Meet the team – Vicky Strange

Name: Vicky Strange

Job title: Customer services lead

Explain your role in 10 words: Implementing new customers and dealing with all customer service queries.

What’s the best aspect of your job? Oh there’s a few… Creating a good partnership with our clients and understanding their needs and expectations. Working with a fantastic team of people who are all committed to the same goal… Making service personal.

What’s the worst aspect of your job? Looking at Marcus Bray every day..lol. Probably the morning drive to work… we have roadworks at the minute.

How long have you worked at Fleet Service GB?  Since April 2016

What was your first paid job?  Chambermaid

What’s your favourite car?  MGB GT

What one thing would you like to achieve before you retire? Write children’s books

Outside of Fleet Service GB, what would your dream job be? I like making all sorts of things so probably running my own boutique or haberdashery shop.

Who in the world would you most like to meet?  Tom Hardy or Chris Hemsworth

What is your favourite way to spend a day outside of work?  Lazing in the sun with my friends, enjoying a gin and tonic and a good book.

If you won the lottery how would you spend the cash? House, car, holiday and share the rest with family and friends.

Not a lot of people know that. I’ve met Noel Edmonds when Crinkley Bottom was filmed where I used to work many years ago at Lucknam Park

Case Study – Stannah

Fact File

Organisation name: Stannah

Group information systems director: Martin Carter

Vehicle details: 410 light commercial vehicles; 290 company cars.

Business: Stannah is a British family-run global business with a turnover in excess of £210 million, employing 1,700 people working in the UK plus subsidiaries. Fifth-generation members of the Stannah family now manage the company, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2017. Stannah is the UK’s leading independent supplier of lift products supplying goods as diverse as loading systems, service lifts, platform lifts, homelifts and stairlifts.

Head office location: Andover.

Executive Summary

Robust management of fleet maintenance costs across the van fleet operated by Stannah has delivered a saving of more than £100,000 despite a 32% increase in the number of vehicles operated.

Stannah, the UK’s leading independent supplier of lift products outsources the maintenance management of its now 410-strong van fleet to Fleet Service Great Britain (FSGB).

The headline figures, which include a pence per mile saving per van of 1.73p reflecting a reduction of 38% over a near seven-year period, deliver a clear view that focused maintenance management can deliver significant operational financial savings on, what is generally perceived to be, a major area of fleet expenditure.

Total service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs in December 2010 across Stannah’s then 310-strong van fleet totalled £341,620.

In June 2017, despite the fleet increasing to 410 vans and total fleet mileage rising10% or 787,120 miles the total cost reduced to £232,470.

Martin Carter, Stannah’s group information systems director, said: “Stannah is very open with FSGB about what we are trying to achieve. We want to collect data so we can exactly identify what our costs are and effectively and efficiently manage the fleet.

“We also want a partner who understands what we are aiming to do and then get on and do it for us. That is exactly what FSGB does. It understands the culture of the Stannah business, makes the right decisions on our behalf and is very good at doing so.”

FSGB head of sales Marcus Bray said: “The maintenance management results are very positive which demonstrates, in my view, a good working partnership and also, very importantly, a Stannah policy which encourages ownership and responsibility from a driver perspective.”

Background

FSGB was launched in spring 2015 led by Mr Marcus Bray, who with a number of industry-experienced colleagues decided to form a unique co-ownership fleet management company.

When FSGB launched, Mr Carter, who is in charge of the fleet, decided to invest his trust in the new company’s ability to deliver. That led to FSGB taking on the maintenance management of the Stannah van fleet that has already increased during the period by more than 50 units and currently numbers some 410 vehicles.

He said: “Fleet Support Group (the former provider) had been acquired and under the new ownership there was a significant transition period and a lot of upheaval.  We wanted to spread our risk and the personnel at FSGB were a tried and trusted group of people and much focused on customer service and building partnerships.”

The vast majority of Stannah’s all-diesel van fleet are Mercedes-Benz Vito and Sprinter and Volkswagen Caddy and Transport models operated over a five-year/120,000-mile replacement cycle with maintenance undertaken on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The fleet maintenance challenge

Vehicle SMR accounts for a high percentage of fleet operating costs so FSGB provides a bespoke solution that guarantees maintenance standards, controls costs and streamlines administration and all with a totally personal service.

