FIAG – the self-help group founded by Geoffrey Bray and a team of experienced fleet managers – helped the charity to launch its eleventh Mercedes-Benz-based vehicle.
Specifically, the not for profit organisation provided free advice on drawing up a specification tender document for its new rigids.
Led by Freddie Watts, fleet and transport contracts manager at Office Depot, and helped by Travis Perkins director of fleet services Graham Bellman, former Home Retail Group fleet manager Peter Weston and Bray himself – who is executive chairman of Fleet Service Great Britain – the FIAG team helped draw up the bodybuilder tender document providing technical assistance.
That led to a shortlist of bodybuilders and, following a site visit, Bristol-based WH Bence Coachworks was selected as the preferred business to specify and build the trailer-based chemotherapy unit on a Mercedes-Benz chassis cab.
"Based on Hope for Tomorrow's requirements, the FIAG team used its experience in assisting the charity to compile a high-level tender document, utilising best practice and delivering a range of added value benefits," states Bray.
A tightly defined specification made it straightforward for bodybuilders to respond," he continues.
"We helped Hope for Tomorrow through the whole tender process and are delighted to have played a part in the development of the charity's second generation chemotherapy units."
Bray, who is a Hope for Tomorrow patron, makes the point that the costs of running commercial fleets are enormous, so one of FIAG's key roles is to reintroduce individuals with the understanding and skills to deliver professional fleet management.
"FIAG's founding members are assisting in that goal by ... spreading purchasing and operational best practice across other organisations and to less-experienced fleet managers," he says.
Each mobile chemotherapy unit costs £260,000 to build and maintain for the first three years.
It is the charity's goal to have a mobile chemotherapy unit serving every county across the UK, helping as many cancer patients as possible by reducing the miles they have to travel.
Specification enhancements include:
Replacing a roof-mounted air conditioning unit with a medical grade system that changes the fresh air every eight minutes
Utilising a 'super silent' generator, eliminating any requirement for an external power supply
Visual improvements to offer a more comfortable patient experience – including backlit images.