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Wilson James appoints CLM to manage vehicle fleet

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Security specialists Wilson James has outsourced the management of its UK fleet of more than 100 outright purchase vehicles to fleet management specialists, CLM, in order to improve customer service, communications and maintenance management, and increase value and efficiency on its fleet.

The fleet comprises around 40 Ford, Audi and Mercedes-badged cars for staff, and more than 60 Ford and Nissan-badged light commercial vehicles which are used for logistics support UK-wide, from Aberdeen to London with a number in the Republic of Ireland.

The tender attracted submissions from around 12 fleet management suppliers, a number which was then reduced to a final shortlist of four.

Business performance manager, Darren Ward, said: “We arranged to visit the offices of the final four suppliers and before the visits took place, CLM was in second position.

”But, after visiting the offices at Newport Pagnell and meeting the people we would be working with, we were so impressed with the personal touches that CLM provided and the impression that they made, we decided to award them a three year outsource contract, including the maintenance management of all our vehicles."

CLM has now been Wilson James’s fleet management supplier for nine months and the relationship has proved to be a very successful one, said Ward.

“Historically, we have always outright purchased rather than leased our vehicles. This is for two key reasons. One is that we want to avoid the end-of-contract wrangling that we used to have when we leased and which leasing vehicles inevitably seems to attract.

“The other is flexibility. We are often awarded nine month contracts that run on until 18 months or can stop at any time. This does not fit very well with the standard lease profile of two or three years. So we outright purchase our vehicles to ensure we always have control over how long a period we operate them for.

“In addition, our business mileages tend to be at the extreme end of the scale, with some of our two year old cars exceeding the standard lease contract of 20,000/30,000 miles per annum."

An important aspect of the outsource contract is the management of the maintenance spend of the Wilson James fleet, an area that CLM specialises in on behalf of a number of its corporate clients.

CLM utilises a network of franchised and independent garages and, through careful invoice management and cost control, is typically able to reduce maintenance costs by 8-10% for its clients.

Ward added: “We wanted increased control and visibility of our maintenance spend. CLM has been able to define for us exactly what our spend is through regular reporting, and has also been able to demonstrate maintenance savings each month through the measures they have introduced."

Rob Wentworth-James, head of sales and marketing at CLM, said: ”We are delighted to welcome Wilson James to our client portfolio and to have been awarded this outsource contract to replace their previous provider.

“We have sought to improve service levels and introduce tighter control on the maintenance management of the Wilson James vehicles, which has resulted in considerable savings for the company to date. We look forward to a long and mutually rewarding business relationship."

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