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Dealer closures bring impact on fleet SMR

Double-digit closures of dealers following the lockdown could bring servicing and warranty challenges for fleets, emphasising the need for proactive SMR garage network.

Fleet Assist managing director Vincent St Claire

Fleet Assist managing director Vincent St Claire

Fleet Assist, which specialises in supply chain management for fleets, said nearly 20 franchised dealers have either closed or are set to close in recent weeks – while other issues including further lockdowns will add to the challenges.

However, work during the recent lockdown saw Fleet Assist proactively recruit a further 30 dealers to its 4,700 strong network of garages to meet the needs of its customers during the initial lockdown and it’s also developing new solutions to ensure business as usual for customers.

“Over the recent weeks as new scenarios emerged, my team has provided a comprehensive mapping service to our fleet customers to ensure, wherever possible, alternative garages are available for work direction and business continuity,” explained Vincent St Claire, Fleet Assist’s managing director

“With the challenges faced by Covid-19, including the potential for further spikes and subsequent lockdowns, we have highlighted how a robust SMR garage network management with the scale and capabilities to meet these ever-changing requirements, is key to keeping drivers’ cars roadworthy.

“In today’s environment to simply say you have a list of garages with assumed terms, is not good enough. A network of garages with contracted terms, defined SLAs and a clear indication of their capabilities proactively and continually managed by a dedicated team, is essential,” he added.

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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.