Fleet News

ATS Euromaster rises to special fleet challenge

FAST-FIT customers demand a special kind of service that few companies have to offer – a service that has the ability to change the way drivers feel about their day.

Before the fast-fit company is called, the driver is invariably having a bad day, faced with the annoyance of needing the car fixed and expecting it done in the shortest possible time – and often for the lowest cost.

Get the job right and the customer's day is saved, although they probably won't give a second thought to the service. Get the job wrong – for example by not having the right part, or being unable to fix the car as promised – and you have just made their day even worse.

It takes an immense effort for fast-fit companies to meet this challenge head-on every day and one which has made them one of the beacons of value-for-money excellence in the fleet industry.

At the Fleet News Awards, ATS Euromaster was named best fast-fit company for its dedication to a 'right first time service' and to a dedicated programme of improving its service to fleets.

With more than 530 locations in the UK and a fleet of 1,300 mobile service vehicles, ATS Euromaster has strived towards key goals of customer service and value for money. Like many fast-fit companies, its phones are manned 24 hours a day, while it also offers a 24-hour mobile service for tyre and battery replacement.

In a bid to streamline the business, it has consolidated operations from eight regional firms by centralising them into one single company based in Aston, Birmingham. ATS Euromaster believes this has already started to improve customer care to fleets and improved lines of communication within the business.

Control of the mobile fleet has also been centralised, rather than vehicles being controlled by their nearest depot, covering a dedicated fleet of 152 mobile units that work exclusively on fleet cars and vans.

At depots ATS Euromaster has carried out a major assessment of customer services levels, in addition to a regular customer satisfaction survey.

To further improve levels of service to fleets, the Fleetcase department now has 27 members of staff who carry out a range of services, including 'Call and Collect' appointments and providing centre location information. To help in their fleet role, they have all received special training.

Indeed, ATS Euromaster has doubled its training budget and has a team of staff providing on-site help at locations throughout the country. This is vital, as the world of fast-fit companies is no longer a simple matter of replacing worn tyres.

For example, ATS Euromaster lists among its services tyres, exhausts, shock absorbers, batteries, brakes, oil, MoTs, safety checks, maintenance management and purchase cards.

The firm also offers online account management and online reporting for all customers, including its Euromaster reporting package, a PC-based system which allows fleet decision-makers to generate reports on drivers and their purchases. One of the most recent services is on-site tyre safety checks for all employees of customers, including PCP and private vehicle drivers.

ATS Euromaster believes this service is vital for any employees driving on business in a private car to show an employee is meeting its duty of care to staff.

Overall results suggest that one-fifth of tyres checked were illegal or defective. Other services have included tyre checking at Gatwick airport while drivers are away on business and online booking of mobile tyre fitting.

The firm predicts that the popularity of mobile fast-fit services is set to escalate in response to fleet-specific requirements.

Along with a number of other companies in the industry, ATS Euromaster claimed that mobile services will grow dramatically over the coming years. The benefit to fleets is that repair work, such as replacing a tyre, can be carried out at the workplace or the company car driver's home, making the process easier and quicker.

Mobile operations director Mark Harley said: 'The mobile service is an increasingly important part of ATS Euromaster's drive to deliver customer convenience, as it enables motorists to have tyres fitted at any time or location that is convenient to them.'

He added that the company was working in partnership with a number of major fleets to develop its mobile offering.

And as one customer said: 'Three words describe ATS – steady, solid and approachable which is why they are a key supplier.'

And the Fleet News judges agreed, commenting: 'The investment by ATS Euromaster in a huge national network, backed by a restructured national customer service centre, caught the attention of the judges.

'They were impressed by the consistent investment in the drive for efficiency and the introduction of clever innovations that help support customers, such as online invoices and online account management.

'Along with services such as the tyre checking scheme at Gatwick, this highlights ATS Euromaster's welcome approach to safety and innovation.'

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