However thorough a Fleet Manager is in ensuring that vehicles are properly managed and maintained, there will be from time to time roadside incidents that can cause major disruptions to both the operator and other road users. It is therefore comforting to know that experts are at hand to minimise the impact of these situations. Essential Fleet Manager was delighted to catch up with Andrew Chandler, Sales Director at FMG, who explains how the national recovery and incident management company offers solutions to this complex issue.
Q: Could you outline the main services that you offer the fleet industry?
Modern motor vehicles are safer than ever before yet as long as businesses rely on vehicles for their operation, incidents will happen. But that doesn’t mean the stress, cost and hassle associated with vehicle incidents are a given; there are numerous opportunities to mitigate and reduce these factors within the incident repair process.
FMG is an award-winning specialist in 24-hour incident management and roadside repair and recovery management services. We specialise in helping our customers involved in road traffic accidents and breakdowns by providing mobility, accident repair, vehicle recovery and uninsured loss recovery. We operate on behalf of blue-chip company fleets and well-known brands, most of the UK’s top ten vehicle leasing providers and the largest motor insurers and brokers. We are also the roadside recovery partner of choice for Highways England and several UK Police Forces. We manage over 500,000 vehicles of every diverse type and deal with a new incident every 3 minutes.
Q: Who are your key partners in delivering your services?
In order to deliver the best possible repair solutions for our fleet customers, we work in close partnership with our quality-assured UK-wide network of vehicle repairers. FMG’s repair network provides a range of high-quality repair options to reduce vehicle off road (VOR) times to an absolute minimum. Options include traditional bodyshop repair and a range of one-day repair options; SMART repair, mobile repair and the recent addition of Xpress Repairs one-day repair pods in key geographic locations.
Q: Our repair partners are the essential link in delivering the high standards we promise to our customers
and we are committed to supporting the sustainability of the UK repair network. In the past few years we have invested significant time, resource and expertise in our bodyshop repairer relationships. Establishing direct links to repairers through CAPS, ClaimWatch, AudaInvoice and bodyshops’ own communication systems, has enhanced real-time communication whilst reducing mutual admin costs, manual touchpoints and traditionally lengthy transactional processes, enabling bodyshops to become more operationally efficient. Not only does this reduce repair cycle times, it also allows FMG to proactively manage our fleet customers’ expectations by providing continual updates throughout the repair process.
Q: What are the main aspects of FMG that make it so widely trusted by many of the UK’s key organisations?
An unrivalled customer journey
We genuinely care about the difference we make to our customers and their drivers. From FNOL through to repair completion, we have worked closely with customers to determine the most integral customer touchpoints and then invested in adding further value. Recently we have enhanced driver communications with a new strategy which integrates video, email, text, telephone and brochures to keep drivers fully informed of ‘what happens next’ in the incident lifecycle.
Preserving the longevity of our customer and supplier relationships is core to our business strategy. FMG makes enormous efforts to understand what our customers really want and our meticulous implementation programme ensures we are correctly structured to demonstrate value throughout the customer lifecycle. We keep each customer’s future needs in mind and create system-based structures with added flexibility to accommodate changing needs.
Ethically reducing the total cost of incidents
FMG helps fleet operators save huge sums of money in incident bills by identifying and reducing costs within the incident process yet we do so in the fairest, most ethical way possible. We recognise that our vehicle repairer partners traditionally operate with tight margins and we refuse to squeeze them tighter. Instead, FMG has successfully found new and innovative ways to save £millions for customers by increasing our focus on third party cost mitigation, speed of reporting, alternative high-quality repair options and incident prevention. With 34 years’ insight and expertise, we have scrutinised every single cost and touch-point throughout the entire incident management process to ensure we challenge, mitigate and reduce costs at each and every opportunity.
Q: Essential services fleet operators are particularly vulnerable to the impact of vehicle downtime. How does FMG help minimise that impact?
Getting the vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible following an incident is crucial to fleet operators, and a key factor in minimising repair and replacement vehicle costs. Our repair network provides a range of high-quality repair options, all designed to reduce vehicle off road (VOR) times to an absolute minimum. FMG’s in-house automotive engineers are on hand to verify the appropriate option is selected every time, all repair costs are reasonable and the repair duration is accurate.
Our commitment to minimising vehicle off road (VOR) time penetrates every process within our business. Downtime-reducing services include image capture and mobile estimates to keep driveable vehicles mobile prior to repair, parts pre-ordering, repairing rather than replacing parts and out-of-hours repair services. We have also earned a position of trust with delegated authority from major fleet insurers which further reduces repair delays.
Q: What are the main issues that fleet operators face when vehicles have been involved in an incident and how does FMG meet the challenges of those issues?
When an incident occurs, the fleet operator’s priorities are taking care of the driver, getting their fleet moving again and securing the best outcome to the incident – with as little hassle as possible.
At FMG, FNOL is a key opportunity to demonstrate outstanding care to drivers. When drivers report an incident, they want to engage with a real person who will listen, empathise and reassure whilst taking control of putting things right. Our FNOL experts are selected for their outstanding customer service skills and displaying the right attitudes and behaviours at an anxious time for the driver.
We provide tools to support fleet operators in making their drivers aware of the importance of their actions in the immediate aftermath of an incident. Providing it is safe to do so, drivers are urged to record incident details and third party contact details accurately and report the incident to FMG immediately. The timing of the First Notification of Loss is vitally important. Within the hour, a replacement vehicle is arranged and FMG’s fast-acting incident management specialists capture incident data, assess liability and contact the third party to offer vehicle repair and replacement services. Third party costs can provide the financial sting in the tail following at-fault incidents – whilst own-vehicle damage is limited to the value of the vehicle, third party costs can spiral uncontrollably if left unmanaged. Therefore such speed is fundamental in reducing the risk of the third party pursuing or being approached by potentially expensive hire car companies, credit repair services and personal injury businesses, as the costs of these services would be recovered from the at-fault party.
Q: How does technology drive the services of FMG?
Our in-house developed software, Ingenium, drives all internal services and retains tight control over every process, cost and deadline. It allows us to track and report on every single transaction within the incident life cycle. All new claims are logged on Ingenium, which has built-in capability to tailor the incident reporting process with bespoke questions to meet the each fleet operator’s specific requirements.
Ingenium accurately triages the FNOL, triggering the correct workflow and identifying the most appropriate repair/recovery solution utilising the information captured, including location, vehicle type and damage sustained. The system also works with image capture software, enabling drivers to upload images of incident damage, to further support triage to the most appropriate repairer. This also enhances the efficiency of our in-house engineers, enabling fats and accurate video damage assessment and reducing demand for, and the associated delays of, mobile estimates and independent inspections.
Information gathered in Ingenium is available 24/7 for each fleet operator to view via our web-based portal, including repair tracking, vehicle images, loss recovery and all incident data.
Today, FMG is widely recognised as the standout specialist in the fleet field thanks to our proven ability to ethically minimise vehicle off-road times and reduce overall incident costs to an absolute minimum whilst providing unstinting support for drivers.
We’re committed to strengthening existing customer relationships, whilst using our size, scale and flexibility to ensure we evolve in line with the market’s changing demands and continually improve our service proposition.
For more information visit: https://fmg.co.uk/
Article published in Fleet Manager Issue 2 (2020) – click here