Where Customer Service Really Counts

Published in Frozen & Chilled Foods Magazine, Sept/Oct 2018 Edition:

When it comes to distribution and transport, every market sector rightly demands reliable customer service standards, but with the extra pressure of potentially perishable products as a daily consideration on top of normal delivery expectations, the frozen and chilled foods sector is a special case.

One Commercial Vehicle provider, which is gaining a particularly strong reputation for meeting the industry’s exacting standards is the Prohire Group. It provides both contract-hire and rental solutions to this uniquely demanding industry and now has many instantly recognisable customers within frozen and chilled distribution, including several recent new customer wins. For over twenty years Prohire has earned an enviable reputation for supporting both local and national blue-chip, multi-location commercial vehicle fleet operators of both refrigerated and ambient vehicles where fleet uptime and compliance are of absolute importance.

It established its service credibility back in 2004 in a very different but equally demanding industry, managing a fleet of over 400 custodial vehicles with complex chassis and body specifications including bespoke ancillary equipment. Due to the nature of the customer contract it called upon extremely high standards of service support, as a scenario such as a specialist heavy commercial vehicle with 24 detainees plus a driver and guard being stranded on a busy motorway was an unthinkable situation and perfectly illustrates the vital importance of fleet uptime including response times to breakdowns, first time fix and VOR progress chasing, all of which Prohire prides itself upon delivering.

Since this definitive test of Prohire’s customer service abilities, the company has more than doubled its fleet size and turnover because of both organic new business growth and through the acquisition of several strategic and complementary businesses. Frozen and chilled is one of the areas in which it now specialises. With many years of experience managing 300 plus temperature controlled fleets with major food manufacturers and retailers, one acquisition was especially significant. Sunrent, one of the UK’s foremost temperature controlled vehicle suppliers supplying nationwide customers from its base in the South East, really strengthened the Group’s capability and presence within the refrigerated and frozen distribution sector. Prohire is now forging ahead with further investment in new refrigerated rental vehicles to cover customers’ needs across contracted or cyclical business.

Sector specific knowledge, experience and capability is more than supplemented by Prohire’s overall approach to its customers’ business. It takes a consultative approach to specifying vehicles (optimum payload and refrigeration properties), demonstrable cost savings, and industry leading national first time MOT pass rates. Unsurprisingly, Prohire is the only commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet management provider in the country to have attained the government backed Customer Service Excellence accreditation.

In addition to providing both long term contract-hire and rental solutions, Prohire provides full maintenance and compliance service agreements to businesses which own their vehicles. The company also has its own specialist in-house accident management product branded ‘FleetLogic’ which provides a nationwide vehicle and bodywork repair management guarantee, providing a very responsive and cost-effective solution. This covers everything from completion of a First Notification of Loss report directly with the driver, recovery of the vehicle including load repatriation, through to the timely return of the repaired vehicle. As an example, one refrigerated vehicle operator, who recently experienced an unfortunate incident where a driver was side swiped by another vehicle and went on to its side was delighted to discover that the vehicle had been recovered within the hour, the load repatriated to its nearest depot, and then transhipped and onward delivered to its customers, all before the refrigerated operators’ customers even realised an incident had occurred!

Commenting on Prohire’s commitment to frozen and chilled food distribution, group sales director, Andrew Morley said, “One of the keys to our success in this sector is the significant investment made in fleet management and compliance systems. This means Prohire customers can view all critical compliance documentation such as PMIs, LOLER, MOT and ancillary equipment maintenance online, including fridge units as well as being able to view bespoke service planners. It’s great to be able to say that the company has industry-leading key performance standards including 98% plus new vehicle delivery satisfaction, and 9.2 (out of 10) in a recently completed Net Promoter Score customer satisfaction survey.
Many of Prohire’s innovations are good news for customers across the board, but frozen and chilled food distribution is a very specialist sector. If you are looking for a commercial vehicle fleet provider that has real knowledge and awareness of the customer service issues, combined with experience and a commitment to adding value, then it will be worth giving Prohire a call, to discuss any aspect of frozen and chilled food distribution.”

For further information:
Michelle Miles, Group Marketing Manager, Prohire Limited
E-mail: michellemiles@prohiregroup.co.uk
Phone: 08432 909 089

Relationship Continues to Blossom with the Prohire Group and Bunzl Catering Supplies

Bunzl Catering Supplies has been a customer of Prohire for over 20 years and during this time the relationship has gone from strength to strength. Bunzl Catering Supplies source, consolidate and deliver essential non-food consumable products to their customers in the catering and hospitality sectors. Providing national coverage via a network of 7 operating branches, with a National Distribution Centre in Birch Coppice, Tamworth, Bunzl Catering Supplies deliver on a fleet of 145 light and heavy commercial vehicles adorned with Bunzl Catering Supplies livery.

