SMR regime reduces risk

He said: “Expert management of an organisation’s van fleet can deliver huge cost and efficiency savings.

“For some fleets, the implications of an SMR supplier not meeting SLAs could mean downtime costs of more than £1,000 per day, so as a minimum it is imperative that fleet operators adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.”

How to tell if your vehicles are not getting the best treatment

Early warning signs include:

  • High maintenance spend
  • Increasing number of garage visits
  • Lack of or ineffective replacement vehicle arrangements in place to keep the business operational during SMR events
  • Common faults occurring too frequently
  • Major component failures

BT Fleet’s Mark Wolfe recommends that van operators should ask themselves the following questions:

  • Are you getting value for money and can your current supplier demonstrate how much they are saving you?
  • Is your supplier collaborating with manufacturers and claiming back warranty costs on your behalf?
  • How long are repairs taking? Downtime can massively impact business operations and profitability
  • What proportion of repairs are they sub-contracting out to other suppliers?
  • Can they offer mobile servicing? This can significantly reduce downtime

One surefire way of keeping on the right side of the law is to join the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence programme, which was launched to raise standards in the light commercial vehicle industry.

Fleets which sign up don’t have to belong to the FTA, but will be given advice on a variety of topics – including servicing, maintenance and repair – to help them gain their Certificate of Excellence. The scheme won the  Best New Product or Service Award at the 2012 Fleet News Awards.

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