One comment from group director plant and transport Mike Revell sums up the philosophy of the Clancy Group fleet: “I do everything, from procurement to disposal.”
Driven by the family-owned company’s desire for control and accountability, cars, vans and trucks are purchased outright and sold by the group; they are maintained in-house; accident repairs are carried out at one of its two bodyshops; bespoke racking is fitted internally and refurbished for a second life; fuel is part-bunkered. Clancy is also about to start doing its own MOTs.
“Everything is controlled in-house,” says Revell. “It’s partly about the gearing for the business: they’d rather see everything on the balance sheet because it shows the stability of our business.”
Revell joined Clancy Group 27 years ago when the fleet size was 300 vehicles. As the national construction business has grown, so has the fleet; it now numbers 1,400 vehicles, plus 6,000 plant assets.
He heads up Clancy Plant Hire, a sub-division which solely operates to provide all Clancy Group companies – though primarily Clancy Docwra – with vehicles, plant and equipment, and was appointed to the board in 1983.
“We buy the equipment and rent it to the Clancy Docwra contracts,” Revell says.
“We are the service provider acting as the leasing and fleet management company and we have to be competitive with other suppliers.”
He adds: “From a financing and control point of view, it’s better for us to buy and maintain ourselves, and get the money from the sale.
"The benefits include the ability to provide a service to our contracts – if a rented or leased vehicle breaks down we could be waiting 24 hours for a replacement.
"But I have a pool of around 25 spare vehicles. It’s a cost, but it is part of the service.”
Vehicle downtime is a key driver of Clancy Group’s fleet policy and a primary beneficiary of the in-house strategy.
The workshops and bodyshops both ensure vehicles spend the least amount of time off-road.
There are no waiting lists and stringent quality control ensures minimal re-work.
Clancy Group’s relationships with key manufacturer partners such as Ford, Vauxhall and Iveco mean it has its own diagnostics equipment for their vehicles.
“Our in-house servicing guarantees us reliability. If we have to book in a vehicle outside our network the delay can be a week,” says Revell.
“We do all the repairs on vans but if it’s a large warranty job we go to the dealership, even though we are authorised to do it, because we don’t have the time and all of the tooling to do them.”