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Business champion fleet Hermes wins top training award

27 July 2010

Safety-focused Hermes, Europe’s leading home delivery company, has won a top award for training initiatives run by its dedicated driving school.

This year the company achieved business champion status from the government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign, which is managed by RoadSafe.

Hermes is in the vanguard of cutting road deaths and injuries after introducing a range of safe-driving measures that have contributed to a £1 million cost saving in the 12 months to April 2010.

The catalyst for the financial savings and a string of other employee health and safety benefits has been the Hermes Driving School, which plays a critical role in ensuring that the company’s 480 employed drivers and 163 agency drivers meet its industry-leading safe driving standards.

Now the School’s work has been recognised with the company collecting the Training Award at this year’s Motor Transport Awards.

As well as helping to recruit new drivers, the School focuses on improving the driving skills of employees and agency drivers in order to improve customer service
and cut costs. Training is delivered at 19 centres, and is split between in-vehicle and classroom sessions.

Carol Woodhead, chief executive of Hermes, said, “We feel absolutely over the moon. This is the first time we have entered and we have ended up winning. This really is an achievement for all the hard work the HR team has put in.”

Award entrants had to demonstrate how they had improved staff training in the past 12 to 18 months.

Hermes was able to highlight that its safe-driving focus in 2009/10 compared with 2008/9 delivered a:
• 109% improvement in accident-free days per vehicle from 216 days to 434 days resulting in significant reductions in vehicle downtime and the cost of vehicle replacement
• A 47% improvement in the accident rate - including minor bumps and scratches - per vehicle from 1.44 to 0.75
• A 41.8% (259) reduction in the number of recorded accidents from 620 to 361 across the commercial vehicle fleet
• A 33.5% (£240,000) cut in the cost of incidents

The reduction in the number of vehicle-related crashes and their severity was recorded against a background of the size of the light goods vehicle and HGV fleet increasing 11% from 430 vehicles to 479 and the number of days of vehicle use rising 16.9% from 134,160 to 156,775. In addition to the commercial vehicle fleet, Leeds-based Hermes also operates 183 company cars.

In announcing Hermes as the winner, the judges said, “The cost savings attributable to training are significant - very good! Impressive training programmes delivering tangible results.”

Photo from left to right...

  • Rory Bremner
  • Carole Woodhead - CEO Hermes
  • Susan Tew - Head of Development Hermes
  • Chris Grimshaw - Director Hermes Driving School
  • Peter Backhouse - Award Sponsor Fraikin
  • Di Stewart - Sky Sports Presenter

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