Incident management: Freeing time for the bigger picture

Company Focus

Gavin Franks, Business Services Director at the AA

“The past couple of years have highlighted the perseverance of companies to ensure that they achieve and maintain success, even in the most challenging conditions. However, we are aware that there is always room for improvement, and The AA is conscious of our duty to help our customers to innovate and make the changes they need as we drive the UK forward on the road to net-zero.

“We’ve seen our customers increasingly adopt fleet downsizing policies, as managers take the chance to adjust their vehicle mix and consider electrification – something preoccupying the overall fleet sector. Indeed, a recent survey (Fleet News, January 2021) revealed that 29% of respondents considered electrification was the biggest challenge they currently faced.

A change of focus
“The pandemic undoubtedly shone a light on sustainability, with many fleet managers now planning ahead for a decarbonised future. This is shown by the rise in new EV car registrations and plug-in hybrids in 2021, totalling 18.5% of all new registrations. Equally, with the deadline to end new internal combustion engine (ICE) car sales now less than eight years away, and the government’s latest proposal that 50% of automakers’ sales be electric by 2028, fleets are coming under increasing pressure to make the switch.

“Having navigated its way through the disruption, the sector is turning its focus to electrification and looking for ways to simplify fleet management via incident management, in order to better concentrate on the bigger picture. The pressure of working towards the 2030 zero-emissions vehicle production deadline is, we are finding in our conversations with fleets, gaining business-wide momentum.

What is incident management?
“Incident management is a critical tool for businesses looking to help lower vehicle running costs. As a field, it is designed to reduce the occurrence, expense and disruption of unexpected events during work, covering everything from vehicle maintenance to accident management, insurance cover, training, roadside assistance and customer service, combining a wide variety of services into a single ‘end-to-end’ solution.

“Our latest Yellow Paper, Incident Management: The end-to-end experience, reveals how businesses can increase vehicle uptime across fleets. We believe that understanding the areas that fit within the incident management remit and how they affect one another is critical to addressing fleet management challenges to free up focus for the bigger picture.

The end-to-end solution
“Ensuring a company’s fleet is running successfully is complex, time-consuming and expensive. Tasks and objectives within a fleet business are often organised between a variety of employees with poor or no communication, which results in reduced productivity. At the same time, pressure is being put upon businesses to cut costs and ‘make do with less’ as they focus on recovery. Now, with a spotlight on uptime and efficient use of resources, is the perfect time to consider end-to-end incident management.

“Successful implementations of incident management can have a positive impact on any business. Through high levels of customer support and engagement, incident management is allowing businesses to focus on more long-term strategies of reaching net-zero.

A single package solution
“Our incident management service combines our highly regarded fleet services into a single package in pursuit of industry-leading support for fleets and fleet managers. We have also invested in the development of additional programmes such as Drivetech. These programmes helps ensure our drivers are up to date with the latest driver training if they need it, so they’re always undertaking the shortest routes and understanding the best ways of handling their vehicles.

Our partners at Prestige Fleet Servicing also provide service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work, as well as MOTs, for fleet vehicles across the UK. Both complement our accident management and insurance services, ensuring we help our customers thrive on every mile of their fleet management journey.

Proactive, positive changes
“Fleets need to make sure they have the right support in place to get more EV drivers on the road, while keeping their businesses profitable and moving at the same time. As the fleet industry continues to build itself back up post-pandemic, the onus is on fleet managers to both plan for the future and make proactive, positive changes in the here and now.

“As the sector continues its journey to electrification, aids which enable this increased focus, such as taking an end-to-end approach to incident management, are critical for both reducing total fleet expenditure and relieving the burden on managers, freeing their time to zoom out onto the bigger picture.

“It’s becoming clear that one of the best ways to boost fleet-wide productivity is through end-to-end incident management. By combining SMR, accident management, insurance, training and roadside assistance with attentive and proactive customer service, end-to-end incident management solutions provide a step-change to fleet efficiency, all while reducing administrative burdens and improving incident response rates and outcomes.”

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About the AA

The AA is the UK’s leading provider of roadside assistance through personal membership for individuals and 10 million business customers. With more than 2,500 patrols on the road, as well as numerous key partnerships, it is also quickly becoming the UK’s leading technology company for fleets.

The AA prides itself on delivering excellent customer service, putting it at the heart of everything it does. Whether its patrols are rescuing a driver at the side of the road, its garage network providing service, maintenance and repairs or its new electric vehicle charge post support, the AA is there for customers at every step of the journey.

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