Everybody knows that well-maintained vehicles improve a fleet’s efficiency and effectiveness. The big question is: what’s the best way to achieve it? The options are to manage in-house or outsource to an expert organisation such as FSGB.

Stannah chose FSGB because, while the organisation may only have been launched in 2015, its co-ownership founders and employees have many years of proven expertise delivering vehicle maintenance management and reducing costs.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to managing vehicle maintenance. Nevertheless, the FSGB approach is to understand clients’ operational and other vehicle-related demands and then customise a service maintenance programme that satisfies those requirements and delivers a solution.

Underpinning FSGB’s fleet maintenance management solution is:

  • A 24/7 service support centre manned by the company’s own qualified staff. Fleet Service GB never closes – this aspect of the service is a key differentiator.
  • Its own approved national network of independent garages providing a highly professional and flexible service.
  • A National Price Promise that offers fixed prices for the same job on the same vehicle throughout the UK for around 75% of all predicted service and maintenance requirements. Prices are guaranteed for at least a year.
  • Instant online access to all reporting and fleet performance evaluation through an
    industry-leading portal.
  • Market-leading IT systems customised to process all transactions in line with an individual company’s fleet policy.
  • A team of qualified maintenance controllers that undertake pre- and post-event control to maximise value for money.

Additionally, FSGB provides customers with access to a driver app that offers a wealth of sophisticated cutting-edge features delivering 24/7 support to employees at the wheel of company vehicles.

Stannah drivers use the app’s features that include:

  • Interactive notifications, prompts, reminders and alerts
  • The ability to arrange bookings for SMR, including tyres
  • A facility to report an incident or breakdown, using GPS-enabled location services, which directly link to the FSGB Support Team
  • A facility to upload images, capturing incident and/or vehicle condition
  • The ability to update vehicle mileage in real-time
  • Multiple vehicle management options
  • A bespoke check sheet for vehicle condition reporting
  • The ability to view vehicle lifetime history.

Stannah was involved in the development and piloting of the app and Mr Carter said: “It not only delivers a high level of convenience for our drivers but is also reassuring for compliance.”

Cutting maintenance management costs

Key performance measures indicate that the pence per mile vehicle operating costs on the Stannah van fleet have reduced a staggering 38% between December 2010 and June 2017.

Comparing data over a snapshot 18-months between July 2009 and December 2010 when Fleet Support Group was managing maintenance costs and the 16 months ending June 2017 when FSGB had taken over reveals:

  • A fleet expanding from 310 van to 410 vehicles an increase of 100 units (32%)
  • The age of the fleet reducing by eight months from
    42 to 34 months
  • The average mileage age of the fleet reducing
    24% from 77,189 miles to 58,932 miles
  • The average mileage travelled per van per year reducing 17% from 24,427 miles to 20,389 miles
  • Pence per mile cost per vehicle reducing
    38% or 1.73p from 4.51p to 2.78p
  • The cost per van per year reducing 49% from
    £1,102 to £567.
  • Breakdown and recovery is excluded from FSGB’s total maintenance cost formula. However, if it was included, the difference would be just 2-3% of additional cost.

What’s more a detailed month-by-month analysis of the figures since FSGB took over maintenance management of the van fleet reveals that as vehicles have clocked up more miles – averaging 15,854 miles per van in March 2016 rising to 20,389 in June 2017 – so the key pence per mile cost has reduced over the same period from 3.04p per van to 2.78p per van.

Notwithstanding an overall reduction in the average miles travelled per year per van from 26,315 in July 2009, which would positively influence costs as the pence per mile figure then was 4.47p, the savings are significant.

Mr Carter said: “The cost of most products and services increase year-on-year but, remarkably, the pence per mile vehicle operating costs on the Stannah van fleet have reduced since FSGB took over management responsibility.

“Pence per mile is widely recognised as the most accurate measure of a vehicles maintenance expenditure. The three key measures are: total sum spent, total miles travelled and achieved pence per mile. The fact that over the periods measured – the 18 months ending December 2010 and the 16 months ending June 2017 – that pence per mile costs have reduced 38% is very significant.”

