Morgan Sindall sees fleet transformation with Northgate 08 February 2013

Construction, infrastructure and facilities management group Morgan Sindall, which signed a deal for more than 550 rental vehicles from Northgate Vehicle Hire, says it is also seeing significant operational benefits since going live with Northgate's fleet management services.

Jonathan Hall, director of plant at Morgan Sindall, says those are coming from Northgate's Fleet Dynamix management system, which covers maintenance, repair and warranty administration and compliance, as well as vehicle monitoring.

The system, he explains, enables Morgan Sindall's fleet operations to view and manage its owned, leased and rented commercial vehicles in real time, with the provision of comprehensive management information across the entire light commercial fleet up to 5 tonnes.

"Before Northgate, we had very poor visibility, in terms of fleet management – everything from the vehicles themselves to the procurement methods, running costs, maintenance and end of life," he explains.

"We had about 17 vehicle types – from car-derived vans to 44 tonne low loaders – procured in eight different ways from six or seven manufactures. We needed to get a grip on what we had, what we were doing with it, how the vehicles were performing, the costs – and what to do in future.

"Now, Northgate gives us the flexibility and visibility we need. We have a full suite of management reports that show data from repair, maintenance and warranty work, as well as vehicle tracking and fuel consumption."

Not only has that transformed administration and compliance, but operations are also significantly better.

Hall: "All vehicles are serviced and maintained according to manufactures' recommendations; vehicle repair reaction times our in sync with our needs; we have a consistent approach to breakdowns; we know what's been done and where; and there are always replacement vehicles in place, so customers get better service."

Then at the planning level, Hall says the system is also helping the organisation to select the right vehicle type, manufacturer and procurement method. Further, it is also cutting costs and vehicle variety – by enabling the firm to standardise some fleet specifications so that vehicles can be used more flexibly across contracts and the business units.

"We need about six to 12 months of credible information from the system, in terms of how our vehicles and services are performing. Then we can go even further and start making better vehicle-purchasing decisions, with the correct acquisition method for our light commercial fleet, dependent upon our contract commitments."

"The flexibility of using rental vehicles or funding vehicles over a longer period, allied with their fleet management expertise, will also allow us to shape future fleet policy and result in an overall reduction in fleet running costs," he adds.

Hall also says that, although the Northgate contract is currently restricted to Morgan Sindall's light commercials nationally – with Leeds Commercials looking after HGV purchases and maintenance – that too will soon change.

"Phase Two of the project will see our HGV fleet going through Northgate's fleet management system, with Leeds Commercials carrying out the work, but interfacing the data to our main management system. We're about a month away from that."

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
Northgate Vehicle Hire Ltd

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