In the first of a new panel discussion, we ask our experts their views on how telematics have shaped and driven change within the fleet management profession, and why reluctance to use fleet technology still exists within some organisations
The AA offers Roadside Assistance to vehicles ranging from motorbikes right up to HGVs of 44T GVW and for fleet sizes from one single vehicle to hundreds of thousands. Cover is 24/7/365 nationwide and the AA also provides European Breakdown Cover for fleets, with full English-speaking operator service/ liaison. We can also issue VE103 documentation where drivers wish to take their company-owned or leased vehicles overseas.
For business critical fleets such as emergency service providers, utility companies, cash-carrying vehicles and military vehicles, the AA providers tailored incident management. We also offer bespoke Management Information, including live online access to real-time breakdown incidents for all of our larger fleet customers.
Our tailored approach to breakdown provision for larger customers means that we can offer onward billing, for example, enabling vehicles rental companies to charge their customers for driver induced faults we have attended (lost keys, misfuelling etc).
Smaller fleets benefit from a range of breakdown packages comprising roadside, recovery and onward travel options as well as whole fleet cover in Europe and Breakdown Repair Cover – with specific services for specialist vehicles and minibuses. All fleet breakdown packages are available for online purchase and some aspects of account management 24 hours a day.
For specific motor manufacturer customers, the AA employs dedicated technicians with the same on-board diagnostics and tools that would be available at a manufacturer’s main dealer network, leading to better roadside repair rate and higher customer satisfaction.
Alongside our core breakdown provision, the AA also provides a wealth of additional services both relevant and specific to fleets. Supporting the roadside operation are our mobile fleets providing glass repair and replacement, fuel retrieval, key replacement (including cutting and programming of electronic keys and erasing of the missing/ broken keys) and battery replacement.
Our comprehensive Accident Management service includes driver rehabilitation as well as vehicle recovery and repair. Via AA DriveTech, we provide a full range of Driver Training Services and Risk Management Solutions
The AA’s 100+ years of motoring heritage enables us to support our fleet customers wherever possible with technical advice for their drivers (for example summer/ winter driving tips, vehicle maintenance checks and essential vehicle model information for user/ choosers) as well as support at fleet roadshows and head offices where the AA can undertake windscreen chip checks, tyre checks and basic vehicle maintenance demonstrations.
As part of the AA’s commitment to supporting the whole life cycle of a fleet vehicle, we also provide Vehicle Inspections both at point of purchase and end-of-life, helping to raise standards of independent garage networks and to maximise residual values.
Finally, the AA’s broad range of fleet services also cover options for fuel cards, telematics and fleet insurance.
Investing in Innovation
The AA’s award-winning breakdown app includes our route planner and traffic data, as well as vehicle reminders for MOT, tax, insurance and service dates. And we’ve added enhanced features for all AA members – including fuel prices, our parking-space finder and dashboard warning lights information. The app has already been downloaded by millions of personal members and all of this member functionality will soon be available for our fleet customers.
Most excitingly, the launch of the app for our fleet customers will give their drivers access to the AA’s Rescue Tracker, allowing roadside incidents to be reported and monitored via the app, with real-time patrol tracking and no need to call. GPS technology pinpoints the breakdown location accurately and assists in swift dispatch of an appropriate resource.
In recent years we have launched and expanded our garage and vehicle inspections services, growing our existing account with BCA and winning the major Motor Codes business. This means that we are able to work closely with the SMMT, dealer networks and other major bodies to enhance the quality of service drivers receive at garages whether they are a franchised dealer or an independent garage.
Our inspections cover areas such as quality of work carried out; staff training; charges for work; health and safety; equipment and its safe use; customer facilities; appearance of premises and staff. Garages which meet our strict criteria and pass the inspection are able to display the joint Motor Codes and AA certification, thereby giving customers and fleets the reassurance of our trusted brand and the quality they will receive. Garages which do not meet the criteria are given detailed guidance and advice on how to improve so that when we make our follow-up inspection they can ensure they meet and maintain the required standards.
We have worked with some of our partner organisations to develop exclusive, innovative deals for SME customers, enabling them to benefit from our larger business relationships. We have also set up exclusive offers for SME customers using AA AutoWindshields and also competitive driver licence checking services through IDS – both services which would normally be more commercially advantageous towards larger fleets.
As a fully rounded fleet supplier and operator one of the UK’s largest operational fleets, the AA is best-placed to provide everything required to help customers keep their fleets running efficiently and effectively.
The AA’s many relationships with motor manufacturers enables us continuously to improve our roadside repair capability. This is enhanced via tailored MI, enhanced tooling and equipment, patrol training and specialist services for driver-induced issues.
We pride ourselves on focusing what is appropriate to the driver/ customer and recognising that one size does not fit all.