Case Study - Arval

Profile

Company Name: Arval UK
Business Sector: Automotive/Transport
Postal Address: Arval UK, Arval Centre, Windmill Hill, Swindon
Postcode: SN5 6PE
Fleet Size Overall: 201
HGV: 0
LGV: 1
Company Cars: 200
Private vehicles used for business purposes: Not applicable

Company overview

Arval UK is a leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company, funding more than 96,000 cars and vans in the UK alone. With specialist teams dedicated to businesses of all sizes; from start-ups to FTSE 100 companies and internationally managed accounts, Arval provides a comprehensive range of products and services to its fleet customers.They include:

  • Funding solutions (including Contract Hire)
  • Accident management
  • Driver solutions
  • Commercial vehicle management
  • Consultancy services
  • Maintenance management
  • Risk management
  • Vehicle rental
  • Fuel management
  • Fleet outsourcing

Interest in road safety

Delivering products and services that touch thousands of business drivers in the UK, Arval has developed a longstanding commitment to driver safety; something that sits at the heart of its programme of CSR initiatives.

Working in partnership with leading road safety organisations, this commitment has allowed Arval to generate a culture of responsible driving amongst its own employees, mitigating their road risk. But that’s not where their efforts end as Arval works to spread road safety messages and promote best practise amongst external audiences; including its customers, suppliers, schools and the wider community.

Arval’s own internal road safety management programme is exemplary.

It implemented the ‘Drive4Life’ platform six years ago and the initiative has produced tangible benefits. In 2005 Arval’s bent metal costs were at almost £150,000 and third party claims of £70,000. With the company self-insuring, these figures had an immediate impact on the bottom line. An analysis of incidents revealed that low speed collisions were most prevalent, making up 28% of all incidents.

By the end of 2012, following the introduction of a wide range of road safety initiatives including the provision of NCAP 5 star vehicles and fitting reversing sensors to all cars Arval’s crash repair costs had dropped to £44,000. The incident ratio is an impressive 19% and the types of incidents which occur are less serious and so less costly to the company.

The number of employees committing speed-related offences highlights one example of the progress made. In 2003, offences numbered 159. By 2007, the figure had dropped to 32, despite the increasing number of cameras on the roads. In 2012, the figure stood at 21.
 

Organisational support

Fleet safety activity is driven from the top as Arval’s Managing Director takes an active interest in his company’s approach to Corporate Social Responsibility and the safety of employees when they drive for work. He chairs a Road Safety Committee which meets to review performance, encourage safe driving and proactively promote best practice.

Bart Beckers, Managing Director at Arval comments:

"As a ´Business Champion´ within the ´Driving for Better Business´ programme, we will continue to share and implement best practice as well as developing new initiatives to ensure that fleet safety remains high on the business agenda."

Arval also employs a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager, who as well as managing the vehicle fleet, is responsible for co-ordinating all CSR initiatives, identifying and implementing safety initiatives within the Arval business and promoting fleet safety to external audiences.

Policy and procedures

Arval recognises that to minimise the road risk of employees, they must have information, tools and support at their disposal. That’s why they are sent a series of communications providing advice and tips and highlighting changing legislation. It is also why the use of mobile phones, including hands free, has been banned years. All company cars are fitted with ABS, ESC and reversing sensors as mandatory features. The company car choice list also only includes vehicles that have scored 5 stars in NCAP testing.

The first check that any company car driver goes through is of their license. This extends to approximately 200 company car drivers, as well as a further 400 casual car drivers and partners/spouses. Arval carries out these checks annually and this exercise helps to build a picture of the company’s driving licence profile which currently reports 95% with zero points on their licence.

This kind of information feeds into a programme of risk assessment to test employee capabilities and road knowledge. The higher the employee risk rating, the more intensive their training, however all drivers receive either on-road driver training, a safe culture workshop and/or regular e-learning modules.

Since 2006 over 750 employees have also been through Arval’s in-house ‘Drive4Life’ road safety training programme. As a result of its initial success, this training was extended from company car drivers to all employees and there has been widespread positive feedback from staff showing that they feel more valued because of the training. They perceive Arval as a “company that cares about them” and one that goes beyond the minimum legal requirements in support of their welfare. What’s more, much of the support that Arval employees receive is being opened up to their friends and family to ensure the widest possible reach.

Arval’s Road Safety Committee is well established and on a quarterly basis reviews all aspects of the fleet’s safety performance, including highlighting any drivers whose performance falls below the company’s safety standards. Training requirements are identified to address specific behavioural or attitudinal weaknesses, and on a case by case basis, corrective measures and improvement targets are set to be met over a specific time period.

All of these things are supported with a comprehensive Fleet Safety Policy Document, issued to all drivers, which they sign for and acknowledge they have read. This is followed up with a Drivers’ Handbook containing practical ‘what to do’ and ‘how to’ advice when certain incidents arise.

Drivers are also supported through an annual road safety campaign including lots of regular activities and specific annual events. National Road Safety week is always recognised with a series of safety sessions delivered by Arval’s CSR Manager and supported by suppliers and road safety specialists. Throughout the year, tyres are checked for wear with employees emailed if action is required. In conjunction with supplier ATS, Arval also holds ‘fill up with air days’ to check tyre pressures and has even introduced a tyre compressor on-site that employees and visitors can use. All of these things combine to support employees and reinforce key messages.

Auditing and review

Monitoring and review are crucial to Arval’s strategy as information is regularly used to enhance the company’s fleet safety policies and procedures. Arval sets targets and monitors progress against the following key Performance Indicators:

  • Incident ratio – as % of fleet to have an incident during the year.
  • Miles per incident.
  • Fault to Non-Fault ratio.
  • Arval risk scores.
  • One tactical measure based on the key issue for improvement.
  • Driving Licence Profile.

