We go a million miles to make you smile

by Scott Douglas

Saturday, August 14th, 2004

01-FFDR-MiniFFDR, Scotland’s biggest all-trades contractor, has recorded a major milestone by clocking up more than a million miles (four times the distance to the moon) on the road on behalf of its customers.

The company operates a fleet of 55 vehicles which provide an emergency service in salvaging damaged properties on behalf of the insurance industry.

And for the first time, FFDR which operates mainly across the Edinburgh, Lothians and Fife area, has seen the company’s odometer click past the 1,000,000 miles mark in one year.

Ronnie Klos, FFDR’s sole director, said it was an impressive achievement for a company which only started out with one vehicle in 1998.

He said: “This illustrates perfectly our commitment to customer service.  We travel where required to ensure we respond to distress calls from customers as soon as possible, so you could say that by reaching this milestone, we now go a million miles to make one of our customers’ smile.”

FFDR, which was named Best Small Business at the most recent National Business Awards of Scotland, operates its fleet of distinctive, livered vehicles out of its base in Lochgelly, Fife.

Mr Klos said: “All our vans leave the office at around 7.30pm and it is a very impressive site to see perhaps 30 or 40 FFDR vehicles all crossing the Forth Road Bridge at the same time.

“But operating such a large fleet of vehicles with such a high mileage also brings considerable spin-off benefits to local suppliers.  For instance we spend £5000 a month on fuel, and then there is the regular servicing or tyre replacement – and that doesn’t include the £600 we spend each month on bridge tolls.”

Mr Klos said he predicts the company’s annual mileage continue to soar as the business grows, although the expressed caution over the impact of the Edinburgh road toll charging proposals.

He added: “There is no doubt that road tolls will have huge cost implications for our business, and businesses like ours.  It is a really worrying situation when you consider that potentially we could have 40 vehicles travelling into Edinburgh each day.

If small companies cannot be allowed to go about their business in a reasonable way in Edinburgh, then they are going to turn their back on the capital.  That will have a major effect on the city, as it will mean millions lost in the local economy through people not using local shops and services.”

FFDR prides itself on improving the image of the construction trade.

All staff wear a smart uniform and the company employs a sophisticated software system to chart the progress of repair work.  The company is also able to offer customers an unrivalled service where all jobs are mapped out in advance, with times worked out on when a specific tradesman will visit and when the work will be completed.   In addition, the company vans are fitted with a hi-tech satellite tracking system, which allows their movements to be plotted at all times

The innovative approaches have made the company a favourite with loss adjustors and insurers and FFDR is now a preferred contractor for a number of the country’s top insurance companies.

That has helped the company enjoy year-on-year growth and seen the workforce grow from the initial team of five to 60.

Ends

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