Two years ago when Sky decided to outsource the management of its 2,500 vans it didn’t turn to a conventional fleet management or leasing company.
Instead, it looked to one of its suppliers, Unipart Technology Logistics (UTL), which was responsible for the logistics and repair of its set-top boxes and broadband routers.
UTL created a fleet team of six experienced fleet management and leasing professionals, headed by David Landy, who had previously been responsible for managing Alliance Boots’s vans and HGVs.
“We behave just like Sky’s fleet department,” says Landy. “We’re not a halfway house where they keep some of the functions in-house.
“We do the specification of the vehicles and the tender process for the vehicles. Then we look after all the in-life services of those vehicles through to disposal.”
This doesn’t mean that Sky has simply washed its hands of its van fleet. Oliver Wanklyn, operations coordination manager at Sky, manages the contract, holding monthly review meetings with UTL as well as being in daily contact by telephone.
Landy also works closely with other departments at Sky.
“For instance, we’ll have a dialogue with HR over private mileage, any relevant records and driver licence checking,” he explains.
“We’ll talk to the brand team about new imagery to go on the vans. We also work very closely with the health and safety department at Sky to make sure that the van and racking systems are fit for purpose.”
Considering that its company car fleet continues to be managed in-house, what made Sky outsource the van fleet?
Wanklyn explains that the aim was to reduce the overall running costs of the van fleet, as well as using UTL’s experience to make sure the it operates efficiently and engineers are able to deliver the best service to Sky’s 10.4 million customers.
“Sky will continually look at the best way of managing our fleet of vans,” says Wanklyn. “They are the means by which our engineers get to all our customers.
“The vans themselves portray the brand of Sky so at all times we need to ensure they are fit for purpose, efficient and managed in the right way.
“For Sky, UTL’s fleet team is providing that service very effectively.”
UTL has sought savings from “big ticket areas” such as vehicle funding, vehicle sourcing and fuel.
The funding method has changed from contract hire to operating lease and the replacement cycle has increased from four to five years as “the wholelife cost model worked best”.