Innovation & Investment Put Bandvulc On The Right Track
Devon company Bandvulc has built a specialist business by continually developing their products and by delivering exactly what the customer needs, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What began as a small family firm recycling truck tyres has grown over the past 46 years to a company which provides products and support for 70% of the major supermarket fleets on our roads as well as a prestigious portfolio of blue chip fleets.
The last 12 months has seen considerable growth in the business, which has its headquarters in Ivybridge. This is thanks to its proactive approach which includes working closely with customers and investment in research, development, design, innovation and, essentially, having the right team of people.
Bandvulc has come a long way since 1971, when the O’Connell family started recycling truck tyres using rubber imported from Malaysia. They were selling around 30 retread tyres a week to local truck and tipper operators. As the business grew, so they took on fleet maintenance work, including many high profile household names.
By 2000 Bandvulc produced 2,500 tyres a week and moved into fleet management (today’s BVPlus+). In 2005 it introduced a 24/7 call centre as fleet business continued to expand. Today’s tyre production exceeds 4,000 per week and the service side of their operations is now the largest part of the Group.
Innovation and investment in people and technology has been at the heart of the company’s development and success. Working closely with its route to market partners they have expanded and developed new inspection software and made strategic appointments to sales and management roles.
Today Bandvulc Plus+ manages more than 1 million wheels across the UK and Europe. This is due in no small part to industry leading performance; for example, the average call response is six seconds, 94% of ASAP jobs are dealt with in around 61 minutes and a new “Express Allocation” system will realise even greater improvements in delivery and completion times.
Bandvulc has invested in strategic support services such as a mirrored off-site call centre to ensure access to customer data and the ability to manage customer calls if its primary site was lost. Located in Plymouth this Disaster Recovery site is always on standby with a duplicated server room and call centre, thus ensuring exceptional customer service remains seamless. Exercises are conducted annually so that should a real situation occur service can continue without disruption.
The continuing success of Bandvulc led, in July 2016, to its acquisition by Continental AG, substantially strengthening Continental’s position in the UK and Irish market. The Ivybridge factory continues to offer high quality retreads in both ContiRe and Bandvulc brands, with plans for further investment to widen the range of ContiRe produced in the UK. The acquisition allows the Bandvulc business to expand, with access to Continental’s global network of customers and fleet services.
The move has paid dividends with Bandvulc recently announcing their role as the exclusive and sole supplier of the Uniroyal truck tyre brand across the UK. The brand, which benefits from Continental’s premium truck tyre technology, is designed to meet the modern day needs of transport companies and provide consistent performance and safety for regional applications and long-distance routes.