FLORISTS need vans – but not all the time, according to rental specialist Northgate Vehicle Hire.
Recent experience with a Cambridge florist has shown the benefits of flexible vehicle hire, and Northgate is urging others in industries with varying peaks to follow suit.
According to the British Florist Association the £1.5 billion industry is increasingly competitive and sales are moving online, with resultant pressures on deliveries.
Cambridge Floral Designs, which owns two shops in the heart of the city, hires two vehicles from Northgate, but expects to need more in peak periods, such as Valentine’s Day, when the company can take up to 500 orders on the day itself in addition to its advance business.
According to Managing Director Simon Freeman flexible hire wins every time over running a permanent small van fleet.
“This is a notoriously tricky area for florists, as the costs of operating a fleet for independent business can have a large impact on the bottom line. As a result I’ve been hesitant to purchase supplementary vehicles or enter into contract hire.
“The flexibility Northgate provides is really what appealed to me, there is no deposit upfront and I can offload vehicles without incurring a cost, providing me with complete peace of mind.”
Northgate Vehicle Hire’s Head of Marketing, Jonathan Pearce, describes flexible hire as a common-sense decision for businesses with seasonal peaks. “Reducing downtime is a key benefit of flexible hire, and one that makes it so appealing to florists whose fleet needs change through the year,” he said.
“There is no depreciation, no need to worry about residual value, risks are removed, and the support of the supplier is guaranteed should emergency back up or replacement vehicles be required,” Pearce added.