In part, it has to be acknowledged, that is due to improved vehicle manufacturer reliability, but it is also a reflection on the overall management approach to identify and then manage maintenance costs. As a result, over the measured period the cost per vehicle per annum reduced by £532 or 49%.

Yet comparing the mileage travelled by the van fleet in December 2010 to June 2017 – 7.57 million miles versus 8.36 million miles – and Stannah has saved a colossal £109,150 or 32% despite a significant increase in the size of the fleet.

During the last two years the age profile of the van fleet has reduced, while overall mileage has increased average mileage per van has decreased.

Mr Carter said: “We are adhering much closer to our five-year/120,000-mile policy. We used to let some vans run on, but using FSGB’s data we looked at the pence per mile operating costs over a period of time and it was obvious that above 120,000 miles there was a clear increase in SMR expenditure.”

Fleet decision-makers invariably work in their own silo and, while Mr Carter believed the pence per mile figures were good he had little idea as to how they compared with similar fleets.

He said: “We asked providers, including FSGB what the benchmark pence per mile figures were and they showed that we are out-performing the van sector. Benchmarking is key, although it is only a reference point.”

Driver discipline helps deliver SMR cost savings

Stamping out driver abuse of vehicles is critical to effectively managing SMR
costs and Stannah uses a suite of fleet management tools to ensure vans are in tip-top condition.

Each van is allocated to an individual driver who works from home with Mr Carter explaining: “That means every vehicle is completely traceable and it makes a major difference compared with an employee who travels to work each day and collects a van from a depot before returning it at the end of their shift. At Stannah each driver effectively ‘owns’ their van.”

Efficient fleet and driver management at Stannah starts with buying the ‘right van’ for the job required. Each vehicle is then equipped with telematics that records and delivers to Mr Carter a raft of data notably relating to driver behaviour and how a vehicle is driven. Additionally, any incident is reviewed in detail with, potentially, driver training the result.

Furthermore, with drivers logged on to the FSGB app it brings a significant element of self-management to the van fleet.

Mr Carter said: “Many company’s employees’ drive around in vehicles and their employer has no idea what their behind-the-wheel performance is. We ask our drivers to provide information and we give them data and they react. It makes our job easier and is having the desired effect. The result is that the majority of our drivers do not have crashes and drive sympathetically, which all helps to deliver maintenance cost savings.

“The fleet management tools that we use generate cost reductions through savings in SMR and fuel and a reduced number of crashes.”

The raft of data generated from in-vehicle telemetry allied to the information collected by FSGB means, as far as Mr Carter is concerned, that it makes totally logical sense for management of the fleet to reside with him, an IT professional.

He said: “I spend about one day a week on fleet-related work, but there is complete synergy with the rest of my job: Fleet management is becoming increasingly digitalised and vehicles are becoming increasingly connected.”

The Future

Continuing to “hook up” data from all sources is the key for Mr Carter to effectively and efficiently manage the Stannah fleet and ensure that “we remain focused and do not deviate from our aim”.

That mission remains to continue to reduce fleet costs as much as possible and while it is difficult to see currently where further maintenance costs savings may accrue, he said: “We must keep watch.”

There is also increased focus on whether the van fleet should remain an all-diesel operation amid the ever-present media headlines and political focus around the requirement to cut emissions and simultaneously improve air quality.

Mr Carter said: “Diesel is the right power for the Stannah fleet presently. But that will change at some time and as a business we don’t want to be caught out with a five-year operating cycle.”

However, despite the length of replacement cycle, being an outright purchase fleet gives the company flexibility and the ability to react swiftly to marketplace developments unlike potentially leased fleets that are likely to be subject to termination penalties if defleeting prior to end-of-contract.

Geoffrey Bray Executive Chairman, Fleet Service GB

“Positive partnerships between suppliers and customers are critical if business success from the perspective of both parties is to be achieved.

“In the case of vehicle SMR management technology, communication, vehicle reliability and control of every aspect of maintenance-related expenditure, all play their part. However, above all trust must underpin a successful partnership.

“Stannah has a much switched on fleet management team led by Martin Carter, who is extremely hands on and keen to ‘make things better’. That means Fleet Service GB is continually challenged to deliver above and beyond with complacency not an option.

“Fleet Service GB provides Stannah with a comprehensive fleet maintenance management solution and, importantly, ownership of every single service and repair issue is fully managed through to completion.

