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Transport &Technology

Every business will be aware of the challenges associated with ensuring staff, equipment and products are in the right place at the right time.

When the value of equipment can extend into tens of thousands of pounds, the need to safeguard the contents of the vehicle and ensure it reaches its destination is paramount, and can be integral to meeting customer requirements and preventing financial loss.

In sectors such as healthcare, time is money, as drugs are not only extremely expensive to manufacture, but can spoil if not kept at the right temperature or if they take too long to travel from the distribution centre to the point of delivery.

Flexible approach

One of Northgate’s biggest customers transports drugs and other products to and from its many stores and warehouses, as well as delivering essential medicines to general practitioners and care homes across the UK.

As such, a long-term, flexible fleet management and acquisition strategy is required in order to deal with fluctuations in demand and to ensure peace of mind that the size of the fleet and specification of the vehicles can be upscaled at short notice.

The value in having assets managed is that Northgate takes care of servicing the network, which keeps vehicles on the road for longer, and reduces downtime in a sector where every minute is valuable and cost-effective solutions are essential.

Thanks to Northgate’s partnership with breakdown partner AA, a back on-the-road target of 2.5 hours means that vehicles are never off the road for long, in the unlikely event they do break down.

It is an approach that is applicable to businesses of all sizes in every sector and can range from drugs to plant machinery.

Fluctuating demand

When contracts can often be won and started with a quick turnaround time, there is a constant need for an agile fleet that can help to meet the specific needs of the project and offer the reliability and security required.

Often, a business will want or need an extra level of security for additional peace of mind, and this can be provided in the form of deadlocks on the back of the van. The management of spare keys can also add an additional layer by ensuring that locks are changed as soon as possible in the event that keys are lost or misplaced.

An increasingly popular option and one that will eventually become standard on all vans is the use of trackers, which not only enables fleet managers to monitor the whereabouts of vans, drivers and their high value loads, but can also help to improve efficiency from a fleet coordination perspective.

The straightforward approach employed by Northgate means that this additional equipment can be fitted to vehicles as per the customer’s bespoke specification, removing much of the time and hassle associated with running and operating an owned fleet.

Old vehicles can prove a major drain on resources, while purchase or contract hire can also come with hidden extras, forcing business to fork out for servicing, maintenance and repair and causing significant downtime in some cases, particularly when replacement vehicles aren’t available.

Where high value products and equipment is concerned, the problem is exacerbated further still, as the reliability factor could result in products being spoiled or not reaching their destination, which can cause financial and reputational loss.

Northgate’s fair and transparent approach ensures that customers have access to a wide range of vehicles and upgrades on a flexible basis, with an SMR package that creates added peace of mind by minimising downtime and expenditure, allowing money to be invested in other parts of the business and ensuring customer expectations are met.

UK Construction Media is a leading publishing and marketing services business focused on the construction industry. Based on 20 years of experience within this sector, the business has unrivalled experience with a range of products which target the development of new opportunities and increased business for our clients.