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Arval rethinks SMR approach to keep essential fleets running

New service and maintenance procedures at Arval UK are keeping essential fleets operational 24/7 during the coronavirus crisis.


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Responding to “substantial new service and maintenance requirements”, the leasing and fleet management specialist is working to support a number of key businesses, including some of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical and medical supply companies.

Corrine Barton, Arval UK head of networks, said the challenges have arisen on several fronts; from the fact that the whole Arval team is now home working, through to finding service and maintenance suppliers that remain available for essential work and scheduling jobs so downtime is kept to an absolute minimum.

Barton added that existing processes had often had to be adapted because, in the current circumstances, they no longer represented the best or fastest way to get things done.

“If there is a demand for services in a particular area for a particular kind of vehicle, we get on the phone and find out which workshops are still open and who can help. In some ‘critical service’ cases, when we have explained how urgent a situation is for a customer, garages have gone above and beyond working with skeleton staff.”

Another important development, Barton said, was that there had been extensive use of mobile service and maintenance suppliers.

“Mobile works really well in the current circumstances. If you know a key worker is finally getting some time off and their vehicle will be on their drive, we can get a mobile unit to them and then the car or van is ready when they need to get back to work.”

Preventative maintenance was also playing a more important role than usual, Barton said, with a focus being placed on maximising future uptime.

“Whether it is anticipating problems with known faults on a particular kind of vehicle or just a matter of ensuring that the right tyres are in stock in a certain area, then we are working very hard to head off problems before they arise.

“It’s been an extremely hectic few weeks and we don’t know when it will end but this is some of the most important work that most of us will do during our lives and almost everyone we have asked for assistance has been incredibly helpful. We’d like to thank everyone involved, both inside and outside of the company.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.