Alphabet News

Alphabet jump-starts B. Braun’s journey to electric

posted on 18/06/2021
  • Continuing a decade long partnership, Alphabet and B. Braun are collaborating to introduce low emission cars into the company’s fleet
  • Alphabet supported B. Braun through educational ‘Driver Clinics’ to encourage uptake of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)
  • 97% of B. Braun drivers have chosen to shift to a PHEV at renewal

B. Braun is one of the world’s leading providers and manufacturers of healthcare solutions, offering more than 5,000 healthcare products and producing 95% of these internally. B. Braun’s UK headquarters are located in Sheffield, where the company has worked closely with Alphabet since 2010. For more than a decade, Alphabet has been its sole fleet supplier, providing full contract hire and fleet management services to support B. Braun’s critical business operations, such as visiting hospitals to audit essential equipment.

Recently, the company was looking to identify further cost and time savings within the business and consolidate its administration processes. Following driver feedback to extend the vehicle choice list and take advantage of Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax rates, B. Braun also wanted to begin the move towards electrification and embrace a Whole Life Cost (WLC) model for its company car fleet. This meant stepping away from its reliance on solely diesel cars.

Having already revolutionised its business with Alphabet in becoming one of the ‘early adopters’ of AlphaCity, along with introducing AlphaRent services to its fleet – which also led to B. Braun’s fleet manager winning the internal ‘B. Braun Excellence’ award – Alphabet was perfectly positioned to offer expert consultancy to create a tailored transition plan for its fleet.     

Committing to an exemplary employee-first strategy, B. Braun and Alphabet spoke directly to drivers, setting up virtual ‘Driver Clinics’ to understand their needs, shape policy and engage staff in the Alphabet support services available. An internal survey was conducted to encourage questions around the adoption of PHEVs and to help develop a set of FAQs for drivers expressing interest in going electric. Ensuring drivers were involved from the very start of the journey and remained at the heart of the fleet transition, created anticipation ahead of the PHEV launch, which ultimately resulted in 97% of drivers making the shift to PHEV.

With uptake of PHEVs accelerating across the business, B. Braun and its drivers have already started to see the advantages of moving to a WLC model with Alphabet. The change has resulted in enhanced visibility of cost for the company, a wider and improved choice of vehicle for drivers and has effectively provided its employees who choose a PHEV with a pay rise, through personal cost savings made from BIK tax relief over the course of their vehicle contract. As demand for electric continues to grow, B. Braun will work with Alphabet to expand its fleet choice list even further to include pure electric vehicles (EVs) and offer employees support with charging requirements.  

Alphabet has also improved driver satisfaction scores by 10%, between 2019 and 2021, through introducing Alphabet Connect to the business. The seamless online platform by Alphabet, allows quick and easy quoting and ordering for both drivers and fleet managers, as well as providing access to vehicle data all in one place. The need for Alphabet Connect was established as part of Alphabet’s Continuous Service Improvement Plan for B. Braun, where monthly review meetings are held to collaborate and find efficient and unique solutions for the company. This forum was also used to quickly ascertain the support required by B. Braun during the national lockdowns. Alphabet proved an instrumental partner throughout, continuing to host regular remote meetings and sending driver communications to ensure employees were made aware of updates quickly and felt supported.

Claire Richardson, Fleet Manager & Procurement Support, B. Braun says: “It’s been invaluable to provide our drivers with PHEV options, so they can not only embrace cost savings and get the vehicles they want, but also support the wider business objectives. This is something we couldn’t have implemented on our own and is why we continue to work so closely in partnership with Alphabet, which forms an extension of the B. Braun team and has done for over ten years. 

“Alphabet truly understands our company and our drivers, and are the EV experts we need to continually transform and develop both our business and fleet strategy. These are important changes for the future of B. Braun, and we’re excited to see what more we can achieve together.”

Michelle Collins, Corporate Service Manager, Alphabet (GB) says: “At Alphabet, we fully immerse ourselves in our customer’s industry and business to ensure we always offer a bespoke service, tailored to their needs. This is evident in our long-standing relationship with B. Braun, where we have built a true partnership, jointly delivering time and again, against their business objectives. Bringing PHEVs into the business has been an exciting first step on the road to electrification and we are looking forward to incorporating pure EVs into its fleet choice list, to continue to future proof and evolve B. Braun’s fleet strategy.”

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