Blue light vehicle workshops are becoming ‘key cost battleground' for fleet managers

Published:  11 July, 2013

Workshops are becoming the main area where blue light fleets are working to cope with the reduced budgets prompted by Government austerity measures.

So reports fleet management software specialist Chevin Fleet Solutions, which works with the majority of UK's ambulance services as well as many police and fire fleets.

Managing director Ashley Sowerby said: ‘Obviously, the Government's austerity measures have started to affect blue light fleets during the last couple of years and there is very real pressure in many instances to reduce spending.

‘Most blue lights are already extremely well run in terms of key fleet variables such as utilisation, replacement cycles and so on. The options available to managers when it comes to coping with austerity are actually relatively limited.

‘Our view is that workshops have become the key cost battleground. Most blue light fleets continue to run their own workshops for very good reasons such as the need for a zero tolerance approach to risk management and longer operating hours than most third parties can offer, and it is here that potential for savings are being identified.

Ashley explained that, from the way in which the workshop module within its FleetWave fleet management system was being used, Chevin could see that blue light fleets were looking to streamline workshop operations and increase operational efficiency.

He said: There is a lot of work going on to use the available technology to reduce costs. This can be as simple as moving from T cards to an online record keeping system that allows a much more efficient throughflow of work.

‘At the other extreme, we are seeing much greater use of software generated management information to create advanced SMR policies that enable much closer control over spending, with some very good results being achieved.

‘The standard of management of blue light fleets across the country is, in our experience, very high and managers are reacting to the cost pressures being placed on them with thoroughness and imagination.'

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