Catering specialist cooks up a service winner with Mercedes-Benz Citan
Commercial kitchen specialist Advance Catering Equipment has entrusted its hard-earned reputation for top-quality Aftersales support to a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
The company, which has headquarters in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, is now running 20 new Citan 109 CDi’s, which are supplied by Wellingborough dealer Intercounty Truck & Van.
The first vehicles to wear Advance Catering Equipment’s smart new livery, they have been assigned to its team of field-based engineers, who undertake routine preventative maintenance and emergency repairs for customers nationwide. The van’s Extra-long bodies are fitted with purpose-designed Edstrom racking systems and each carries a comprehensive stock of spare parts.
Founded more than three decades ago, Advance Catering Equipment is part of the Advance Group, a leading expert in kitchen design, project and asset management for foodservice operators.
The company, which pioneered the introduction of the first microwave ovens into commercial kitchens, embarked on a major vehicle evaluation programme last summer, and trialled vehicles from several manufacturers.
Head of Commercial Operations Daniel Hewitt explains: “We were undergoing a rebranding process and wanted to ensure that our vans best reflected the quality of our service, as well as the premium brand values of our business.
“Fuel efficiency was crucial, so we only considered vehicles capable of more than 50 mpg. We also focused on driver comfort, because our engineers spend most of their working day at the wheel, and safety. Finally, we were looking for a value for money rental and maintenance package.
“After careful consideration of all the alternatives, and having taken full account of our engineer’s views, we came down strongly in favour of the Mercedes-Benz Citan.”
Powered by advanced 90 hp engines that offer outstanding economy of up to 61.4 mpg, Advance Catering Equipment’s new vans are the subject of a CharterWay contract hire agreement with Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and will be serviced by the most conveniently located official dealers.
“We’re really happy with our Citan’s,” Mr Hewitt continues: “The Extra-long version is the ideal size for our operation and driver feedback has been resoundingly positive – the guys certainly like having vehicles with the three-pointed stars on the front. Our new vans also help to convey a quality image of our company, and really look the part when they arrive at a customer’s premises.
“The contract hire deal, meanwhile, is competitively priced and gives us the peace of mind that comes from knowing our vehicles are being properly maintained within the manufacturer’s dealer network. As costs are fixed we can also budget with confidence, knowing there are no nasty surprises around the corner.”
And he adds: “Intercounty Truck & Van’s service has been very good as well. Communication with van sales executive Tony Carter was excellent throughout the commissioning phase, with the dealer applying our decals and liaising with the racking supplier to ensure timely deliveries of its systems. We’ve been fitting the racking ourselves – I only wish now, that we’d commissioned Intercounty to undertake this job as well.”