Dogs Trust

Value For Money Leads Dogs Trust to Venson

Four wheels are almost as important as four legs to Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, as it works to care for more than 16,000 of man’s best friends every year.

But being a registered charity, value-for-money is crucial as it seeks to optimise cash raised through fund-raising efforts, sponsorship and donations by members of the public on ensuring a safe and happy future for our four-legged friends.

Nevertheless, it would be difficult for Dogs Trust, previously known as the NCDL, to function efficiently without vehicles.

Therefore, it has a fleet of 93 cars and vans located nationwide - including at its London head office and 17 rehoming centres as well as in the field - with most of them specially equipped to transport dogs. And the increasing workload of Dogs Trust will see its fleet increase by a further 11 vehicles later this year.

Fleet Expertise

A client of Venson Automotive Solutions for four years, Dogs Trust has become increasingly reliant on the company’s expertise, which has now become a complete one-stop shop for all the charity’s fleet requirements.

Bill Smith, who joined Dogs Trust as facilities manager last year with the role including responsibility for the fleet, said: “Previously our relationship with Venson Automotive Solutions was ad hoc. I’m a great believer in developing personal relationships and I rely on their knowledge and expertise so we work hand-in-hand.

“I am not an expert on vehicle management although I do know the workload we expect from our vehicles.

“It is very difficult to manage the fleet within a tight budget, while continuing to ensure vehicles are fit-for-purpose and a quality service is delivered. However, Venson Automotive Solutions now has comprehensive knowledge of what we expect from our fleet and is delivering a first-class service.

“This first-class customer service delivered by the account team dedicated to Dogs Trust means that Venson Automotive Solutions has earned the right to take responsibility for our fleet requirements, to a set budget.”

Tailored Solutions

Dogs Trust outright purchases its fleet vehicles - Skoda Octavia Estates, Skoda Fabias, Fiat Scudos, Renault Kangoo vans, Ford Transits and Mercedes Sprinters - with Venson Automotive Solutions handling the ordering and providing fleet management, accident management and short-term hire cars. In addition driver licence checking and a comprehensive occupational road risk management service is in the process of being introduced.

Crucially all vehicles must be individually bespoked to meet fit-for-purpose requirements. As a result they are delivered from dealers direct to Venson Automotive Solutions’ own Equip for Service centre - the company’s facility in Yorkshire that undertakes the fitting of specialist equipment to vehicles.

For Dogs Trust this includes sign writing, the addition of air conditioning and the fitting of cages and lining to vehicles to such as a Mercedes Sprinter ambulance.

Previously, vehicles were delivered to Dogs Trust by a variety of dealers then a number of different organisations were used to make them fit-for-purpose.

Mr Smith added: “As a range of suppliers were used the price per vehicle and the quality of workmanship varied enormously. We now exclusively use Venson Automotive Solutions and they provide a first class service.

“Not only that, but as Venson Automotive Solutions handles the ordering of all vehicles on behalf of Dogs Trust they track when they will be delivered to them and we know exactly when they will be ready for use. The vehicles are then delivered directly to the required location.

“This process has eliminated a significant amount of fleet administration time and ensures we have one seamless process in place.”

Shaping Future Fleet Policy

Looking to the future, Dogs Trust is shortly to introduce Venson Automotive Solutions’ comprehensive, at-work driving duty of care solution, Safeguard. This will involve the driving licences of all at-work drivers being independently checked against the DVLA database. In addition, online driver profiling will take place with employees who are rated as ‘high’ risk undergoing driver training.

Mr Smith said: “Venson Automotive Solutions are our fleet experts. We must ensure that our fleet is not only managed effectively and efficiently within extremely tight budgets but that we are compliant with all legislation.

“I am reliant on my account manager at Venson Automotive Solutions for bringing to my attention all the latest issues that impact on the fleet operation and our drivers, and together we can work to ensure best practice is followed.”

He concluded: “The relationship between Dogs Trust and Venson Automotive Solutions has blossomed over the last year. From the people who answer the phone at Venson Automotive Solutions to our account management team, they are extremely helpful and have all information at their fingertips.”

About Dogs Trust

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and campaigns on dog welfare issues to ensure a safe and happy future for all dogs. The charity has a network of 17 centres across the UK and cares for over 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs each year.

The charity is well known for its slogan "A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas" and is working towards the day when all dogs can enjoy a happy life, free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.

If you are interested in rehoming a dog you can visit the Dogs Trust website at www.dogstrust.org.ukand click on Rehoming, or call 020 7837 0006 to find your nearest centre. 

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