Fleet strategy for AAH is simple: it wants to be the best in the pharmaceutical sector, delivering operational and service excellence.
Its in-house distribution platform operates from 19 core stock holding branches and has a fleet of 1,500 vans and 750 cars.
Meanwhile, its employees are guided across the organisation by the company’s ‘Magnificent 7’ set of values.
These define the objectives and aims of AAH, with seven steps to achieving success.
However, it recognised at an early stage that the Magnificent 7 needed to be an organisational priority, not just a programme that lived within distribution.
Buy-in from the group’s managing director and the board has been crucial to this journey, while communication of a consistent set of messages would also be key in making sure it achieved the success it was looking for.
As a result AAH developed four pillars – the team, the fleet, the journey and the future – to help define how it could achieve excellence in pharmaceutical distribution.
Each pillar carried a set of aims, with developing an industry-leading driver development programme central to its team pillar.
They were presented across the organisation at group conferences, transport manager meetings and driver briefings.
They provided a vital guide; giving visibility on how each area was interrelated and supported the overall strategy, as well as helping everyone understand that they would play an important part in achieving success.
Head of corporate service Geoff Wright is responsible for delivering the fleet element of the strategy.
Fleet News: What was your crucial first step to achieving success in managing the fleet?
Geoff Wright: The first focus has to be getting quality data on your fleet.
This then enables you to have a solid platform to review the findings and identify the areas for improvement. Having established the areas for improvement, I believe it’s then vitally important you consider what is safe and legal.
Whatever you do throughout the process, it needs to be constantly thought about in those terms and it will also help you develop a culture of safety across the fleet.
Having laid the foundations, you then can begin the process of setting out the policy and managing the costs.
The use of quality partners throughout the process is also essential to making sure the dials you are looking at are the right ones.
Regular contact will enable you to benchmark your policies against others within the industry and keep your fleet in line with the latest legislation and technology