“Fleet Service GB operates as an extension of Stannah’s own fleet department. The partnership is like a well-oiled machine and, based on trust and a willingness to challenge, results are achieved.”  The future is very exciting and at the same time challenging.

Company car optional extra strategies to change with arrival of WLTP

Fleet and vehicle manufacturer strategies on company car optional extras are expected to be reconsidered with the introduction of the new vehicle emissions and MPG test procedure, known as the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

Until now, vehicle options have not impacted the defined carbon dioxide (CO2) levels of cars with the exception of wheel size, number of seats and transmission type. But WLTP takes into account all available options such as air conditioning, leather upholstery and the addition of a sunroof thus making the variation in CO2 levels – and thus tax rates – vast.

The new vehicle mileage and emission testing regime was introduced this month (September) to replace the 20-year-old NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) procedure and is designed to provide fleet operators and company car drivers with a more realistic ‘real-world’ driving view of the data.

WLTP is being introduced in two phases:

  • From September 2017 for all new car and van models requiring a new type approval number
  • From September 2018 for all cars and vans

WLTP car performance figures are expected to be highlighted on manufacturer websites and in brochures from late 2017, as new models are approved.

A new white paper from automotive data analysts JATO – ‘WLTP: The Impact on Tax and Car Design’ – says: “In the future, all car configurators will specify and price vehicles via their real CO2 footprint. As such adding optional extras will typically increase prices and also taxation levels if the vehicle moves from one CO2 tax band to another.”

As a result, JATO suggests that drivers “may choose simpler lower option vehicles” as vehicle CO2 is the tax driver. Furthermore, the white paper makes clear that it will be “increasingly important” to evaluate vehicle selection using whole life costs as MPG can change significantly with each model configuration.

JATO says: “WLTP will impact many elements of the decision-making process for someone choosing a fleet vehicle – taxes will be applied based on the CO2 emission level and whole life cost will be impacted by the real-life fuel consumption values.”

Commenting on the impact of the switch to WLTP on optional extras, the white paper predicts that will have two main implications:

  • How vehicle manufacturers design the various optional extras available. JATO suggests that the “option offer strategy will be reconsidered in the interest of simplifying it in light of the WLTP calculation, to evaluate how options will affect the resulting CO2 levels and therefore the tax thresholds. This means that WLTP will add a further layer of complexity for manufacturers when localising vehicles, making additive elements simpler and bundling low impact additions together in markets where CO2 taxes are applied will become crucial”.
  • How option design will become a key driver in fleet, company car driver and consumer decision-making. JATO suggests that “simpler vehicles with fewer options may become more popular as consumers seek more affordable models. The industry may see a decline in extras such as a memory function for seats, leather interior or ‘wooden’ accessories which raise weight and emissions without any corresponding improvement in performance. Indeed, few options improve CO2 performance as most add weight or increase energy use. In addition, since features that reduce CO2 emissions are made standard quickly, it’s possible that the automotive industry will move towards more simplified models as standard. Options that can positively impact CO2 levels, such as new dual clutch automatic transmissions or intelligent electrical systems are likely to appeal more to consumers and become more widespread”.

The white paper continues: “Higher CO2 readings under WLTP may result in higher tax levels and because of the need to calculate the effect of all accessories on emissions, communicating pricing to customers will become more complex. Pricing will need to consider additional options, as well as WLTP and NEDC figures.”

The results of WLTP MPG and emissions testing is that, in most cases, official vehicle MPG figures will be worse than equivalent NEDC figures, while CO2 emissions figures will be higher. Industry experts have suggested that CO2 figures on a car-by-car basis could increase by about 20% with introduction of the WLTP (The Buzz: August, 2017).

The new tests, which measure everything from fuel consumption and CO2, to nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulates by mass and number (PM/PN) and carbon monoxide (CO), are part of European regulations designed to improve air quality and tackle climate change.

As well as a tough new laboratory test, all newly launched car models have to undergo robust official on-road testing before they go on sale – an element that no other vehicle testing regime in the world requires.

