Elliot Goff, head of sales at The Vehicle Group (TVG), discusses some factors to consider when selecting a safety equipment provider
Choosing which supplier to pick for your DVS safety equipment can be a daunting prospect with many things to consider. For many operators, it represents a huge financial investment; therefore, making the choice of which supplier to use, and which kit to install, is critical.
Here at The Vehicle Group (TVG) we find that the vast majority of people who contact us are genuinely focused on getting the right solution with the right supplier. We’ve found they’re not just looking for the cheapest option; rather, they want to install equipment that is going to last, give them the immediate or future option for better visibility through video telematics, and – most importantly – be more than reliable enough to get the job done and save lives.
As the demand for DVS safety equipment is growing, we are seeing more and more fleet managers and/or operators are getting caught out by some really common pitfalls. As such, we’re well placed to offer fleet managers some ‘top tips’ when it comes to selecting the right DVS kit and, more importantly, the right supplier to partner with.
Equipment is different from supplier to supplier, so we suggest looking for one that has installed onto one or more large fleets. With big fleets come big demands, especially when they’re considering a multi-million-pound investment in aftermarket technology – so a supplier will have to go through a lengthy due diligence process and vehicle trial period.
Royal Mail takes safety very seriously; when supplying Royal Mail with DVS equipment, TVG were selected from a large number of possible vendors. Only after an in-depth investigation into our kit, installation process, aftersales support and a lengthy trial period, was TVG selected.
TVG also supply Volvo (Roadcrew) and other OEMs’ DVS safety equipment directly. We’re also proud to be working with Lytx, developing a special DVS hardware solution that integrates into their own telematics platform.
Supporting UK manufacturing seems to be an important factor for many of the operators who contact the TVG team. Perhaps the current global situation, Brexit, brand alignment, or simply a desire to support ‘UK-made’ is a driving force.
With DVS equipment demand increasing exponentially, it pays to know whether you’re dealing with a supplier who is buying equipment from a third party and then using a different supplier to install. This could lead to lengthier vehicle downtime in the event of any tightening of the supply chain. At TVG we manufacture our own vehicle cameras, and we employ our own team of UK engineers to install our systems.
Make sure adequate support is in place after you’ve kitted out your vehicles. The safety equipment required by DVS is one of the most complex aftermarket installations; things can and do go wrong from time to time. Make sure you choose a supplier that has the capacity and capability to get your vehicle back on the road with minimal disruption to your operation – ideally with its own team of full-time engineers, as subcontractors will be in high demand over the next few months.
Technology changes – this is an indisputable fact. So, look for a reputable company that is investing in a wide range of technologies for fleets. This way you’re not only ensuring a high standard in the equipment you’re buying, but ensuring you’re investing in a long-term relationship with a partner that will be looking out for your fleet when new innovations emerge, and when things like DVS come along.
At TVG we have our own Research & Development facility with a team of mechanical, electronic and software engineers and we are currently preparing to launch a totally new standard in auxiliary vehicle camera technology.
We design all our kit to be ‘plug and play’, ensuring customers can easily upgrade to the next generation of technology without having to start over every time something new enters the market, or even if legislation changes.
If you’re installing cameras on your vehicles as part of your DVS equipment, you may wish to consider upgrading to a video telematics solution – providing benefits like first notification of loss (FNOL) and live CCTV from your vehicles – either right away, or later down the line.
Rather than get caught up in the last-minute panic, take your time, find the right solution and supplier that will suit your fleet’s needs and always remember – it’s worth it, because DVS will save lives.