In Perfect Partnership with Superdrug

In perfect partnershipIntercounty Truck & Van secured an order for 101 vehicles with Superdrug back in August 2009 to supply Mercedes-Benz Axor 1840LS and 1824L vehicles; a direct result of both Intercounty Truck & Van and Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles working in partnership. While quite an innovative deal, this has secured the maintenance on this fleet of vehicles by Sapphire Vehicles Services for a period of six years.

Starting february 2010, the in-house contract is PMI (Pre Ministry Inspection) including MOT preparation and presentation on the 101 powered vehicles and 177 trailers of various configurations (plus 4 "pay-as-you-go" skeletal trailers not on contract).

Within the contract it allowed Sapphire to work on the customer premises at Dunstable and Pontefract, the MOssend powered vehicle fleet are maintained by East Kilbride (who are soon to also maintain the trailer fleet) and City West Commercials (Mercedes-Benz Dealership) attending the Avonmouth fleet.

The contract with Superdrug was always destined to be a partnership rather than client/service provider relationship. Intercounty has worked hard in this area and Superdrug are now reaping the benefits, with dedicated teams who fully understand the customer requirement and will always go the extra mile.

A total of 6 technicians were transferred under TUBE (Transfer of Undertakings for the Protection of Employment); 3 technicians at Dunstable and 3 at Pontefract, who originally were employed by Crossroads. This transfer of staff bought good knowledge and understanding of the customer requirement, giving seamless transfer of business from the previous service providers to Sapphire.

Originally, all major servicing and MOT preparation and presentation became the responsibility of the previous service provider's mother dealership but thorough training programmes were put in place so that all work can be carried out in-house. This includes all tail-lift work, weight testing and LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations) examinations.

It became very evident at both locations that PMI and MOT patterns were set in a manner that caused huge "Peaks and Troughs" within the small confines of the VMU's so over a period of time, the fleet went through a re-scheduling programme in an effort to even out numbers over the week.

The VMU's at Dunstable and Pontefract were totally stripped of any tooling, spare parts and equipment. Key tools, both standard workshop and Mercedes-Benz special tools were purchased along with Impress stock covering both powered vehicles, trailers and tail-lift equipment.

Over the last six months 35% of the trailer fleet has been replaced, releasing trailers over seven years old. This has caused a slight downturn on revenue streams from Superdrug. Although, top offset this, third party work is actively being pursued at Dunstable with a new customer in Pontefract enjoying the service received.

So, where are we now?

Two questions asked everyday by Sapphire Vehicle Services team are:

  1. Is the Customer Satisfied with the performance of Sapphire Vehicle Services?
  2. Do the teams of Sapphire Vehicle Services have the "Make it Happen" ethos?


The answer to both of these is a resounding YES!

And long may it reign.

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