WINNING a six-way care provider tender means Alphabet will supply Barchester Healthcare’s 450-strong fleet of company cars, LCVs and disabled-access minibuses.
Providing company cars – rather than the car allowances more usually offered in its sector – enables Barchester, which supports more than 11,000 people in over 200 care homes across the UK, to attract and retain high calibre, experienced personnel in a competitive market.
One of the biggest independent care providers in the UK, Barchester has 17,000 staff and services that range from dementia care to assisted living.
Kevin Inns, Barchester’s fleet manager, explains: “We want to recruit good people so we offer a car scheme that allows a good choice of car. Bearing in mind that many of our roles involve high mileages, we want our drivers to be in cars that are safe, sound and meet all their needs.
“Of course company cars help with staff retention too, because employees know that if they leave us the chances are they will have to go back to providing a car themselves. And from my point of view, it’s much better to operate a company fleet than a grey fleet.”
Barchester chose Alphabet on the basis of value for money and customer-supplier compatibility, following a six-way tender in 2015.
“Alphabet came out above the others. Not just on cost – although it has to be said they were also the most cost effective – but also because we felt they were a good match for Barchester. They provide a good quality of service for us and they work with us in helping us operate the fleet,” said Mr Inns.
Barchester also uses Alphabet’s market-leading AlphaRent+ rental solution. Designed for longer rental requirements such as probationers and starters waiting for a permanent vehicle, the dedicated multi-make AlphaRent+ fleet of cars and LCVs is owned and managed by Alphabet. The main brand in Barchester’s lead-in solution is Peugeot.
AlphaRent+ team leader Jessica Austin says: “We guarantee the make and model of car at the point of reservation, and can confirm everything right down to the colour, the CO2 and the P11D value for the company car tax.
“If the customer has a rental from us for under 120 days, we endeavour not to switch the car. We always work with our customers to find the best option in terms of price and vehicle requirement for each reservation.”
Kevin Inns says: “We continue to see a lot of recruitment in 2015-16, which creates the need for 30 or more temporary cars at any one time to cater for new starters. Alphabet’s lead-in fleet solution is a very important part of keeping the fleet ticking over without having to rely on daily rental.”