Saving Solihull Community Housing time and money

System Edström’s design and livery expertise came to the fore in a recent deal with Solihull Community Housing (SCH), saving the organisation much-needed funds and time.

SCH is an Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) that manages Solihull Council’s housing stock. The Council owns the properties but SCH delivers the housing services. It runs a fleet of vans for its staff to deliver all its housing services.

System Edström has worked with SCH since 2013. With a large proportion of the fleet reaching the end of its life, SCH needed to replace a number of vehicles, and kit them out with appropriate racking. The organisation has also undergone a rebranding exercise, which meant all new vehicles needed to feature the new look. A number of vehicles, which had at least a year of their working lives remaining, also needed re-branding.

The fleet consists mainly of Ford Transit Customs, with various other specialist vehicles. System Edström Managing Director Peter Corderey said: “The main bulk of the vehicles are general purpose, using the vans for storage of tools and materials for their trade operatives. We’ve also done some more specific vehicles for their pest control, asbestos and garage maintenance teams.”

With the help of System Edström’s racking experts, SCH reviewed its racking requirements. The review found that much of the existing racking was no longer needed. This allowed System Edström to develop a new solution that simplified the racking system in the vans. This solution also re-used as much of the racking from the old vans as possible, making the most of the long service life and re-usability of System Edström’s products.

By simplifying the solution and re-using products, System Edström was able to save SCH a substantial amount of money. This is vital to the work of organisations like SCH and allowed them to reinvest that money in other areas.

When it came to the new branding, System Edström was able to save SCH even more time and money. The new branding, which has given SCH a stylish modern look, had to be applied to more than 60 new vans, which had been kitted out by System Edström, as well as around a dozen other vehicles.

Working with their key graphics partner, System Edström was able to design a graphics solution that incorporated the new branding, along with a distinctive colour scheme. By doing much of the work itself, System Edström saved SCH the money and complications that would have come with employing a graphic design agency. “What was a simple livery on the vans now has become a half-wrap and a new brand, and new corporate identity for them,” said Peter Corderey.

The process was complicated by the various warning signs that the vans need to display to comply with safety legislation. Whether they be for flammable substances, gases or other hazardous materials, each van needs to display the correct signs. These were incorporated into the design work the System Edström did, resulting in a solution that looks great and is in keeping with SCH’s new look.

Peter Corderey concluded: “From our point of view it’s all gone very smoothly. There’s been some last-minute juggling and changes to the liveries, but the mainstay of all the vehicles are now rebranded. We’ve got 22 more to do this month, plus we have a dozen existing vehicles that are having a livery update and re-brand on site. Ultimately, the new image and brand will be seen everywhere in the local community.”