Carole Bishop, Fleet Manager at Sandwell Council, talks about her role and the huge cost-savings that can be made from taking advantage of framework agreements
Describe your role as fleet manager at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council?
It is an interesting one. As well as procuring, maintaining and disposing of council assets I
also manage the council MOT test station and we have maintenance-only contracts with our private sector partner and other public sector bodies, schools and charities.
How do you make decisions about which vehicles and equipment you source for your fleet?
Everything has to be taken into consideration the OTR price, life time cost of maintenance, disposal value, CO2 emissions, running costs and of course whatever we buy has to be fit for purpose for our
What benefits do you get by utilising framework agreements and asset consultancy?
Its a huge cost saving by not having to undertake the tendering process ourselves. Also, the increased discounts achieved through buying as one large fleet and the simplicity of the process. The excellent support that you can call upon to assist at any stage of the process is invaluable.
What vehicles have you procured through TPPL?
Vans, pickups, cars, welfare buses and, most recently, an 18T crane lorry with a modified body for our highways department.
Are you running any carbon cutting initiatives and do electric vehicles have a presence on your fleet?
We have trialled electric vehicles but have yet to purchase any.
How much does technology affect your role and what initiatives have you rolled out recently – or plan to roll out – utilising new technology?
We have invested in workshop technologies such as diagnostic laptops and fleet and workshop management software over the last couple of years which we have found very effective at improving our workshop performance and monitoring.
Does making cost savings impact on the effectiveness of the operation?
Cost savings that we make on vehicle procurement are passed directly to our end users saving money in fleet provision means that front line services benefit from these savings.
Are you a member of any professional associations and have you gained any accreditations?
The authority is a member of the FTA
What is the most rewarding element of your role?
I get a thrill whenever I see one of the council vehicles about the borough delivering the vital services the authority provides.
…and what is the most frustrating?
Red tape of any description.
Other Fleet Profiles