Loomis is an expert when it comes to security, which helps to explain why the UK’s premier cash management specialist has just signed-up to its latest, ground-breaking Mercedes-Benz Service Contract.
The deal provides Loomis with competitive fixed costs, as well as round-the-clock repair and maintenance back-up including MobiloVan roadside assistance. It covers 105 Sprinter vans of varying ages, which joined the company’s fleet last year, following its acquisition of a former competitor.
These vehicles were immediately assigned by Loomis to its long-term fleet management partner Contract Vehicles Limited (CVL), which then negotiated the repair and maintenance contract with Mercedes-Benz. Prior to their transfer to CVL management the vehicles had been serviced by third-party repair agents rather than franchised Mercedes-Benz Dealers.
Crucially, the new contract covers the vehicles inherited by Loomis until they are eight years old. The same is true of the 400-plus Mercedes-Benz Sprinters it was already operating – these were supplied by north-west Dealer Roanza Truck & Van and are also managed by CVL, as will be the 16 smaller Citan models due to enter service later this summer.
Loomis Technical Services Manager Howard Oakley observed: “No other manufacturer to my knowledge – and certainly not the other, mainstream van supplier that we’ve also used in the past – would commit to a comprehensive repair and maintenance contract for such an extended period.
“The fact that Mercedes-Benz is prepared to do so demonstrates the great faith it has in the reliability and durability of its products, a confidence which our own experience of operating its vans for over 25 years has proved to be well placed.”
He continued: “The Sprinter is the vehicle of choice for the cash-in-transit industry and those we took on as a result of the acquisition were a good match for our fleet profile. It’s worth noting, though, that they had previously been maintained by various third-party providers and not by Mercedes-Benz Dealers – despite this, the manufacturer was still prepared to put them on contract.”
Loomis plays a key role in managing the flow of cash in society, providing solutions that save money, protect from fraud and attack, and assist customers to analyse cash flow. As well as managing and replenishing ATM machines, it supports businesses with coin collection and delivery services.
Mercedes-Benz also supplies all but a handful of the operator’s 250 trucks, in addition to its entire van fleet. Most of its Sprinters are converted 3.5-tonne panel vans although the line-up also includes a substantial number of box-bodied 5.0-tonne chassis cabs. The Sprinters are specified with varying grades of security protection, reflecting their different roles.
Mr Oakley said: “Mercedes-Benz vehicles are exceptionally reliable, which is vital given the nature of our work. Meanwhile, the manufacturer’s repair and maintenance contracts provide all-important security and peace of mind, predictable costs being invaluable when it comes to budgeting.
“Our vehicles are looked after by factory-trained technicians fitting only Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts. The fact that so many Mercedes-Benz workshops operate on a 24/7 basis is also important in helping us to restrict downtime to an absolute minimum. It’s imperative that we keep our vans on the road and if we were limited to 9-5 on weekdays and Saturday mornings it just wouldn’t work because, of course, we can’t simply go out and rent a replacement.”
Loomis and CVL have been working together since 1998. “CVL manages our vehicles ‘from cradle to grave’,” added Mr Oakley. “Its call centre is open round-the-clock and can always be relied upon to respond quickly and efficiently to any failures or breakdowns, while it also co-ordinates all of our scheduled maintenance and repairs through Mercedes-Benz workshops.
“We’re a cash-in-transit business and prefer not to commit the resources that would be required to undertake this important function internally, so the first class service and comprehensive management reports we receive from CVL are invaluable.”
Leeds-based CVL manages some 23,000 vehicles, many of which wear Mercedes-Benz three-pointed stars. Chief Executive Doug Smith commented: “We are one of the biggest customers for Mercedes-Benz repair and maintenance contracts, and this allows us to negotiate highly competitive prices on behalf of the operators we represent.
“Our portfolio includes many ‘blue chip’ businesses for whom everything must be 100% right – that means routine maintenance and fast, efficient roadside rescue and recovery back-up which are very tightly managed to ensure they meet the highest standards of compliance. With the support of Mercedes-Benz and its Dealers, this is precisely the level of service that we provide to Loomis.”