Richard King, Senior Transport Manager at Certas Energy
Certas Energy is the UK’s largest independent distributor of fuels and lubricants in the UK. With more than 130 depots nationwide and 2,300 employees, Certas work to ensure commercial, agricultural, industrial and public sector customers, as well as domestic users, never run out of fuel.
That requires the delivery of more than 6 billion litres of fuel each year in the UK, using a fleet of 1,000 tankers. WG Davies has been looking after vehicles in Certas’s fleet since 2007 and so it seemed fitting to catch up with Richard King, Senior Transport Manager at Certas Energy, to understand more about the long standing relationship and why ongoing they choose WG Davies to partner with them.
Certas run a mixed fleet with MAN accounting for 25% of that nationwide. When asked what they like about MAN Richard told us “The MAN product is very good and it has improved leaps and bounds over the years that I have been in the business, especially in terms of the technology, and we find that it is a very reliable vehicle.”
Richard has been with Certas for almost 21 years and is responsible for looking after the Wales and West Midlands operation. His relationship with WG Davies dates back to 2004 “I started working with WG Davies in Tenby,” Richard recalls, “I quickly realised that Sarah understood what we needed and our relationship has got stronger over time. So I was pleased when Roger invested and expanded the site, it made it a very easy decision to put more work into WG Davies.”
These days it isn’t just MAN that WG Davies look after for Richard, “WG Davies look after non-MAN vehicles as well, they are one stop shop for me. They really do know what they're doing at Tenby and nothing is too much trouble. Most of all they truly understand our up- time principle. I think the fact that it is a family business helps with that, they take responsibility for doing whatever it takes to keep my vehicles on the road and avoid downtime.”
That culture of delivering exactly what the customer needs starts with Sarah, Richard told us, “Sarah pushes her team to think about the downtime principle, it's that deep understanding of what the customer requires and they act on that. It might be as simple as ordering parts immediately but the result is they do what is necessary to keep our vehicles on the road.”
As a result Richard sees WG Davies in Tenby as a part of his team “It's not a supplier / customer relationship, it's a true partnership. They genuinely work with us and crucially, WG Davies give me consistency. With consistently high quality of work and consistently great communication. The culture of care starts with Sarah and goes all the way down to the person with the spanner in their hand. I can rely on WG Davies Tenby 100%.”
That culture of care is rooted in the very DNA of WG Davies because it is a family business with family values, Richard told us, “Being a family business is key to the culture of the whole business and that is something I feel every day in my relationship with them. People deal with people and there is no doubt that WG Davies genuinely care.” Referring to the ongoing CSI programme, Richard told us “WG Davies is the only dealer which rings me up to ask how I feel about the service. It's such a simple thing but it's so important.”
Throughout the interview Richard makes it clear that Certas is a great place to work – that is underpinned by the fact he has been there for more than two decades – but it is also very demanding, which means that in turn Richard must be demanding of those who support him. In that context, the feedback he has shared on the quality of the service he gets from WG Davies in Tenby is stunning.
As you might expect, there is not much opportunity for Richard to enjoy free time away from work but he still manages to find time for his wife and three children and he loves cooking, walking the dog and going to the gym. He also plays bass in a band and sings – the band did a stint supporting Dr Feelgood which is the clue to the genre.
We absolutely loved interviewing Richard, he is such an interesting person and so articulate in sharing what he needs and how WG Davies can best work with him. The relationship has stood the test of time because of his honesty and we look forward to many more years supporting him and Certas.