Regarding vehicle-related taxes – company car benefit-in-kind tax, Vehicle Excise Duty and capital allowances – currently linked to the NEDC test, HM Treasury has yet to decide when to link the tax system to WLTP data. Industry speculation suggests that 2020/21 could be the financial year for changes to be introduced.

An HM Treasury spokesman has previously said it would “look to agree a suitable moment to move the tax system from NEDC to WLTP, based on industry input”, but JATO in its white paper assumes January 2019 will be the changeover date.

During a transitional period between September 2017 and September 2020, the certificate of conformity issued by the Vehicle Certification Agency will show both WLTP and NEDC CO2 values. From 2020 new vehicles will only be tested using WLTP type approval procedure. However, it is not clear yet when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will start recording the new WLTP figure on V5 vehicle registration documents, or if it will record both WLTP and NEDC figures.

JATO’s white paper concludes: “Changes to taxation at a national level, real life CO2 readings for vehicles and an increased volume of data configuration required for the industry, will immediately change the sector.

“In the longer term, it may impact the way cars are designed. Locking in CO2 efficiency at the start of the manufacturing process will become critical to remaining competitive. WLTP and its impact on tax, may be the first step in making CO2 a fundamental element in the decision-making process.”

Scotland to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2032 – eight years before rest of UK

Scotland plans to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2032, eight years earlier than under proposals recently set out by the London government, as part of a move to a low carbon economy.

The announcement came as the Scottish Government unveiled a string of low carbon initiatives, including in the vehicle sector, which sees:

  • A consultation launched on how best to put in place Low Emission Zones with plans for them to be introduced in Glasgow next year following by Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee by 2020
  • £60 million made available to accelerate innovation in new technologies, including electric vehicle charging.

The UK government recently published its long-awaited ‘UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations’ and thus improving air quality in which it said that it would “end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040” (The Buzz: August, 2017). It is understood that hybrid vehicles will be excluded from the UK government’s ban, if it becomes a reality.

This week Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Our aim is for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to be phased out in Scotland by 2032.”

The move to end the need for new petrol or diesel vehicles in Scotland by 2032 is supported by a move to expand the country’s charging network and make the A9 its first electric-enabled highway.

The new £60 million Innovation Fund is also aimed at encouraging academia and business to find solutions to some of the challenges that will be faced – for example, among projects the fund could support identifying innovative solutions to the challenge of charging electric vehicles in heavily tenemented towns and cities.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We have set out a bold new ambition on ultra-low emission vehicles, including electric cars and vans, with a target to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032, underpinned by a range of actions to expand the charging network, support innovative approaches and encourage the public sector to lead the way.

“Earlier this year I visited Tesla in Silicon Valley to discuss the importance of energy storage technology to Scotland’s wider energy strategy. That visit was an inspiration. We’re witnessing rapid technological change and the many companies focussing their efforts on this sector are making extraordinary advances. I want to see Scotland play its full part in this age of innovation.”

RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “The Scottish Government’s announcement that it plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2032 is admirable, but how quickly this transition can be achieved will depend on the infrastructure being able to facilitate such a mass switch to electric and other alternative fuel solutions.

“It’s worth remembering that the UK government has said it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, whereas the Scottish Government appears to be setting itself a target only – albeit an ambitious and commendable one.”

Scotland Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “We have a clear vision for Scotland’s air quality to be the best in Europe. However, poor air quality remains a public health issue, particularly for those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.”

Commenting on the consultation, he continued: “This consultation will help us deliver Low Emission Zones that are well designed with consistent national standards, in partnership with Scottish local authorities and regional transport partnerships. Low Emission Zones allow local authorities to set an environmental limit on key transport routes in order to improve air quality by allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles.

“As well as improving air quality low emission zones can also contribute to tackling congestion and improve our urban environments.

“The vehicles to be included in, or be exempt from, Low Emission Zones will be for individual local authorities to decide, but could include freight, taxis, buses and private motor vehicles. The consultation also seeks views on issues such as lead-in times, operating hours and enforcement.”

The consultation document proposes that cars and vans that meet Euro6 diesel/Euro 4 petrol emission standards will not be charged to entry Low Emission Zones – the same as for the Ultra-Low Emission Zone due to be introduced in London in April 2019.

