Service, maintenance and repair strategies are coming under renewed scrutiny as fleets extend replacement cycles in response to the double dip recession.
That’s the view of Epyx, the company behind the 1link Service Network e-commerce platform used to process SMR for more than two million company cars and vans.
David Wallace, sales and business development director at Epyx, explained that while replacement cycles were not being extended anywhere near as dramatically as during the 2008 credit crunch, there was a still a noticeable pattern emerging.
He said: “During 2008 and 2009, we saw a widespread increase in company car and van replacement cycles as a direct reaction to the recession.
“The profile of most company cars and vans means that if they are extended into a fourth or fifth year, SMR costs start to rise rapidly and fleets adopted strategies to minimise the impact of this.
“At the moment, we are seeing something similar happening on a smaller scale.
“There are fewer contract extensions and, so far, they are not as dramatic, but they are happening and fleets are once again looking at the best way of coping with this change.”
A key development, Wallace added, was increased use of the Price Check tool within Epyx’s 1link Service Network, which provided fleets with the means to reduce SMR costs by a typical amount up to 10% compared to their previous spending.
He said: “Price Check audits supplier commercial terms that are already in place. When a saving has been identified once by a fleet using the platform, it can be set to automatically apply to all similar purchases in the future. In this sense, it is a ‘learning’ tool.
“Identifying these issues is very difficult for fleets processing large numbers of transactions every day but, when Price Check has identified a saving once, it can automatically be applied to every transaction of the same type in the future to prevent errors.”
1link Service Network is the industry standard e-commerce platform for processing of motor service and maintenance. It is used by more than 16,000 franchise dealers, independent garages and fast fits.