Long term value offer
12 December 2012
Ian Tongue, head of contract management at Linde Material Handling shares his views on the importance of efficient fleet management for operators Efficient fleet management provision is of great value in helping operat
Efficient fleet management provision is of great value in helping operators drive down logistics, service and maintenance costs. Our fleet management service ensures customers have the right fleet for their business at all times by taking detailed reports and summarising recommendations to customers and becoming an integral part of their business.
Having the right fleet management service in place is essential for any operation especially when businesses are under pressure to drive down costs. The right, bespoke service contract for operations is more vital now than it has ever been.
Fleet managers are there to ensure that every truck operator is utilised fully, delivering optimum efficiency and productivity. It is therefore important that the correct information and recommendations are provided by a service provider to ensure that the operator's needs are being met allowing the contract to run as smoothly as possible.
Taking out a full service contract means that your Linde fleet manager will manage everything from truck finances to maintenance, health and safety and operator training. Although signing a full service contract gives you piece of mind in having your fleet managed by one provider, it is essential that the credibility of the service provider is also carefully established.
A frequent issue arising amongst operators is the fact that they are being supplied with more trucks than their operation needs.
It is important that your service provider understands your needs and the nature of your operation and how it functions fully. Not only is oversupply more expensive in terms of the upfront costs but also in terms of service and maintenance.
It is also important that operators have clearly defined and agreed the contract terms and conditions as it can have significant impact on the lifetime truck cost. For example - what are the return conditions? What level of repair or rectification is down to the operator at the end of the contract? Is there a standard tyre condition on return? What will the supplier consider as reasonable wear and tear against chargeable damage? Another important consideration is confirmation that the truck technicians are properly trained and have access to the correct diagnostic tools and up to date technical information.
Technicians must be competent in terms of health & safety practices and adequately insured for on-site working. The key to a good service and maintenance package is to deal with a company which proactively works with its customers to design and deliver maintenance and repair plans which are precisely suited to their needs.
At Linde, we currently manage the fleets of our national accounts across the UK including some of the largest retail companies. We attracted these accounts with our multi-location branches meaning that our customers have their trucks serviced by the nearest geographical Linde branch to their operation, allowing us to manage accounts nationally but offer a locally delivered service.
This is another factor to consider when choosing the right service provider - where is the service dispatch managed? Linde manages all engineers and dispatch at a local geographic level.
This ensures that we can manage our response time to a breakdown more effectively due to local knowledge. This local coverage and knowledge has the lowest level of interruption to the operation.
Linde offers a comprehensive range of operator support packages - all of which can be linked to a lease finance agreement. All packages are based on a set of sound principles. We work to reduce operator cost, we only use genuine original equipment parts, we deploy fully trained and competent engineers and we don't have hidden contract clauses. We provide one key contact who can offer local service with a national view with the aim of driving long term value.