NEW service and maintenance procedures at Arval have been formulated and then made operational within days to keep essential fleets available 24/7 during the coronavirus crisis.
Corrine Barton, the head of networks, said there had been a quite sudden demand from a number of key businesses to keep fleets running. These included some of the UK’s largest pharmaceutical and medical supply companies.
She added that this had created substantial new service and maintenance requirements.
“The challenges have arisen on several fronts. The first and most obvious is that, as a business, we are now all home working, so any changes that we make present different challenges to when we were all in the same office.
“Second, we are having to find service and maintenance suppliers that remain available for essential work, and then schedule jobs so that downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. Getting this right can literally save lives.”
Barton said that existing practices in the current circumstances, 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 had been the 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.”
She said that preventative maintenance was also important to maximise future uptime, adding:
“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.”
Ralph Morton is the leading journalist in the leasing broker sector and editor of Broker News, the website which provides information and news for BVRLA-registered leasing brokers. He also writes extensively on the fleet and leasing market in both the UK and Europe.