Fast fits: At your service
Vital statistics: 340 centres, 820 mobile units.
Introduction of MasterCARE
This year has seen the introduction of MasterCARE, a new service package designed to provide easy access to a range of preemptive tyre safety checks. The package is focused on scheduled, electronically managed tyre inspections to minimise the risk of tyre failures and prolong tyre life, through optimal tyre maintenance and identifying potential service issues before they lead to vehicle downtime.
MasterCARE comes with a variety of service options, including checks of tread depths, valve caps and tyre pressures by expert technicians, along with general visual damage checks. Once completed, ATS Euromaster provides an electronic report detailing tyre condition, work carried out at the time and what anticipated remedial work will be required in the near future.
Online booking is provided for both centre appointments and mobile fitting, so that it’s as easy as possible to get an appointment at a time that best suits a business. Many procedures such as tyre fitting can be carried out by a service van, but some procedures, such as MOTs, have to be conducted at centres. The online booking system means it’s quick, simple and reliable to schedule work.
Investment in the network The company has targeted strategic areas of Britain for expansion, meaning the addition of 10-20 new centres over the next five years and investment in expanding MoT facilities.
ATS Euromaster plans to provide as much assistance as possible on a mobile basis, and to continue expanding services to meet the growing needs of modern vehicles.
Vital statistics: 1,200 mobile technicians.
Windscreen repair and replacement needs to be done in dry conditions, so Autoglass offers a mobile wet weather solution called the ‘Vanbrella’ to facilitate all-weather servicing. This is an extendable canopy contained in a roof box on top of vans which provides cover for technicians to work in wet weather conditions to help get fleet vehicles back on the road more quickly. Autoglass also offers an emergency temporary glazing service until the correct replacement glass can be obtained and fitted if it is not currently in stock, reducing downtime.
Optimisation of services
Autoglass has invested heavily in new systems to support customers and increase the efficiency of operations. This includes a new online scheduling system (Click), workforce management and labour optimisation programme
(Kronos), and the roll out of new PDAs/Mobile devices for technicians to support the new operating model.
Autoglass recently became the first UK vehicle glass repair and replacement company to adopt a mobile operating model. This was in response to customer demand, with over 95% of customers already preferring to book a mobile appointment. The service has full national coverage.
A lot of new vehicle technology, for example, automated emergency breaking, is reliant on the windscreen (due to the location of the camera) and windscreens will continue to be an integral part of new in-car technology.
As vehicle glass becomes more complex, repair and replacement also becomes technically more challenging.
For this reason, Autoglass states that it is important to continue to invest in research, development and training so the expert skills of technicians are ‘future proofed’ to deal with every eventuality.
Vital statistics: 775 centres, 200 mobile units.
Keeping customers informed
Kwik Fit launched its ‘Kwik Fit Plus’ centre initiative in autumn 2013 to increase the volume of mechanical work being undertaken on both company cars and vans. There are currently 29 Kwik Fit Plus centres across the UK.
Customers are informed about how long it will take to complete work on their vehicle within 15 minutes of arrival at a Kwik Fit Plus centre. If work is likely to take longer than 60 minutes, the driver is provided with an estimated job completion time and given the option to wait, or to make a return appointment at a time that is convenient for them.
Enhanced logistics strategy
Kwik Fit has refined its logistics service so that its centres, which also act as a hub for the company’s mobile tyre fitting service, now receive tyre deliveries 11 times a week instead of the previous three to six, to ensure constant availability of stock where it is needed most.
Additionally, Kwik Fit is in the process of introducing a new operating system that further supports its mobile tyre fitting service to enhance customer service. It claims introduction of the Mobile Control Centre Application in tandem with live in-mobile vehicle telematics data gives greater visibility of the up-to-the-minute workload of each mobile van and will enhance Kwik Fit’s ability to accept same-day work later in the day.
Development of mobile tools
An ‘intelligent’ fleet web booking service is under development for launch in the second quarter of 2016. It will enable drivers to make an appointment at a centre of their choice or Mobile via smartphone, laptop, PC or tablet. The Kwik Fit database will check tyre stock availability, available fitment centre slots and and the location of Kwik Fit Mobile units.
Vital statistics: 108 centres, 800+ mobile units.
National Windscreens’ extensive fitting network enables the company to store more than £9 million worth of glass stocks at any one time. This means that, on average, a UK motorist is never more than 20 minutes or 11 miles away from a National Windscreens technician.
Introduction of Partscheck
National Windscreens cites Partscheck as the most significant development in recent years to impact the level of servicing technicians can offer. Partscheck is a piece of software developed in-house that identifies the correct replacement windscreen by inputting the Vehicle Registration Number.
Partscheck allows technicians to complete a higher percentage of windscreen replacement jobs ‘right first time’. In turn, the company says it has also increased daily productivity – technicians are able to carry more correct stock and spend less time revisiting customers to complete jobs.
Importance of a mobile service
The current trend in the windscreen repair and replacement industry appears to be an increasing shift towards offering a purely mobile service. Customers value the fact that they have the option to visit a fitting centre at a location and time of their choice if they want to. National Windscreens states that its service is designed around customer needs, and is therefore firmly committed to retaining its physical locations as well as its mobile workforce.