Fleet managers should order duplicate livery to reduce repair downtime

Post-crash vehicle downtime costs fleets hundreds and even thousands of pounds a day and disrupts business effectiveness, but efficiencies can be significantly improved by ensuring duplicate car and van graphics are stocked by the livery supplier.

Frequently, according to Tobin Jenkins, managing director of vehicle graphics and wrapping company Sign Language, vehicle wrapping and livery is the final item to be thought of when getting a vehicle back on the road following a road traffic crash.

However, to help improve operating efficiencies for customers, Sign Language analyses their past 12 months’ crash statistics to determine vehicle damage “hotspots” across the fleet.

Using the resulting data, a duplicate “repair kit” stock of vehicle wrapping and livery on a panel-by-panel basis will then be produced and held by Sign Language. It can then be dispatched to the vehicle repairer for same-day delivery if ordered before 1pm or delivered the following day if later.

The firm says the lead time for replacement vehicle wrapping and livery can be up to five days or even longer from some suppliers.

According to Sign Language, the panels on a vehicle that require the most frequent replacement of wrapping and livery are: driver door, front passenger door, nearside sliding door and the offside rear quarter panel.

Mr Jenkins said: “Replacement vehicle livery is rarely planned and is frequently considered at the last minute. But road crashes are, unfortunately, a fact of life and one of our clients has calculated that it costs them around £3,500 a day if a vehicle is off the road.

“Bodywork may have been repaired, but if a vehicle returns to the road part-wrapped or liveried it can impact on the perception of a business and its brand. There is then further disruption when the new graphics arrive and the vehicle has to be taken off the road a second time.

“Through minimal outlay, graphics can be produced per panel replacement and quick dispatch to the bodyshop means vehicle downtime and business disruption is kept to an absolute minimum as a consequence of advance planning.”

Replacement vehicle wrapping and livery can presently be ordered by telephone or email. Sign Language are soon to launch an online facility through which customers will be able to see their stock holding and, when required, can provide details to their repairer for prompt ordering.

Jenkins said: “Typically a van wrapping and livery specialist will only find out about graphic requirements via the accident repairer almost as an after-thought. Yet, vehicle graphics are a vital part of a company’s branding and advertising with many companies using cars and vans as mobile billboards.

“Since launching the added value service, many of our customers have reacted positively, taken our advice and admitted it was an issue they had not previously considered. When deciding on new vehicle wrapping and livery fleet managers should consider asking their supplier to hold replacement stock."

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