BT Fleet has won the contract to manage the 470-strong Post Office ‘cash-in-transit’ fleet, which handles cash deliveries and provides mobile post offices in remote parts of the country.
The five-year sole supplier agreement was awarded to the fleet management company after an 18-month tender process.
The Post Office decided it was the provider best suited to meet the company’s key business objective of maximising vehicle availability, reducing costs and ensuring complete compliance.
In addition, it recognised BT Fleet’s experience of managing similar fleets involved in the transportation of cash and high value goods, such as G4S.
Dave Bowen (pictured), managing director of BT Fleet, said: “The agreement highlights its confidence in our ability to deliver a comprehensive, managed fleet solution.”
Specialist vehicles designed for critical, high-security deliveries can cost anywhere from £125,000 to £250,000.
As a result, they have specific maintenance requirements that need to be undertaken in the fastest possible time to ensure the Post Office’s services are maintained.
Joe Fielder, sales and marketing director at BT Fleet, said: “Vehicle off-road time isn’t just about the operational impact, it’s about an asset you’re not using and they are too expensive not to use.
“Downtime and vehicle utilisation is a very important part of our service, as is breakdown. It’s therefore really important you’re a trusted provider when you’re dealing with these kinds of customers and these types of vehicles, with these kinds of payloads.”
Within the industry, BT Fleet has one of the most extensive garage networks in the UK. It operates 63 garages across the country which is expected to rise to 66 by the middle of next year.
It means that if a Post Office vehicle requires servicing or repairs, there is always the availability of a garage nearby ensuring that the vehicle is back on the road as quickly as possible.
Keith Rann, managing director of Post Office cash services, described BT Fleet as an “excellent fit” after looking for a potential suitor since its split from Royal Mail in 2012.
He said: “We wanted to work with a company that was passionate about our business; we wanted to work in a partnership and we wanted a long-term relationship. We felt we were getting that from BT Fleet.”
The agreement sees the Post Office outsource the management responsibility for a part of its fleet for the first time.
However, it retains control over the rest of its 3,537 vehicles (Fleet News Fleet200 figures), which are all on a finance lease funding arrangement.
BT Fleet has been able to draw on its experience of managing 35,000 vehicles for BT’s Openreach fleet, where it has achieved major savings through a range of measures.
That includes a potential £4 million a year fuel saving and a carbon footprint reduction of up to 25,000 tonnes in 2013 – the equivalent of removing 1,900 London taxis from the roads – as a result of remapping the engines powering 23,000 of its commercial vehicles.
Bowen told Fleet News: “It’s our job to save it money; it’s our job to make it more efficient.”
It has also improved vehicle utilisation and extended replacement cycles as well as fuel bill savings against a background of rising pump prices.
Effectively BT Group has removed almost 2,000 vehicles – despite the recruitment of more than 1,500 engineers to continue the roll out of super-fast broadband nationwide and reduce weather-induced work ‘spikes’.
It’s a service provider and practitioner led relationship that appears to be working. BT Fleet also signed a four-year sole supplier agreement with Wales & West Utilities last week to manage its fleet of 1,200 vehicles in the UK.
Bowen added: “We had a good 18 months. Our pipeline is strong and we will grow our external revenues this year by just over 30%. Our plans suggest we will achieve double-digit growth again next year.”