Alphabet has begun deliveries, in partnership with Citroen, to upgrade the commercial vehicle fleet for McCormick (UK).
Following a new business win secured last year, over the next few weeks all 176 LCVs in the McCormick fleet around the UK will be replaced, including Citroen Berlingo and Dispatch crew vans leased via Alphabet.
McCormick (UK) is home to household name brands such as Schwartz herbs and spices, French’s Mustard, as well as Frank’s Red Hot Sauces and is the UK subsidiary of McCormick & Company.
As part of the deal, 156 Berlingo BlueHDi100 725X crew vans and 10 Dispatch XL crew BlueHDi 120 vans will be used by McCormick’s nationwide team of retail sales and support merchandisers in the UK. The vehicles replace an earlier fleet of Citroen Berlingo crew vans which have been in service since 2013.
The new vehicles feature the latest Euro 6 emissions technology and safety features, as well as introducing an upgrade to the Teletrac Navman navigation and vehicle tracking system.
Tracey Hoare, regional business controller south for McCormick, said: “The key benefits of the fleet for us are enhanced safety, flexibility and efficiency for our Merchandising Team. It will also help them with dynamic journey planning.
“When the vehicles are fully loaded, there are no weight issues, no matter what the mix of products carried is. In addition, these vehicles are equipped with the moveable bulkhead, which gives the safety and flexibility we require.
“Finally, the fact that the standard Berlingo is equipped with Teletrac Navman’s navigation and tracker system was very attractive to us from a safety point of view and knowing where individuals are. The system also gives us the opportunity to look at how we manage our geographical coverage more effectively. Drivers are able to use the vehicles for personal use too.”
Sarah Jackson, automotive and national account manager at Teletrac Navman, said: “The software will help streamline their business operations by giving an overview of long-term maintenance schedules, teamed with location tracking and optimised routeing, meaning McCormick and the end customer will reap the benefits of a truly efficient fleet.
“The software also helps reinforce safe driving, through the monitoring of driver behaviour with real-time alerts of safety violations, encouraging best practice driver performance. They will also benefit from our accredited Trackstar Stolen Vehicle Tracking, for maximum security against potential vehicle theft and ultimate peace of mind.”
All vehicles are being funded and supplied by Alphabet on three-year fully maintained contracts, (including tyres) and sourced through supplying Citroen dealer Robins and Day London West. Contract mileages will be tailored to meet the needs of each regional territory of McCormick’s merchandising fleet.
Both Berlingo and Dispatch models will be fitted with telematics systems from Teletrac Navman and parking sensors, designed to help drivers with journey planning and improve safety. Drivers will also benefit from air conditioning on all models.
Steph Brown, corporate sales manager at Alphabet, said: “Replacing these vehicles not only refreshes the fleet in terms of new vehicles and connected technology, but also upgrades the service and support experience for the McCormick fleet team and their employee drivers with the move to Alphabet. Servicing appointments are now accessible on the move via our AlphaGuide App, while McCormick’s drivers benefit from a dedicated customer support line.”
Alphabet undertook a detailed whole life cost analysis with several manufacturers and worked closely with McCormick to ensure that their LCV requirements for both today and in the future were achieved. Citroen proved to be the most cost efficient and was a tried-and-tested solution in the McCormick LCV fleet.
PSA Group fleet director Martin Gurney said: “Repeat business is a genuine measure of customer satisfaction and it’s important to us that McCormick has chosen the Berlingo crew van again and also added the Dispatch crew van to its national fleet.
“The Berlingo crew van offers van operators a great deal of flexibility thanks to its cleverly designed second row of seats, incorporating a movable bulkhead, which neatly folds away when the complete load space is needed, yet within seconds can provide secure, extra seating when required.”
Photo: (left to right) Steph Brown, corporate sales manager Alphabet; Simon Griffith, corporate sales manager Peugeot, Citroën and DS Fleet; Neil Brace, field operations manager McCormick; Tracey Hoare, regional business controller south McCormick; Nick Brownrigg CEO Alphabet.