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Adrian Bewley's blog: Who needs accident management?

Date: 08 March 2018

The responsibility for managing company fleet has been incorporated into a range of business functions including HR, finance and operations. There it is just one of a range of business critical support services, which means that very few companies have an overarching visibility of their fleet.

And with vehicle reliability and technological advances in the workplace increasing, fleet management is becoming a much smaller and more routine requirement for many companies.

However, accidents do happen, and when they do, businesses are often astonished at how much unforeseen work an accident can cause.

So, who needs accident management? Any organisation with company cars.

When a driver has an accident a hundred miles away and is, understandably, stressed out and panicking, many businesses don't have the processes and expertise to handle the various elements required to get the driver and the vehicle back on the road.

How do you find a bodyshop in the local area with capacity? Who will recover the damaged vehicle? How do you manage the driver's onward mobility?

Sometimes employees will be able to continue their work trip, but often they'll just want to go home. Either way, they'll need transportation straight away and a replacement vehicle sooner rather than later.

An accident management specialist can support a fleet manager through every process.

Accident management can also be tailored to suit individual business requirements. This may be obtaining replacement vehicles that are fit for a specific business purpose, such as vans with the right racking or rugged 4x4s to visit remote, rural locations. Or it might be adhering to a like-for-like replacement company car policy. A courtesy car from a repairer is often a small, basic pool car that might not fit business needs.

Protecting the resale value is also essential if company cars are to return to the leasing provider in good condition.  Effective repairs now might shield the business from expensive end-of-contract costs later.

So when considering accident management, think about the elements are most important to your business, and which ones you'd want to outsource versus manage in-house. Then look at providers that can match those needs.

Above all, the fact is that downtime has the most impact. Accident management keeps employees mobile by swiftly getting them back into suitable cars and vans. Make sure your chosen provider offers both the physical and digital infrastructure to keep vehicle downtime to a minimum.

Adrian Bewley is head of business mobility at Enterprise Rent-A-Car.