For any growing business, being able to expand your fleet in line with an expanding workforce is a vital element of staying competitive. And when you have customers spread across all four corners of the nation, having a fleet of reliable, well-maintained vehicles to get to them quickly ensures your customers remain happy and your workforce stays on the road.
Based in Rochester, Kent, Clean Air Technologies design, build and service ‘cleanrooms’ and bio-containment facilities for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies all over the UK. Their team of 16 engineers are constantly on the move, installing, servicing and maintaining highly complex facilities, and so turned to Volkswagen Financial Services | Fleet (VWFS | Fleet) to supply a fleet of cars that are both reliable and roomy, with enough space for their sizable equipment and safety kit.
Giving businesses a helping hand
“With the help of Richard Lake at VWFS | Fleet, we decided to go with the Skoda Superb Estate,” recalls Simon Triggs, Finance Director of Clean Air Technologies and the man responsible for his company’s fleet.
“They get our drivers from A to B and do it incredibly efficiently, not only in terms of their tax liability but also in terms of fuel efficiency and their impressive size.”
Being a Finance Director, Simon was also attracted to the payment terms. Not only did VWFS | Fleet provide a “substantial overall saving”, but they also offered a deal that transformed the company’s cash flow – the lifeblood of any business. “With our previous supplier, we were paying three months upfront for the fleet, which took a fair chunk out of the cash flow. But VWFS | Fleet offered us 35 instalments one month upfront, which was a great help to the business.”
Being the Finance Director rather than a dedicated fleet manager, Simon has a limited amount of time he can devote to running a fleet, so when Richard explained that VWFS | Fleet would take a lot of the admin off his desk, Simon was delighted. “We worked with Richard throughout the process of building the fleet, and he made it all very straightforward and simple. At the time I was actually very surprised that we could go straight to VWFS | Fleet and they could offer a wide variety of car brands.”
As far as Richard is concerned, being a single point of contact for all aspects of fleet management is a big plus for Simon and Clean Air Technologies. “Any vehicles they have come under a master hire agreement, with one invoice, one phone number and one person to deal with,” he says. “That takes away all the hassle, as well as providing someone that can give advice on every aspect of running a fleet.”
More than just vehicle finance
That relationship has led to VWFS | Fleet providing a number of services, including maintenance, ensuring that all cars remain safe, reliable and efficient, plus fuel cards and a telematics system that tracks each engineer as they move around the country. This gives Clean Air Technologies the ability to keep customers up to date on when their engineer will arrive, as well as track each car’s mileage for private and business use.
“We were interested in telematics and VWFS | Fleet offered us a trial system,” recalls Simon. “That went well so we are now working in partnership with VWFS | Fleet to ensure we tailor the service to our exact requirements. It wasn’t one of those situations where we were given something and then left to address any issues ourselves. We are working together to ensure all our needs are met.”
As for the future, Clean Air Technologies are looking to order more cars in the New Year. “Since the size of our business depends on the number of engineers we have out there, the only way for us to grow is to increase the number of engineers. With more engineers, we need more vehicles and VWFS | Fleet has given us the flexibility to do that and help us grow.”