Mercedes-Benz Vans’ customer-focused back-up is key to Marshall Fleet Solutions’ switch
FSDF member Marshall Fleet Solutions knows all about the importance of top-quality, round-the-clock back-up, which helps to explain why the leading commercial vehicle fleet service and support organisation has added another 30 Mercedes-Benz vans to its fast-growing 24/7 operation.
The Cambridge-based company’s latest, 3.5-tonne Sprinter 314 CDIs were supplied by north-west Dealer Roanza Truck & Van and benefit from fuel-efficient, low-emission Euro 6 engine technology. The operator also runs mid-size Mercedes-Benz Vito and small Citan models.
A long-established supplier of Thermo King refrigeration systems, Marshall Fleet Solutions is the UK’s largest independent commercial vehicle temperature-controlled equipment installation and maintenance specialist. It is also a main dealer and service agent for most brands of tail-lift.
With a national call centre which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a nationwide network of 17 branches and a team of more than 200 engineers, Marshall prides itself on providing fleet operators with an unrivalled level of service, either at their own premises or out on the road.
The company runs 190 vans. It purchased its first Mercedes-Benz Sprinters in 2015 and as it stands down previously acquired vehicles by other manufacturers at a rate of 30-40 per year, is now replacing them with new models bearing the three-pointed star.
Fleet Manager Andy Ellis explained: “We wanted the best vans, and to move away from a situation in which we’ve been running a ‘mixed bag’ of vehicles by concluding a volume supply agreement with a single manufacturer able to meet all of our requirements. We now have almost 60 Mercedes-Benz vans and are proposing to convert the remainder of the fleet at the earliest opportunity.”
Sprinters account for the majority of the vehicles supplied to date, and the latest have been fitted out to three different specifications, covering truck and trailer refrigeration, tail-lift service and light commercial applications. The 10 Vito models, some of which are crew vans with second rows of seats, are used by installation engineers, while the three Citans are allocated to master engineers whose responsibilities include training and quality control.
Key to the appeal of Mercedes-Benz vans for Marshall Fleet Solutions, is the 24-hour maintenance and repair capability of the manufacturer’s franchised Dealer Network. “We sometimes lose our other vans for more than a day when they need servicing, with an ongoing cost to Marshall in terms of downtime and productivity issues,” said Mr Ellis.
“By contrast, the fact that we can get our Mercedes-Benz vehicles into Dealer workshops and serviced overnight, means they’re always available for work when we need them.
“We also benefit from having acquired all of the vehicles through CharterWay (the commercial vehicle contract hire arm of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services). Our vans come with MobiloVan cover which includes round-the-clock, emergency roadside assistance, while our previous vehicle suppliers cannot match the manufacturer’s three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. As a company whose success is based on the fast, efficient service we provide to our own customers, we really appreciate the industry-leading level of after sales back-up that Mercedes-Benz offers.”
He continued: “I’ve worked in this industry all my life and there’s no doubt in my mind that when it comes to reliability and whole-life operating costs, Mercedes-Benz vans lead the field. We also took eight of our engineers to last year’s Mercedes-Benz VanExperience Live event at Millbrook; it’s a fantastic day and no-one who attends could be left in any doubt as to why Mercedes-Benz is a premium product.”
Marshall Fleet Solutions Managing Director George Ralph added: “Having experienced a significant growth in our business over the past few years, we have consistently looked at increasing the number of service vehicles we operate to ensure that our high levels of customer service are maintained.
“Our new Mercedes-Benz vehicles are playing an invaluable role in enhancing the speed of response and quality of service that we can provide to our customers, wherever they are located.”