Northern business opts for Conti360° fleet management

Henderson Group, a major Northern Ireland-based business with companies in foodservice, wholesale, retail, property and technology, has switched to the Conti360° Fleet Management programme from Continental Tyres.
Operated through local specialist tyre dealer, Modern Tyres, the comprehensive package will benefit a fleet of around 200 trucks and trailers. The vehicles serve the company’s Spar, EuroSpar and Vivo branded stores and food service customers, and clock up around six million kilometres a year.

Pat McGarry, Group Logistics Director at Henderson Wholesale, with Stephen Shaw, Modern Tyres Group Sales and Marketing Manager

The new arrangement has been set up as a fixed-price contract based on a pence-per-kilometre basis for three years. The Group’s Logistics Director, Pat McGarry, commented, “We have more than 1,500 food retailers and food service outlets that rely on our fleet for regular deliveries, many of them daily. Our job is to manage the logistics of these deliveries, not the logistics of tyres. Our modern fleet is one of the biggest in Northern Ireland and includes rigids, tractors and trailers, all of which are serviced and maintained by manufacturers and their networks for us. We take the same approach to tyres. Our sole objectives are to offer outstanding service quality to our customers and to operate a safe, compliant fleet, so we delegate the day-to-day aspects of the latter to specialists in the field.”

The new contract continues a previous three year-relationship with Modern Tyres, though with a different tyre manufacturer. The renewal package was put out to a detailed tender process, with three tyre manufacturers and an alternative dealer all involved. The combination of Conti360° and Modern Tyres was selected, says Pat McGarry, “Because we wanted a tyre partner that could deliver what we needed, both in terms of a high-quality product and reasonable cost. We run a premium-quality fleet and wanted a tyre policy to match. For us, this meant tyres that we could expect to perform in terms of safety, reliability and economy, with a thorough and dependable fleet management service to ensure it. The tender process was very rigorous, but the team from Continental and Modern Tyres impressed us. We wanted to be sure we had a team that would match our standards, and their other key contract awards in the region inspired us with confidence.”

The continuing relationship with Modern Tyres has other benefits for the company, as Henderson Group Fleet Manager, David McCracken explained. “Modern Tyres has probably the best coverage in Northern Ireland with around 40 outlets so, if we do get an unexpected tyre problem, they will have local support to get our vehicle on the move again. Even though we have only recently signed the new contract, we have already established good relationships at all levels with the dealer. We have regular updates about performance and cost with both Continental and the dealer, as well as our own set of tough KPIs that we monitor.”

The Conti360° Fleet programme gives the Henderson Group a complete service that includes tyre choice and correct tyre fitment, as well as regular inspections to ensure best tyre safety and performance. A tyre breakdown service helps to get operators back on the road with minimum downtime, while a complete used casing service deals with the collection, inspection, purchasing, retreading and/or proper disposal of tyres. Finally, a regular analysis of tyre-related data shows potential for tyre-related cost savings.

The tyres fitted to the Henderson Group fleet are the latest Continental Hybrid series tyres. Stephen Shaw, Modern Tyres Sales & Marketing Manager, said, “For a high-profile group such as Henderson, we welcomed the recommendation by Continental for their HD3 and HS3 tyres across drive and steer axles on trucks, with the HT3 variant on all trailers. We know they deliver outstanding mileage performance and fuel efficiency in both wet and dry conditions, which means we can give the Henderson team maximum economical operation, mile after mile.”

The Henderson Group is reporting strong growth throughout its retail, wholesale and foodservice divisions. Deliveries through Henderson Wholesale, which recently opened a £12.5m, state-of-the-art ambient warehouse on site, are expanding to food retailers, among which are the Spar and EuroSpar convenience store chains across Northern Ireland. Also increasing are deliveries by Henderson Foodservice to outlets such as restaurants, cafes, schools, hotels, pubs and clubs, with expansion into the Irish Republic a major part of growth in the latter sector. To meet the challenges, the 45 rigid vehicles and 40 tractors with over 100 trailers, including some 20 double-decks, are all multi-temperature controlled.

McGarry notes, “The Group is investing strongly in the food-related businesses, with a new multi-million pound investment in the shape of a new Belfast depot, as well as investments in technology and, that most vital aspect, people. We have a massive customer base with plans to grow further, and a large fleet that often transports time and temperature-sensitive loads. We therefore need complete confidence in our tyres and their management across the fleet, and the combination of Continental and Modern Tyres is delivering that for us.”