First off, can you tell the difference between a MPV, a midi or a mini? What about an executive coach vs a standard coach? More to the point, why does it matter?
Well lots of reasons really. Selecting the right vehicle for your tour, day excursion, conference, convention, stadium or sporting event can make a huge difference to your bottom line, whether that’s profit or purely to keep within your budget. And above all else, there’s customer experience to consider.
But how do you know which vehicles are best for the job?
It’s not always down to the number of passengers, although that is a good starting point, there’s lots of other factors to take into consideration. What about; accessibility, client expectation vs experience, dead mileage, availability, location, budget and so on? It’s a minefield, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. Even for those of you who have done it before there’s a huge amount of time involved in working it out all, and planning and negotiating with suppliers, which at the end of the day can be a huge drain on your resource.
But… getting it right is essential. For example, in an ideal world you’d only ever book out an executive fleet of vehicles, kitted out in the highest spec possible. That’s unrealistic. Especially when you are in the height of the summer season, where availability is limited and prices are at a premium. But how do you get around this? At Event Connect we have access to 1000’s of vehicles throughout the UK. For you this means we have a varied range of vehicles at our disposal at any given time, so you’re not paying for additional passenger space when you don’t need it. It also means that, since our suppliers are UK wide, we have coverage in some of the most remote parts of the country and aren’t limited to working with central suppliers, who not only may be fully booked, but will also charge you for dead mileage. All our suppliers are fully compliant, so you know you’re in safe hands.
Top tips to getting it right
Here’s our top tips on making sure you select the right vehicles for the job in hand:
Capacity: Getting this right can save you £100’s if not £1000’s. Do you really need the 57 seater because it’s the only executive coach in the fleet available? Assess what’s more important to your end customer and make a decision based on this.
Access: It might be cheaper to commission one 55 seater instead of two mini buses, but have you checked venue access restrictions? Many national parks and tourist attractions are unable to facilitate larger coaches, so make sure you’ve done your homework on access. Oh! And don’t forget to check out parking.
Accessibility: Whilst lots of companies are now working towards fully accessible fleets, it’s still a long way off. Review your accessibility requirements and contract obligations. The last thing you need is to be scrambling around mid-July for accessible vehicles, which even off season are more difficult to source.
Vehicle spec: What is the minimum standard of vehicle vs expectation of your client? Review what they have been sold and take it from there. If you’re client has spent £10,000’s on a first class cruise you can bet they’ll be expecting a continuation of these high standards from their ground transport. Don’t forget that, based on volume, it’s not always possible to achieve multiple vehicles of the same standard from one supplier.
Location: This one is slightly different as this is less about the vehicle selection and more about geography. Our top tip is to weigh up vehicle availability and spec vs cost! It’s so easy to go with the tried and tested central supplier, but using local supply networks can save you £100’s. Not only are you not paying for dead mileage, they’ve got the local/regional knowledge and expertise, which has efficiencies in its own right.
Last but by no means least: Don’t try to be an expert. There’s so much to think about when it comes to vehicle selection that you might feel you need to be an expert in fleet management, logistics, operations, negotiations, health and safety...but you don’t have to be.
Here at Event Connect we do the hard work, so you don’t have to. It’s our job to be experts in delivering bespoke transport solutions for each of our clients. We work with you to select vehicles within your budget, take into consideration location, access, accessibility and so much more.
Plus, we stick around to help you out beyond booking and pick up! Our 24hour control room support ensures we are on hand to answer any queries at any time. So, if you have a last minute change of plan and need extra coaches, you don’t have to scramble around to find suppliers, as we do it all for you.
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