Trevor Hodgson-Phillips, Head of Service & Parts at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, looks at why you need to think differently about LCV servicing if you want to avoid losing valuable working hours.
While it’s almost impossible to predict accidents and breakdowns, the hours spent waiting for a vehicle to be serviced or repaired can have a considerable effect on your business – as well as your customers and profits – if it’s not managed properly.
While vehicle downtime continues to be a thorny issue for businesses up and down the country, a different approach to servicing could help keep your vans on the road and minimise the cost and potentially damaging long-term consequences of downtime.
It is a simple fact that a well-maintained fleet is more efficient. However, with commercial vehicle customers needing to meet ever more demanding service delivery promises for their own customers, less time is being set aside to deal proactively with the servicing and maintenance of their fleets.
When it comes to regular services, traditionally businesses have always had to book their vehicles in during normal working hours, but what if a vehicle could be serviced outside these hours, reducing any inconvenience and costly downtime?
Many manufacturers now offer flexible opening hours and like-for-like replacement courtesy vehicles to help businesses plan to help prevent vehicle downtime. The introduction of extended hours now offers businesses the flexibility to fit servicing around their existing work commitments. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers customers a network of Van Centres that are now open between 13 to 16 hours a day, three or more days a week. This allows businesses the opportunity to have servicing work undertaken at a time that is more suitable for them.
Alternatively, some companies, including VCV, now offer mobile servicing clinics, and these are another way in which businesses can have work carried out without disturbing their workflow by allowing firms to have work completed at an agreed location and a time that suits them.
An added advantage is that tools and equipment that are stored within the vehicle can often be available while the work is carried out. Operated by a qualified Volkswagen technician and equipped with a host of specialist tools the Mobile Service vans are capable of delivering service work, inspections, A/C servicing, MOT repairs, minor warranty work and software updates remotely.
The benefits of out of hours and remote servicing to businesses are clear – delivering convenience, flexibility and a reduction in costly downtime. At Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles we see this way of working as the future and we continue to support our customers in keeping their vehicles on the road during working hours and their operations running smoothly.
Businesses that proactively address the controllable factors that contribute to a vehicle being off-the-road (such as servicing and repairs) can avoid costly periods of unnecessary downtime. Unfortunately most businesses tend to concentrate on reducing time off the road once the vehicle is down, instead of looking ahead and managing the vehicle’s uptime.
However by turning the problem on its head and tackling issues before they happen, business owners can make routine servicing and repairs more efficient and hopefully reduce any time without their vehicles. By using simple systems such as pre-agreed service plans and online service maintenance and repair booking, businesses can plan to help prevent vehicle downtime.