Mr Lyes said: “These proposals will have motorists reeling at the thought that they could be banned from driving in certain areas of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee possibly as early as next year if they drive a diesel vehicle that is registered prior to September 2014. If they flout the ban, drivers in the wrong vehicles could face a costly fine.

“Nobody doubts the need for bold decisions being made to tackle Scotland’s pollution issue in its biggest cities, however, the outlined measures could have serious financial and practical impacts on those living and working in and around these cities.

“Unlike the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone [due to be introduced in April 2019], where motorists and businesses will have had up to six years to plan and budget for necessary upgrades to their vehicles, these proposals appear to fast-track stringent restrictions with a limited ‘sunset’ or grace period for those who live or operate businesses within the proposed zones.

“Motorists accept that tough measures are essential to tackle our air quality problem however there should not be a rush to penalise them at the first opportunity. Focus should firstly be on establishing which vehicles are the highest polluting vehicles doing the most mileage in the most polluted areas. Typically in urban area these tend to be buses and taxis so there must be an urgency to clean these vehicles up first.”

The consultation runs until 28 November and can be viewed at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/transport-scotland/building-scotlands-low-emission-zones/

FIAG looks to the future of fleet at 2017 autumn workshop

The future composition and fuel of choice of Britain’s company car fleets as well as how to more effectively manage drivers and journeys will be the focus at the autumn 2017 workshop hosted by the Fleet Industry Advisory Group (FIAG).

Round table debate at the event on Thursday, October 19, 2017 sponsored by driver risk management specialist Automotional and being held at the company’s Training Centre located within the Formula E Paddock at Donington Park Race Circuit close to the M1 in Derbyshire, will focus on:

  • How fleet managers can future proof their vehicle company choice lists with pressure from government to operate plug-in vehicles; diesel, the long-established fleet fuel of choice being ‘demonised’ in the national media amid air quality concerns; and the 2019 introduction of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone and the potential launch of Clean Air Zones across towns and cities nationwide.
  • Tactics that fleets can introduce to stamp out driver abuse of vehicles – thereby better manage service, maintenance and repair costs – and ensure work-related road safety compliance.
  • Improving journey management with government figures revealing traffic volume on the increase, new research suggesting ‘nightmare’ commutes could soon be the norm around the country with average driving speeds falling; and trials of lorry platoons set to start.

Round table debates among seminar delegates discussing each topic will be preceded by short presentations from industry experts:

  • Geoffrey Bray, FIAG founding chairman and executive chairman of Fleet Service Great Britain, will focus on the future composition of company car choice lists.
  • John Sunderland Wright, training director, Performance on Demand, will highlight how employers can better manage drivers and improve their performance by boosting their well-being and alleviating driver fatigue and stress thus making them ‘part of the solution’ to improved vehicle management.
  • Phil Powell, sales director, Matrix Telematics, will discuss, with telematics and ‘connected’ cars now prevalent, how vehicle and driver-related data is critical to improving overall business performance and how employers can meet the data protection requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect from May 25, 2018.

Annual FIAG membership costs £100 per person, which includes attendance at the organisation’s workshops. Members are encouraged to introduce FIAG to fellow fleet decision-makers with guests able to attend workshops at a cost of £25 per person per event.

Mr Bray said: “Whether a full-time professional fleet manager or a finance, HR or procurement expert with part-time fleet responsibility, the issues raised and topics to be discussed at the workshop are of vital importance to them and their employers.

“The fleet management world is rapidly changing and those in charge of vehicles and drivers need to react, review all current policies and implement change where deemed necessary. To retain the status quo will not be an option in most fleets.

“The speakers and round table debates will be thought provoking and will generate new ideas and opportunities that attending fleet decision-makers can learn from and adapt to meet the requirements of their own vehicle operations.”

FIAG was launched more than three years ago by industry veteran Mr Bray and a team of highly experienced professional fleet managers who collectively have around 200 years’ experience in running vehicle operations.

Utilising the wealth of knowledge and experience of its founding members – as well as other fleet decision-makers when they join FIAG – the organisation provides fleet advice, consultancy and support through the mentoring of newcomers to the role of fleet manager and less experienced employees with car, van and HGV responsibility.

The half-day workshop starts at 9.30am and will be followed by a buffet lunch.

Further information on the autumn workshop including registration is available at: www.fiag.co.uk/fiag-workshop-19th-october-2017-book-now/.

