Hutchinsons are a leading agricultural and horticultural input advice and supply company with farming clients that together represent over one million hectares. Founded in 1938, the business remains family-owned and today employs over 440 staff across the UK, with more than half directly involved with client-facing agronomic relationships.
There are 262 vehicles spread across the country, managed from the company’s office in Dorrington, Lincolnshire. Mostly used by agronomists, the fleet is largely made up of pick-ups and 4x4s with a few cars and vans. They are all purchased outright.
Susan Steele, Fleet Manager, explained the changes that the fleet had seen in recent years: “While the number of vehicles we operate hasn’t grown enormously, there has been quite a shift in the different number of brands we own and where the vehicles are located, something that has necessarily brought about a change in our managerial approach.”
Susan explained: “Because we were starting to see the fleet used across a wider area and the variety of vehicles operated had increased, there was a definite and growing challenge in terms of identifying the right service and maintenance provision in the right locations.
“We looked to the market for a solution and ServicePoint seemed to answer this need comprehensively, as well as delivering a number of additional benefits.”
Susan said: “There’s a number of important points. Crucially, we can access competitive rates with a nationwide network of garages, meaning that our core service and maintenance needs are being met and we know that the fleet remains compliant. This essentially solves the brand diversification and geography problems that we were encountering.
“Also, it is really easy to authorise and manage work on the portal and we can easily scale up when the size of the fleet increases or its composition changes. Finally, we use the managed account option to support our operations and that has proven really successful.”
As an option, Allstar ServicePoint can provide an experienced Support Team who approve the authorisation of vehicle work on your behalf. They review job sheets from service and maintenance providers and then authorise, decline or query any questionable items based on their extensive automotive knowledge and the platform’s built-in rules engine, which is designed to flag up common anomalies.
Susan said: “We delegate service and repair authorisation to ServicePoint when I’m not in the office, which is an arrangement that works very well. Also, the team have a high degree of expertise, so are able to offer professional guidance and advice when needed, and can always answer any queries we have about particular jobs.”
“For us, ServicePoint delivers an efficient and effective service and maintenance resource that exactly fits our needs and we are sure it would prove successful for other businesses with similar requirements.”