Whilst Prohire supply vehicles to all Bunzl Catering Supplies branches, we were delighted to be the chosen supplier for all new vehicles required for Bunzl Catering Supplies’ new Harlow branch, opened in 2017 to serve the needs of a major new customer based primarily in the London area. In addition to these fleet additions Prohire has supplied Bunzl Catering Supplies new 3.5t Panel vans, Luton bodied vehicles, 7.5t to 18t rigid vehicles with box bodies, semi-trailers, and most recently, a fleet of new high specification Mercedes Actros Tractor units fitted with the latest fuel saving technology and safety features.

Bunzl Catering Supplies operates on a 48-hour delivery cycle, day one order for day three delivery, providing a regular scheduled delivery service to ensure that its customers always have stock of their non-food consumables. To support this operation, Prohire not only provide the vehicles on long term contract hire, but also manage the fleet uptime and compliance, whilst FleetLogic attends to all accident management requirements.

Whilst Paul Hassall, Operations Director and Andrew Morley, Sales Director have overseen the Bunzl Catering Supplies account for many years; it has been because of the solid account management provided by Sean Barnfather, Key Account Manager, supported by colleagues throughout the Prohire business that has allowed our relationship with Bunzl Catering Supplies to blossom to its current strength.

Andrew Morley, Sales Director, Prohire Limited

Great Customer Feedback!

At FleetLogic, our ethos is to fulfil customer expectations and to deliver a professional ‘Fully Managed Accident Repair’ service. It’s always great to receive such positive feedback from one of our highly valued customers:

Prohire Limited Gain BSI Accreditation for Sixteenth Year Running!

Prohire Limited are proud to have been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 certification, an internationally recognised standard that ensures services meet the needs of customers through an effective Quality Management System for the coming three year period.

Having held the accreditation since 2002, our decision to continue with ISO 9001 demonstrates our commitment to providing a high-quality and consistent service to our customers and our ongoing investment in development and processes and procedures.

Arlene Steele, Training and Compliance Manager for Prohire Limited says, “The ISO 9001:2015 standard demands a great degree of leadership commitment and is underpinned by risk-based thinking. This certification is the assurance that we have robust, clearly defined procedures in place in all our business areas such as Operations, Finance, Supply Chain Management and Sales. We strive to integrate the approach of quality in our daily work and continuously challenge ourselves to improve the Quality Management System to provide standards that meet or exceed the needs and expectations of our customers, always complying with the specifications and regulations of the standard.”

Compliance Management

With ever greater legislative demands being placed on commercial vehicle operators, along with the drive for increased fleet uptime, Prohire continue to invest in their industry-leading online services and Compliance Fleet Management Platform. Prohire’s Fleet Management system provides a live platform for compliance and efficiency, with complete transparency on all vehicle documentation, preventative maintenance inspections and service histories. ‘ProVision’ provides our customers with instant visibility and greater interaction on all key vehicle service areas between our businesses and increase the speed of work authorisation between Prohire and our National Network of Service Providers, resulting in both increased Compliance Management and Fleet Uptime.

For more information and to see how we can assist your business, contact a member of our experienced Customer Relations Team on 08432 909 089.

For Us It’s Personal

For us it’s personal: The entire Prohire team is passionate about providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction and delivering second-to-none support through:

* A consultative approach to specifying vehicles
* An understanding of the key drivers of our customers’ business
* A proactive approach in the event of a vehicle being off the road to minimise downtime
* Nationwide service from an extensive network of repair agents
* Regular customer satisfaction surveys with results reviewed and acted upon by the Prohire Board

To find out more and to see how we can offer support to your business, call a member of our experienced Customer Relations Team on 08432 909 089.

Prohire Retain Government Recognised Standard

Prohire has retained the Government recognised ‘Customer Service Excellence Standard’ for the 2nd year.

“Strong Customer Relations is a 360 degree process, a continual partnership between our customers, colleagues and suppliers. We are delighted with this outcome and will continue to work very hard in supporting our customers,” Michelle Miles, Customer Relations Manager.

Flexible and Reliable

Our rental fleet comprises light commercial vans and rigid trucks through to 44 tonne tractor units, all of which are available for nationwide hire with round-the-clock support.

Whether you have a peak requirement or simply don’t want to commit to long-term contract hire, we can provide vehicles on a daily, weekly or monthly or annual basis.

For more information and to see how we can assist your business, contact a member of our experienced Customer Relations Team on 08432 909 089.

Individual and Tailored

At Prohire we take an individual, consultative approach to ensure that our products and services fully satisfy the needs of our customers. We see it as our responsibility to manage your commercial fleet in its entirety so that you can focus on your business. Furthermore, we strive to provide industry leading service standards where Fleet Compliance sits at the foundation of everything we do.

The Prohire team is passionate about providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction and delivering second-to-none support.