Multi-brand diagnostics supplier Eclipse has described how it has been assisting fleets and workshops in keeping vehicles maintained during challenging circumstances over the last 12 months – and how new customers ordinarily reliant on dealership support have been experiencing the benefits of being able to diagnose vehicle faults in-house.
Eclipse supplies many businesses in the CV aftermarket with its Eclipse Testpad Extreme Pro running Jaltest software. There are more than 3,000 Eclipse Jaltest packages in use, covering a wide range of commercial vehicles, at customer locations both in the UK and internationally.
“On 23 March 2020, Covid-19 forced the country into a national lockdown the likes of which have never been seen,” said Brett Edkins, technical manager at Eclipse Diagnostics.
“During these uncertain times, all businesses and people had to change the way they lived and worked, businesses had to adapt and try and find new ways to keep the wheels of industry turning.
“Unlike a lot of areas that saw their doors close overnight, the transport industry had to carry on regardless, providing essential goods, food medicine and much more at a rate never seen before.”
This in turn put even more pressure on operators to ensure their commercial vehicle fleets were kept in optimum working order, says Brett, and to limit the amount of off-road time due to faults that required workshop intervention.
“Eclipse have always been at the forefront when it comes to reacting to a crisis,” he continued.
“In 2008, during one of the largest recessions of this generation, Eclipse… were able to forge on and still managed to grow over the coming years as the country was getting back on its feet.
“As a company we had prepared for the possibility that the normal working day was about to change.”
By the morning of 24 March, says Brett, the day after Boris Johnson announced the lockdown, Eclipse had all the equipment ready to allow 90 per cent of its workforce to work from home. So by the time it opened for business, none of its customers were impacted and were able to use all the company’s services as if nothing had changed.
“During the first few days of the lockdown, we all held our breaths to see what impact this pandemic was going to have on our business,” said Brett.
“It soon became apparent that by being proactive with the preparation of the possibility of the lockdown, we were able to still operate in the same capacity… unlike many other suppliers and main dealerships.
“During the next 12 months we saw sales of our Eclipse Jaltest multi-brand packages increase month on month, due to the fact we were able to supply every industry that needed the ability to diagnose their fleet to keep the wheels turning, and in turn keep the country stocked up on essential goods that were required more than ever.
“We were able to cope with the extra demand easily and, most importantly, safely, by adapting quickly to the new world we found ourselves living in.”
Eclipse supplied customers who, pre-lockdown, would not have considered a multi-brand option, says Brett.
“However, due to the local dealership being closed or not being able to deal with the demand quickly and efficiently, we were on hand to offer them a solution.
“We have received feedback from many new customers that they wished they had brought their kit earlier due to the vast capabilities the Eclipse Jaltest package offers by giving them the ability to diagnose and repair the vehicles themselves.”
Brett continued: “Eclipse have developed their business around the core philosophy of customer support from the system’s first purchase and throughout its life.
“This core philosophy has been at our forefront throughout the last 12 months and has not faltered due to the efforts of every single member of the Eclipse family, who all have the passion and drive our founder Richard Parkin brought to the company from its birth over 15 years ago.”
He concluded: “We would like to thank all our fantastic customers and the transport industry for their resilience and drive to keep the country moving when most of the world had stopped in its tracks.”