Operational Efficiencies – The key to the successful LKQ Euro Car Parts Rebrand
When an organisation the size of LKQ Euro Car Parts decides to undergo a business wide fleet rebrand, choosing the right vehicle graphics provisioning partner is key to its success.
As part of a phased roll-out in 2020, LKQ Euro Car parts has undertaken a re-branding exercise to enable all branches across the UK to have continuity of branding – and this includes the vehicle fleet.
As part of a strategic sourcing review, Ted Sakyi (Head of Group Fleet UK & ROI of LKQ Euro Car Parts) and his team, issued a UK wide formal tender to identify the correct vehicle graphics partner to undertake this complex phased roll-out. Mr Sakyi recognised that he needed a graphics supplier that could meet the demands of this project, in particular, the volume of vehicles and the disparate nature of over five hundred vehicles that needed branding whilst ‘on active duty’ in the field, plus nearly 500 factory order vehicles.
Mediafleet was awarded the contract in July and is currently in the midst of rebranding the majority of the fleet.
Barnaby Smith, Managing Director – Mediafleet commented: “We are extremely pleased to be working with Ted and his team. We recognised that LKQ Euro Car Parts (LKQ ECP) required a graphics partner that could manage the logistical challenges inherent in this re-brand programme. Mediafleet is structured to meet these challenges and we have an impressive track record of supporting blue chip corporates with rebranding new and in-fleeted vehicles.”
The ‘Ins’ and ‘Outs’ of the Project
After being awarded the contract, subsequent discussions with Mr Sakyi and his team revealed the detail and the intricacies of the project.
Understanding the goals and ambitions of the customer is crucial to the success of Mediafleet as Barnaby explains:
“For our business model to work where new business is via referral and the marketing of our achievements, impressive results and interesting case studies are required. We need to surpass expectations not just meet them, otherwise Mediafleet becomes another ‘also ran’.
“The Mediafleet account services team assigned to LKQ ECP understand this and work hard to organise, schedule, project manage and deliver without operational disruption for the customer, or its supply partners.
“As with all large volume projects, we are experienced at ‘plugging in’ to existing supply chains to understand vehicle supply, PDI et cetera, in order to arrange convenient and efficient graphics fitting – at times and locations to meet the needs of the client.”
The Task In-Hand
Essentially, the LKQ ECP project is divided into four phases:
400 Ford Courier Vans – These vehicles were supplied by Ford in 2019 and were in-fleeted without the new branding as they were needed immediately. The final branding designs were being finalised by LKQ ECP at this time. These vehicles were distributed over the branch the network so Mediafleet’s account services team liaised with the branch managers all over the UK to create a retrofitting schedule. The vehicles were completed at individual branches in just three weeks. Ted Sakyi said: “I was delighted that such a comprehensive schedule was completed to the highest standards, with fantastic support and in such a short space of time”.
499 Ford Connect Vans – These vehicles were completed in September and have now been delivered into service. The graphics were produced at the Mediafleet factory in Witney and fitted by the Mediafleet team of in-house vinyl applicators.
108 Andrew Page Vehicles – Following the LKQ ECP acquisition of Andrew Page, these working, in-fleeted vehicles are spread over 27 branches. Mediafleet have built a schedule with branch network and are currently completing this phase of the project.
VW Transporters – LKQ ECP has procured a batch these vehicles and Mediafleet are busy developing the fitting schedule with the VW supply centre.
The Missing Link
According to Mediafleet, the key to the success in delivering complex, multi-level vehicle graphics projects is in deciding where internal divisional responsibility lies. Most organisations develop overtime a hierarchical structure with multiple divisions and managers reporting to an ever-decreasing number of senior managers or directors. This familiar structure can work very well, but as with all tiered approaches, the processes, and procedures necessary for divisions to successfully integrate to deliver seamless solutions becomes more difficult, as understanding where responsibilities begin and end for individuals can lead to errors and glitches in service delivery.
Mediafleet combat this by simplifying the internal structure; removing potentially confusing overlaps in divisional responsibility in the internal supply process – and this is one of the factors that enables Mediafleet to deliver complex projects on time and on budget. For example, Mediafleet do not operate separate divisions in sales, account management or customer services. Instead, these services are all provided by one specialist team called ‘account services’. From inbound enquiry through to the handover to the operations team for the actual delivery of the services, all project tasks are dealt with by the same team. Communication is improved and clear responsibility is defined.
“The fact is that a customer may have a number of Mediafleet personnel working on the account at any one time. These account services managers will all understand the client goals, the complexities of the account, and the objectives to be achieved. This way resilience and redundancy is built-in leading to seamless supply. Plus, the flat structure means that communication between managers and senior managers is at a higher level. Should major decisions need to be made, then these can be made quickly and accurately.”
The strategic elements of all key account relationships are handled directly by Barnaby Smith. It is this high level, hands on approach which provides the necessary governance to ensure the ‘get it right first time’ objective is achieved.
Flexibility with Trust
Mediafleet recognise ‘flexibility’ as a major contributing factor to the success of the business and the year on year growth demonstrated since inception in 2002.
As Barnaby explained:
“With the right equipment and a decent team of fitters it’s not overly difficult to make and fit simple livery to vans; most livery companies could do this. What is exponentially more difficult is supporting a blue-chip organisation with a rebrand where the graphics need to applied in the field, to hundreds of vehicles within a short time frame. For this to be achieved, you need experience, organisation, capacity, an in-house graphics application team, and above all, the passion and tenacity to get it done.”
Mediafleet has an impressive track record of delivering projects of this kind to many corporate clients. Plus, despite the vehicle graphics market being fiercely competitive, Mediafleet is able to maintain long standing relationships. They currently support Scottish & Southern Energy (11 years), E.On (15 Years), Europcar (13 years) Babcock (11 years) to name but a few. Plus, Mediafleet is a Tier 1 Supplier for Lex Autolease and supports other leasing companies such as Zenith, Alphabet, Arval & Hitachi.
“There are many attributes needed in providing holistic graphics provisioning to a class of service demanded by corporate clients, but if I had to hang my hat on one discipline it would be Mediafleet’s operational excellence.
“Why?…because operational excellence provides flexibility – the flexibility to manage complex build programs and surpass the expectations of the customer. And that leads to ‘trust’. Once a high level of trust has developed by the client, it makes it very difficult for competitor organisations to compete.