the variety of my job. One minute I could be working with Rob, our Risk and Pricing Manager, to support our Sales Team with a product query and the next I could be speaking to colleagues in Lyon, about a brand-new product or solution for retail, OEMs or one of our partners, such as the AA. It’s the variety and reward of a good job done that keeps it interesting.

What challenges do you face on a day-to-day basis?

The biggest challenge is time. Opteven is a fast-moving company, and we are in a fast-moving industry where we want to make the most of every opportunity. The motivation for the next project is found from seeing the success of the one before. It’s always great to hear about the first sale of a new product or that a claim has come in and you have helped to get a customer back on the road quickly.

Can you tell us a bit more about your background?

I have a varied work history which began with a boss who told me to ‘get into marketing’ as I have a keen passion for communication, design and creating solutions. I moved into product design for physical products and eventually creating product services for various logistic companies, automotive and insurance providers. Highlights included creating a logistics solution to transport hazardous goods for Royal Mail, marketing for Citroen and developing new service products for companies which included LeasePlan, Mobilize, AXA and Direct Line. I also spent some time working for a small financial mutual – Metfriendly – where I launched savings plans for members of London’s Metropolitan Police!

How do you think your previous experience helps you perform in your current role?

Having had numerous roles across multiple sectors and worked for both large and small organisations, I believe my career to date has provided me with an extensive ‘tool kit’ of experience which I can call upon to support ever changing scenarios and markets. It’s the experience you gain in the past that helps make the future easier – so I am not afraid to look backwards in order to go forwards.

How do you see the market developing in the coming years?

The automotive market continues to evolve and segment as it responds to different mobility needs.

The cost-of-living crisis and high interest rates – though good news for savers – means that those using a loan to purchase a vehicle are being left behind. As a result, sales beyond the metal are becoming increasingly important, and it’s up to companies such as Opteven to provide the opportunity to add value to the sale.

The market is also bound to be impacted by the ongoing development of EV vehicles over the next five to ten years. Specifically, as we are seeing used EVs filtering in ever increasing numbers into the used vehicle market, more EV technicians are desperately needed and products like ours need to also adapt accordingly.

What do you think sets Opteven apart from its competitors?

It’s our people that makes the difference at Opteven. We have a unique culture of growth and collaboration – a corporate that does things differently. It’s a place for people with a growth mindset who want to continue to evolve as the company does.

The key difference between Opteven and our competitors is the investment we have made in technology and systems. Many of our systems are shared across Europe, meaning learnings are shared too. One of these tools is Carflex – which is a database of all the components in a vehicle, so we can identify what is and isn’t covered in each of our products, making it easier to manage claims and serve our customers.

What was your first car and what do you drive now?

My first car was a Mark 1 VW Golf GX in papyrus green which my parents bought new in 1983 and was one of a limited edition based on the Golf GTI. I had it professionally restored prior to selling it in 2004. I now drive an Audi A3 Sportback, but if my old Golf came up for sale again, I would happily trade it in!

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