Fleet installation specialist Handsfree Group has reported increased demand for its services during the Covid-19 pandemic, including its range of security solutions, requiring it to collaborate with suppliers to ensure access to all its products beyond its usual capacity.
With demand in some sectors rising sharply, some fleets – including those seeing a surge in online delivery orders – have been forced to rapidly increase fleet size in order to keep up.
“We began planning for increased demand as soon it looked like the pandemic would have a serious impact on our customers,” said Amelia Streeter-Smith, sales director at Handsfree Group.
“This meant working with our suppliers to make sure we had access to all the products we install, from charging cradles to telematics and anti-theft systems. We anticipated there would be a need to scale up quickly, so our project managers ordered over and above our regular capacity.”
Even so, the company found that requests for fleed upgrades poured in much faster than expected.
“Luckily, we are an agile company,” said Amelia.
“We have FCS1362, FITAS accredited installation technicians posted throughout the country, so they were able to respond quickly to meet the demand. We also have a fantastic group of dedicated staff who went beyond the call of duty.
“Our relationship with customers doesn’t stop after the installation is complete. We have an after-sales service to make sure things continue to run smoothly, so it has been a huge project management challenge.”
The company says its experienced team can advise customers on a case-by-case basis on the ideal security solutions to meet their requirements, with support throughout the process, as well as aftercare backup following installation.
Handsfree Group emphasises the increased importance of protecting fleets from criminals, adding that a 60 per cent rise in vehicle thefts over the last three years necessitates the urgent improvement of vehicle security measures with technology such as alarms, guards and locking devices.
Products offered by the company include the Run Lock / Drive Lock system, in 12v and 24v configurations, which allows the vehicle engine to continue running after the keys have been removed from the ignition. This allows the continued operation of ancillary equipment without the threat of flat batteries or opportunist theft.
Other highlights include Cat Lock, a range of security clamps preventing the removal of catalytic converters; a universal CAN bus alarm system; and a variety of packages from stolen vehicle recovery specialist Tracker.
The company can also supply and install a wide selection of additional products for light commercial applications, including pedal boxes, bonnet locks, ignition barrel guards, ECU and OBDII guards, anti-drill door plates and handle protector plates, mechanical slam locks, and electronic cargo door locks.
Security solutions are just one aspect of Handsfree’s offering. The company says it offers a complete package from start to finish, with a wide variety of telematics, communication and safety installations also available.
Among recent projects, Handsfree Group has been helping the Emergency Services Network (ESN) improve communication, safety and security so they can continue to respond quickly and efficiently within the new, challenging environment.
With lockdown now easing, requests for fleet installations continue to roll in.
Said Amelia: “I think companies now realise the importance and added value of having security, safety and communications technology installed in their vehicles. Beforehand, many companies saw it as a ‘nice to have’ but now view it as a necessity.”
Handsfree Group’s managing director Matthew Johnson. added: “We are very proud of the part we have played, and continue to play, in keeping the country moving during this pandemic.
“We’re determined to carry on offering a quality service, undiluted by the rate of demand we experience, so we can continue to serve our customers big and small.”