The business benefits

Good practise is essential in keeping drivers safe, and feeling valued, but there is also a strong business case that Arval has witnessed. Working with Brake and RoadSafe, Arval implemented the ‘Drive4Life’ platform six years ago and the initiative has produced real tangible benefits.

In 2005 Arval’s crash ratio was about 43%, Bent metal costs alone amounted to almost £150,000 and third party claims of £70,000. With the company self-insuring, these figures had an immediate impact on the company’s bottom line. An analysis of incidents revealed that low speed crashes were most prevalent, making up 28% of all incidents.

By the end of 2012, following the introduction of a wide range of road safety initiatives, Arval’s crash repair costs had dropped to £44,000. The incident ratio is an impressive 19% and the types of incidents which occur are less serious and so less costly to the company.

The number of employees committing speed-related offences highlights one example of the progress made. In 2003, offences numbered 159. By 2007, the figure had dropped to 32, despite the increasing number of cameras on the roads. In 2012, the figure stood at 21.

Tracey Scarr, CSR Manager comments,
“The most important impact of our fleet safety programme is that it reduces the road risk of our drivers, all staff involved in our initiatives, and ultimately helps to improve the safety of the communities around us. However, there are clearly additional benefits that we realise such as a reduction in costs, an increase in driver satisfaction, a lessening of our environmental impact and the knowledge that we are meeting our Duty of Care requirements.”

External activity

With clear benefit to the Arval business and such a strong base to build upon the company initiated a programme to share what it had learnt with customers and the wider business community.

This began with safety related products which reduce the complexity and time needed for customers meet their Duty of Care legal obligations. Arval Fleet Protect offers a complete range of risk solutions and covers:

  • Online driver risk assessments
  • Driver Licence checking
  • Business Insurance checks (also for non-company car drivers)
  • MOT checks (also for non-company car drivers)
  • Road risk seminars
  • Practical Driver training
  • Fleet Risk Assessment.

But Arval activity covers much more than just products and services and two initiatives in particular have been a huge success in recent years:

Arval Fleet Safety Forum

This industry-leading working group facilitates the sharing of ideas, good practises and safety messages amongst Arval customers. Launched in 2009 it includes more than 20 major companies spanning a range of industries.

Education, debate and advice are the three strands of the group which meets on a quarterly basis. Those involved have an active interest in fleet safety, having either implemented their own corporate strategy or are in the process of doing so.

By bringing organisations together Arval can understand how key issues should be managed, attendees learn best practice from each other and some have started taking messages to other businesses. Experts attend meetings to provide information and have already included manufacturers, DFT, legal experts, fatigue specialists, RoadSafe and PACTS.

Forum member Nigel Flint (Kraft Foods) comments:
These meetings provide a unique forum to allow discussion amongst interested parties and also gain information from industry experts. I find the meetings useful to benchmark where we are as a company on aspects of work related road safety and also keeping abreast of new industry developments.”

Arval Fleet Safety Seminar

Arval organised an event for local companies based on the ‘Safe Drive, Stay Alive’ initiative, which Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service delivers to school pupils on the verge of becoming drivers. It is powerful because it uses real incidents, real victims, and active emergency and healthcare professionals to reinforce the consequences of poor driving.

On visiting one of these schools events it was clear that it could make a difference to fleets. Arval built a bespoke seminar for businesses and their drivers incorporating business specific content including legal risks and the financial benefits of investing in road safety.

Since the first event in 2008 when 25 businesses attended, interest has continued to grow with more events since then seeing as many as 250 fleet attendees during this time. One attendee commented, “There is nothing more impactful than hearing from a victim of a road accident or the horrific things that the emergency services see, first hand.”

Arval is committed to raising awareness within the fleet safety arena and pro-actively speaks at many conferences and seminars in the UK and Europe.

Arval partnership with Brake

Arval CSR Manager adopted the Brake “Pledge” campaign in 2006, and this became the foundation for their “Drive4Life” in-house training programme. Arval are very supportive of Brake and the work they do within the Fleet Safety community, and because of this, recognised Tracey Scarr as one of their ambassadors in 2008.

Tracey delivers training on behalf of Brake every year on their Pledge programme, as well as for Arval customers. She supports Brake with their fleet safety campaigns, and works closely with many businesses as they look to improve their own fleet safety programmes.

In the community

Arval activity extends outside of the business community. This has included a dramatic re-enactment of a road traffic crash which local school children, staff and Arval customers were able to attend. The re-enactment was filmed and made into a DVD which has been played in many schools and businesses since its production and is available for anyone to use as part of their road safety campaign.

The annual Arval Road Safety Quiz for 15 – 16 year old pupils has been running for 6 years and invites local secondary schools to enter teams in the competition which is funded, organised and publicised by Arval. Also Arval sponsor a primary school programme called “School Travel Ambassadors” that encourages younger pupils in schools to promote safe and green travel to their school. Finally in 2012 Arval partnered with Michelin to deliver road safety puppet shows into 6th forms and colleges around the country.

Additional information

The combination of initiatives detailed in this case study, have seen Arval become widely recognised for its road safety practises. The company signed up to the EU Safety Charter and became one of the first RoadSafe Business Champions. In recent years Arval has won many fleet safety awards including: 2013 Fleet World Honours, Brake, Prince Michael and RoSPA awards, as well as winning Fleet News awards in 2011 & 2012 for Fleet Safety activities. Also in 2010 Arval became the first company to receive a European eSafety prize for fleet management.

< Back to list of case studies