SDC Trailers

19th February 2024

Franchise Spotlight - Marc Cartlidge, SDC Truck & Trailer Parts Doncaster

Just over 15 months ago, Marc Cartlidge embraced the SDC Truck & Trailer Parts Franchise programme to set up his own Commercial Vehicle Parts business in Doncaster. Reflecting on the remarkable growth and success of his first year, we caught up with Marc to discuss his experience of becoming a Franchise partner with SDC.

Can you tell us about your background and what inspired you to set up the SDC Truck & Trailer Parts Doncaster Franchise?

My first role in the Commercial Vehicle industry was as a delivery driver, and over the course of a decade, I progressed in this field until I was offered a Business Development position - a role that I thoroughly enjoyed, where I could build a good relationship with customers.

Approaching the age of 40, I found myself contemplating the direction of my career and the desire to make a significant impact. My professional growth and success in various business development positions served as a catalyst for considering franchise ownership, where I would have more independence and the autonomy to build my own team.

While the decision to leave my business development role was difficult, the prospect of building something more fulfilling, and the encouragement from my support network propelled me forward. Looking back, I am immensely proud of the decision to become a Franchise partner with SDC Truck & Trailer Parts and thrilled with the strong foundation I have built in my first year of business.


Can you highlight some key factors that have contributed to the success of SDC Truck & Trailer Parts, Doncaster, within a relatively short timeframe?

There have been several key factors that have helped us to secure our position in the market. Service takes precedence in my view, and our team will consistently go above and beyond to ensure customers receive the best service. We recognise the importance of pricing; however, service is the linchpin in our approach. Honesty and transparency with our customers in the transport industry have also been pivotal - providing accurate information is important, so that customers can rely on us to keep their operations running smoothly.

Having individuals who are aligned with our core values has been imperative. I'm fortunate to have a cohesive team that operates like a family - we work hard, but it's also important to maintain a vibrant and enjoyable workplace.


How has your partnership with SDC Truck & Trailer Parts as a franchisee supported your business, and what resources have been particularly beneficial?

The partnership with SDC Truck & Trailer Parts as a franchisee has proven to be instrumental in supporting the growth and success of our business. The comprehensive training, business support, and IT systems provided for Truck and Trailer Parts have been particularly noteworthy, while SDC’s recognised and long-established brand provided instant credibility and trust among customers.

We benefited from immediate access to SDC’s 16,000 Truck & Trailer Parts portfolio, and our customers benefit from the competitive prices and long-standing relationships SDC has developed with CV manufacturers.

In addition to this, SDC’s ‘Advanced PartsPlus’ Consignment Stock Management System allows our customers to benefit from enhanced stock replenishment across our 16,000+ Parts range, as well as reduced inventory management, and operational savings. This system eliminates the possibility of stockouts and delivery lead times by creating a holding stock of vital parts at the customer’s warehouse, ensuring that they always have the parts they need on hand.


Has there been any challenges, and how have you overcome these?

We had our share of challenges, as you would expect when starting out with any new business. It’s a steep learning curve but one that has undoubtedly helped me to grow as a person and franchise owner.

SDC’s Franchise programme minimised the risks associated with starting a new business, allowing me to focus on our customers with the confidence that we had a proven business model, brand, and products to succeed in a dynamic business environment.

SDC Truck & Trailer Parts has a dedicated Franchise Manager, Jack Smith, who has been a massive support, from strategy to stock control, IT systems, sales order processing, operations management, and marketing. Through the dedicated efforts of individuals such as Jack, Gavin, Mark, Raymond, David, Emma, and Susan, SDC has consistently demonstrated a commitment to our success. Their collective expertise and assistance have played a crucial role, ensuring seamless operation from the start.


Are there specific goals or milestones you aim to achieve, and where do you see SDC Truck & Trailer Parts Doncaster in the future?

Within our first year, our Doncaster Franchise has already witnessed substantial growth - we doubled our warehouse space and expanded our team from 3 to 6 members. This rapid expansion is indicative of our upward trajectory, a trend I foresee continuing in the foreseeable future.

Our overarching goal is to consistently surpass customer expectations, fostering continuous growth for the franchise, our customers, and SDC Truck & Trailer Parts network.

Looking ahead, my goal is to set up a second franchise once SDC Doncaster is firmly established. The replication of our Franchise model, with the support of SDC, is an ideal scenario that would further enhance our physical presence and delivery service in the region. The Franchise programme allows for a long-term partnership with SDC, and one day I might even pass the reins to my two sons when they come of age.

In the short term, however, we remain committed to upholding the core values integral to our success — Service, Quality, and Price.


SDC Truck & Trailer Parts, Doncaster

SDC Truck & Trailer Parts, Gateway, Unit 26 Sandtoft Rd, Sandtoft, Belton, Doncaster DN9 1FA

T: 01427 671574, E:

SDC Parts network:

Are you interested in joining the SDC Truck & Trailer Parts Franchise Network?

Contact Jack Smith to inquire: