“At Serviceco we undertake all kinds of compliance and breakdown service for trucks and trailers across the UK and Europe. It’s a 24/7 operation; we have a network of 500 vendors and we check on them every six months to make sure they’re up to the standards we expect for our customers.”
That’s director Aaron Hunter’s in-a-nutshell description of Serviceco, the service and maintenance division of Hireco. It started life tending to Hireco’s internal fleet, but has since evolved into a standalone operation, offering the same levels of customer service to transport companies operating across the continent.
Vehicle downtime is both a huge pain and a sure-fire way of haemorrhaging money, which is why the vendor network is such an integral part of Serviceco’s operation. Its size means the company can guarantee a breakdown response time of 90 minutes or less, to get customers back up and running as quickly as possible and with minimal disruption to their operations.
There’s more to the firm than nuts and bolts, though, because it also takes on the burden of customers’ documentation. Let’s face it, who wants more paperwork?
“We can store legal documents, service sheets, MoTs etc in our online portal. Which customers can access whenever they need to, and there’s no fear of losing them,” says Hunter.
Tracking and telematics are yet another string to the company’s bow. Its intricate knowledge of the products means it can pinpoint the best system for customers. Which saves them the bother of weighing up the pros and cons of different providers.
“We have partnerships with some of the major tracking companies, so we can handle all of that, too,” adds Hunter. “We can install the tracker and then give you access to the system via the online portal.” A new development for 2019 is Serviceco’s fitment of trackers to all new Hireco trailers as standard. Which means customers can activate them straight away and track from the off.
“From a fleet manager’s point of view, we want to take all of that hassle away. We will organise everything for them through our connections,” says Hunter. “Rather than them approaching lots of different people, we can say ‘this is the best product for you in your price range.’ We will get it up and running for them and they simply see the telematics screen at the end of it. Basically, we’re saying ‘give the hassle to us!’”
Serviceco is in the process of expanding its retail business, which sees it providing all of the above services and more to companies outside Hireco. It is constantly talking to and building up its customer base, which includes some of the UK’s biggest transport specialists.
“The retail side of the business is the bit that we’re really focusing on at the moment. We’re aiming to boost our coverage elsewhere,” says Hunter. “The total population of trailers on the road is about 220,000 – and we want to go after that.”
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