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