Fleet Technique’s understanding of the cost pressures facing businesses today and its ability to deliver a one-stop shop service to an organisation that operates 24/7 were instrumental in Northern Gas Networks’ decision to outsource the management of its fleet to the company.
Northern Gas Networks operates a fleet of approximately 550 commercial vehicles ranging in size from car derived vans to panel vans and HGVs and more than 100 items of plant.
The company is responsible for distributing gas to homes and businesses across the North of England, an area covering West, East and North Yorkshire, the North East and Northern Cumbria.
Until last year the fleet was managed in-house by United Utilities, which had a stake in Northern Gas Networks. However, United Utilities, the UK’s largest listed water business, decided to divest itself of its interest prompting Northern Gas Networks to go out to tender for the fleet management of the vehicles and plant.
Northern Gas Networks’ head of maintenance Graeme Liddell said: “Fleet Technique won the tender exercise because the company was able to offer a service which suited our needs. Fleet Technique clearly understood that vehicles play a vital role in ensuring we are able to provide a safe and reliable gas supply to 2.6 million customers across the North of England. People rely on us to provide a 24/7 gas emergency service and our fleet of vehicles are key to that.”
Fleet Dynamix is Fleet Technique’s own web-based in-house developed software, which is the hub from which customers can select the range of fleet management services they require. Northern Gas Networks is using Fleet Technique as a one-stop shop provider of:
- Fleet maintenance management, which includes routine servicing, repair and parts, tyres, glass and breakdown cover all managed by Fleet Technique’s in-house team of engineers
- In depth management information reporting and consultancy services
- Pro-active scheduling and legal compliance for all vehicles, particularly the 11 HGVs
- Fleet administration including road fund licencing, plant administration, parking, congestion charge and traffic offence management and document administration
- Accident management.
Liddell said: “With the day-to-day vehicle management and maintenance outsourced to Fleet Technique I am able to use their detailed reports to manage and monitor the efficiency of our fleet operation and crucially ensure that vehicle downtime is kept to a minimum and there are no unpleasant cost surprises.”
Illustrating Fleet Technique’s ability to deliver solutions at short notice was the request to provide a fleet of 4x4s to ensure Northern Gas Networks could continue to deliver services during this winter’s Arctic blitz.
Liddell explained: “During the recent snow Fleet Technique was able to source 20 4x4s on short-term hire. The company showed its fleet of foot ability to react to our contingency request. Fleet Technique was hugely supportive and quickly reacted to our needs to deliver a solution that ensured operations continued despite the weather.”
This year Northern Gas Networks is looking to Fleet Technique to help further improve its occupational road risk management with the introduction of driving licence checking through a link with the DVLA and the introduction of driver training for employees found to be ‘high’ risk.
Fleet Technique, which currently manages some 12,000 vehicles on behalf of non-rental customers, provides tailor-made fleet management solutions for business of all sizes. The company is the wholly-owned fleet management subsidiary of Northgate plc.
Colin Wilson, the company’s head of fleet management, said: “Fleet Technique operates as an extension of a client’s business. In delivering fleet management solutions we understand the importance of cost and downtime management. Therefore, we treat every penny spent as if it was our own.
“We specialise in delivering solutions so what might appear to be a problem, such as the urgent supply of a fleet of 4x4 vans to cope with the snow, provides for Fleet Technique an opportunity to highlight our flexibility and support for clients.”