Robust management of fleet maintenance costs across the car and van fleet operated by Stannah has delivered a saving of almost £280,000 despite a 19% increase in the number of vehicles operated.
Stannah, the UK’s leading independent supplier of lift products supplying goods as diverse as loading systems, service lifts, platform lifts, homelifts and stairlifts, outsources the maintenance management of its now 423-strong van fleet and 285-strong company car fleet to Fleet Service Great Britain (Fleet Service GB).
Key performance measures indicate that maintenance costs on the Stannah van fleet have reduced a staggering 31% between December 2010 and January 2019 delivering a cost reduction of £104,307 with the critical pence per mile figure reducing 41% from 4.51p to 2.68p in a period when overall fleet mileage increased by almost 1.3 million miles.
In the wake of the remarkable van fleet maintenance cost savings, Stannah turned to Fleet Service GB to take over similar responsibility for its company car fleet. Over an almost identical period of time, the headline pence per mile figure has reduced by 1.65p (37%) to 2.84p delivering a maintenance cost reduction of £174,321 (51%). Pence per mile is widely recognised as the most accurate measure of a vehicle’s maintenance expenditure.
Service, maintenance and repair (SMR) costs in December 2010 across Stannah’s then 310-strong van fleet totalled £341,620. In January 2019, despite the increase in fleet size and mileage, the total cost reduced to £237,303.
Analysis of Stannah’s company car fleet reveals SMR costs in October 2011 across its then 264 vehicles of £341,616. In January 2019, despite the fleet increasing to 285 cars and taking into account a mileage reduction of 338,088 miles, total maintenance costs reduced to £167,295, delivering a huge 51% saving.
Across both the company car and van fleets, Stannah has benefited from total maintenance cost savings of £278,628.
Marcus Bray, head of sales at Fleet Service GB, said: “Fleet Service GB’s pro-active focus under its Achieve Maintenance Management programme underline that significant operational financial savings on, what is generally perceived to be a major area of fleet expenditure, can be delivered.”
Underpinning Fleet Service GB’s Achieve Maintenance Management solution is a focus on maximising vehicle uptime by constantly challenging lead times and repair processes. Other features of the programme include: SMR work undertaken through a national network of independent garages; a National Price Promise that offers fixed prices for the same job on the same vehicle throughout the UK for around 75% of all predicted service and maintenance requirements; and instant online access to all reporting and fleet performance evaluation through an industry-leading portal.
Critically, the effective management of SMR and thus the achievement of fleet maintenance cost savings can only be achieved by stamping out driver abuse of vehicles, according to Fleet Service GB, and Stannah uses a suite of fleet management tools to ensure vehicles are in tip-top condition.
Each vehicle is allocated to an individual driver with Martin Carter, Stannah’s group information systems director, who is responsible for the fleet, explaining: “That means every vehicle is completely traceable and it makes a major difference compared with an employee who travels to work each day and collects a van from a depot before returning it at the end of their shift. At Stannah each driver effectively ‘owns’ their van, exactly the same as it is with company cars.”
Efficient fleet and driver management at Stannah starts with buying the ‘right van and car’ for the job required. Each vehicle is then equipped with telematics that record and deliver to Mr Carter a raft of data notably relating to driver behaviour and how a vehicle is driven. Additionally, any incident is reviewed in detail with, potentially, driver training the result.
Furthermore, with drivers logged on to the Fleet Service GB app that offers a wealth of sophisticated cutting-edge features delivering 24/7 support to employees it brings a significant element of self-management to both the company car and van fleet.
Mr Carter said: “Managing maintenance costs starts with vehicle selection and then we use a range of tools at our disposal to identify costs and we seek to manage those. It is all about marginal gains and we seek to make savings wherever we can.
“The cost of most products and services increase year-on-year but, remarkably, the pence per mile vehicle operating costs on the Stannah van fleet have reduced since Fleet Service GB took over management responsibility.”
In part, it has to be acknowledged, that cost reduction is due to improved vehicle manufacturer reliability, but, said Mr Bray, it was also a reflection of the overall management approach to identify and then manage maintenance expenditure.
Mr Bray added: “The maintenance management results are hugely positive which demonstrates, in my view, a good working partnership and also, very importantly, a Stannah policy which encourages ownership and responsibility from a driver perspective.”
Fleet Service GB was launched in spring 2015 led by Mr Bray, who following his decision to leave his former company, Fleet Support Group (FSG), was approached by a number of industry-experienced colleagues to form a unique co-ownership fleet management company.
When Fleet Service GB launched, Mr Carter decided to invest his trust in the new company’s ability to deliver having previously worked with FSG initially maintenance managing the van fleet and subsequently also the car fleet.