Outsourcing success for the Post Office
BT Fleet assisted the iconic establishment with running its fleet maintenance, previously handled by an in-house garage network
The Post Office – a trusted provider of essential services
With a heritage of more than 370 years, Post Office Ltd is one of the UK’s most iconic establishments. Providing key services at the heart of thousands of communities, with more branches than all of the UK’s banks and building societies combined, it is a commercial business with a public purpose. Today, you will still find a Post Office within three miles of 99.7% of the population, while the business has an estimated social value of £2.3 billion.
In 2012, the Post Office separated from Royal Mail, during the latter’s privatisation process, and ever since has been embarking on a new era of growth and modernisation as an independent, multichannel business, with a particular focus on financial services and mail products.
The decision to outsource
Following the Royal Mail privatisation, Post Office remained under public ownership – with it coming under intense public scrutiny. The business was required to outsource its fleet maintenance agreement for its fleet, something that had previously been handled by an in-house garage network. The team behind the project needed to ensure that the right partner was selected as the effectiveness of the fleet operation was critical to business performance.
Specifically, the Post Office team was looking for a fleet partner to manage two critical fleets; its cash-in-transit fleet and its Mobile Post Office fleet. Both are key to the continued success and evolution of the business and each fleet has specific requirements.
The cash processing service provides flexible, reliable and good value cash-intransit operations which ensures that cash is picked up and deposited safely and efficiently to the bank. Vehicles are high specification, with security being the top priority.
Meanwhile, the Mobile Post Office service ensures that 250 communities across the UK stay connected and are visited by a fully-equipped van offering a full range of Post Office services. These communities are visited at regular times and days each week and are easily accessible for elderly or disabled customers.
Due to the bespoke nature of the Post Office’s cash in transit and Mobile Post Office fleets, alternative vehicles cannot be hired and, in turn, any disruption to service can be extremely damaging, at a local and national level. Because of this, it was essential that services across the Post Office were maintained via an exemplary fleet network to ensure that local communities and businesses were not affected and customer needs were met.
Success was crucial during this period of transformation, as well as internal and external support on the venture as the future of one of the nation’s most recognisable public companies.
The BT Fleet solution
Post Office Ltd selected BT Fleet to manage its two distinct commercial fleets. BT Fleet was chosen for many reasons including the company’s particular expertise in running mission critical fleets and experience in cash-in-transit operations. BT Fleet maintains the 450-strong combined fleet through a dedicated in-house garage network and via carefully selected partners. This tried and tested framework provides support for specialist vehicles or those with particular requirements, such as mission-critical and security vehicles.
As well as vehicle maintenance, BT Fleet delivers fleet management support, including proactive event management of the Mobile Post Offices. This is particularly important to the Post Office, as the mobile branches provide significant support to local communities and people are reliant on the services they provide.
Improved fleet performance
The bespoke approach to outsourced fleet management by BT Fleet has enabled the Post Office to perform in three key target areas – having a proactively managed fleet, improving maintenance management on all vehicles and ensuring that vehicles are compliant. There has also been a significant improvement in vehicle availability.
Since the partnership began, BT Fleet has delivered a dramatic improvement in the first-time MOT pass rate for the Post Office’s operator licenced fleet from 83 to 96%.
Rob Leslie, fleet contracts and projects manager at Post Office Ltd, says: “The Post Office is fast transforming into a modern, customer-focused business. Equally, it is respected and trusted by the public as part of the fabric of our society. We provide an important touchpoint between the public and government and have a long history of successfully providing indispensable government services. The work that we do also has a significant impact on local communities and it is vital we keep people across the UK connected to essential services via the Post Office network”
“This is why it is crucial that our fleet operation is effective and we maintain service to our 11,500 Post Offices and the communities which they serve. Relationships with our customers are vitally important on a national and local level, and we cannot let them down. We are therefore reliant on excellence from our suppliers to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers. BT Fleet has been an extremely supportive and responsive partner that understands the importance of our operation.
“As well as helping us to improve significantly our vehicle maintenance programme, the team has also given us unprecedented access to our industry peers, which has enabled us to benchmark against other companies striving for fleet excellence.”
Acting managing director Henry Brace explains: “To ensure continued success, the Post Office needed to evolve and, in order to achieve this, it was essential that its fleet was managed efficiently and effectively. Outsourcing fleet management has obvious immediate cost savings, but there are also longer-term benefits. BT Fleet was able to improve processes and management, drawing from our experience in running mission-critical fleets, such as G4S.
“We are extremely proud to be able to partner with such a well-respected and important business. We will endeavour to continue delivering added value services to the Post Office and do our bit in ensuring the continued success of the organisation.”