Partnership approach delivers major maintenance cost savings for Stannah

Robust management of fleet maintenance costs across the van fleet operated by Stannah has delivered a saving of more than £100,000 despite a 32% increase in the number of vehicles operated.

Stannah, the UK’s leading independent supplier of lift products supplying goods as diverse as loading systems, service lifts, platform lifts, homelifts and stairlifts, outsources the maintenance management of its now 410-strong van fleet to Fleet Service Great Britain (FSGB).

The headline figures, which include a pence per mile saving per van of 1.73p reflecting a reduction of 38% over a near seven-year period, deliver a clear view that focused maintenance management can deliver significant operational financial savings on, what is generally perceived to be, a major area of fleet expenditure.

View the case study.

Fleets fail to undertake vehicle safety checks, but FSGB app does the job!

Driver influenced costs are the single largest drain on a company’s in-life fleet car and van expenditure, but a quarter of UK businesses do not conduct regular safety checks on vehicles used for business purposes, according to new research.

Therefore, improving driver performance is the key to keeping costs under control, which is why Fleet Service Great Britain (FSGB) has developed its industry-leading Achieve Driver Management driver centric’ differentiator to continually measure driver performance, while also ensuring compliance. Fleet decision-makers, by acting on the data and management reports provided, can thus reduce vehicle-related operating costs and ensure legislative compliance.

A new study by TomTom Telematics, conducted among senior managers at 400 UK businesses, also found that although the large majority of businesses (89%) check driver documentation – such as licence and insurance details – only 43% did that more than once every six months.

A total of 15% of respondents admitted their organisations only checked documentation when a new employee joined, and did not schedule follow-up checks.

The Achieve initiative is continually evolving, but at its heart is a driver compliance programme that ensures companies manage their work-related road safety responsibilities in accordance with best practice and legislation.

The Achieve ‘toolbox’ includes a driver app with a wealth of sophisticated cutting-edge features delivering 24/7 support to employees at the wheel of company vehicles. Features include:

  • Interactive notifications, prompts, reminders and alerts
  • The ability to arrange bookings for servicing, maintenance and repairs, including tyres
  • A facility to report an incident or breakdown, using GPS-enabled location services, which directly link to the FSGB Support Team
  • A facility to upload images, capturing incident and/or vehicle condition
  • The ability to update vehicle mileage in real-time
  • Multiple vehicle management options
  • A bespoke configurable check sheet for vehicle condition reporting
  • The ability to view vehicle lifetime history.

The information is seamlessly uploaded into users’ portals for immediate review providing comprehensive details of vehicle condition and a wealth of other data.

Additionally, Achieve:

  • Embraces driver licence validation
  • Measures driver performance with data fed into the online system from a variety of sources including telematics, details of any fines and records crash history.

Marcus Bray, co-founder of FSGB and head of sales, said: “From launch, FSGB has had a very clear plan to develop technology that makes a real difference in the delivery of driver and vehicle management services.

“Stamping out driver abuse of vehicles is critical to effectively managing SMR costs. Many company’s employees’ drive around in vehicles and their employer has no idea what their behind-the-wheel performance is.

“FSGB’s Achieve programme makes it easier for fleet decision-makers to manage vehicles and drivers. The result is that the number of vehicle crashes will reduce and if employees drive sympathetically maintenance cost savings will accrue.”

Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: “Ensuring vehicles and drivers are roadworthy is a fundamental requirement for any organisation that expects employees to drive for business purposes.

“If organisations are to safeguard employees and protect themselves from risk, it is important to have comprehensive systems in place not only for ensuring checks are conducted frequently but also to ensure findings are properly recorded and acted upon where necessary.”

Three-fifths (60%) of those who checked driver documentation still do so manually, with the remainder conducting electronic checks.

Ms Wise added: “Since the paper counterpart to the photocard licence was abolished more than two years ago, endorsements and disqualifications have only been recorded electronically. Therefore, businesses should strongly consider moving from manual to electronic checks to ensure they are building a more comprehensive picture on driver risk.

“Ultimately, businesses need to keep on top of the process to ensure they have all the relevant information they need. Technological systems can help in this respect by setting schedules and notifications for checks and collating results.”