Converting vans for nearly 40 years means that the team at Bri-Stor Systems know a thing or two about van conversions. They also understand many of the challenges that the nation’s Fleet Managers face on a daily basis, so the team decided to do something about it. As Jay Akerman, Sales Director, explains: “we work with a wide variety of fleet customers and recognise the challenges associated with trying to manage a large fleet – which in some cases can easily number over 500 vehicles – so we created our digital portal, designed to offer Fleet Managers a one-stop-shop for all their needs”.
Launched in January 2020, the portals popularity has grown significantly over the past 18 months and that growth shows no signs of slowing down. Each fleet customer is given their own unique log-in details which provide access to a personalised version of the portal where they can access a wealth of useful information.
Some Fleet Managers can have a number of different builds in their fleet so the portal tracks each of these variants, containing a full specification for each one alongside detailed illustrations and pricing. The ability to capture the evolution of a build is also important as Jay explains: “Over time a build specification can change following discussions with our customers so the portal allows us to keep a record of those discussions and document any decisions taken, thus avoiding any confusion or misunderstandings later down the line.”
The document section provides access to all the information that a Fleet Manager might need to keep their vehicles on the road such as vehicle user manuals, wiring diagrams and 3rd party equipment manuals for items such as roof equipment or on-board power supplies. “We’ve even seen examples of customers directly linking through to our portal from their own internal systems” Jay adds.
Accessing spare parts is also made significantly easier thanks to a comprehensive database that filters items based on van registration number ensuring that the customer can only order parts that are suitable for their specific vehicle.
But perhaps the most popular element of the portal is the inclusion of videos to document the customer handover process. Traditionally, as a new vehicle rolled off the production line, a customer representative would be invited to join the team at Hixon, Staffordshire to review the final vehicle design and receive a briefing on all of the features within the van. Covid-19 made this more challenging so Jay and the team developed a digital solution with a number of additional benefits over the traditional face-to-face approach.
“While we are always excited to welcome our customers to site, Covid-19 restrictions meant that we had to rethink our approach so we started to document the handover process in video form. And these videos have proven to be extremely popular. Forty-eight hours before a driver is due to collect their new vehicle, they receive a notification confirming that the vehicle is ready for collection and a link to a short video demonstrating all the features of their new van. This means that they know exactly what to expect when they arrive and also proves an invaluable training tool for other drivers in the fleet. Some customers have even asked us to incorporate daily service items that the driver should check for such as oil levels and tyres. Something that we were only too happy to accommodate.”
Jay continues: “As a trusted partner, our customers expect us to be available to support them 24/7, 365 days a week and the portal goes some way to meeting that demand alongside our Service and Support teams. It allows us to deepen those relationships and continue to add value to our customers throughout the service life of their fleet.”
When challenged on what might be next for the portal, Jay was somewhat coy but with a knowing smile confirmed that the Portal will continue to be a key element of the Bri-Stor Systems proposition and that further developments are in the pipeline.
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