Pentland chooses Alphabet to manage switch from ECO
Alphabet won a six-way tender put out by Pentland to find a supplier capable of moving its car scheme from employee car ownership to company cars, funded on a contract hire arrangement.
Alphabet is supplying cars, maintenance management, breakdown recovery and accident management for its company car drivers, as well as driver licence checks and daily rental vehicles for Pentland’s complete business driver population, which includes cash-takers.
Pentland decided to move away from its previous ECO scheme due to drivers covering fewer business miles thanks to increased use of telephone and video conferencing, in addition to other company changes that reduced the need for high business travel. With support from Alphabet, the company organised workshops to explain to drivers the transition from an ECO scheme back to company cars.
Pentland’s fleet manager, Steve Osborne, said: 'The workshops meant our drivers understood the policy, understood the benefits and realised it was going to be much easier to comprehend than the old ECO scheme. We got everyone round the table, organised personal log ins for the Alphabet Online interactive web site, which quickly demonstrated what a first-class piece of equipment it is, and had a number of orders processed that very day. We've had very positive feedback from everyone using it – they've found it very easy.'
Due partly to the wide choice of cars available under the new scheme, as well as the increasing attractiveness of the security of a company car, around a dozen cash-takers have already expressed interest in moving back to cars, he added.
As Pentland Brands takes a strong stance on corporate social responsibility, including issues such as ethical sourcing and environmental protection, the scheme has been designed to offer all drivers, from director level downward, cars that emit 160g/km of CO2 or less. Drivers can also trade down to lower-cost cars and take the difference as cash.
'The great thing from the company’s point of view is that if employees choose a smaller car then the CO2 level will be lower, the driver’s P11d will be reduced, and the group’s liability for employer’s National Insurance will also see a reduction, so it’s good all round. And it’s a good incentive and an opportunity for the drivers to put something back in their pocket, which in the current economic climate is always going to be well received,' said Mr Osborne. 'We are not only delivering on our green commitment but saving money as well.'