Much like Britain as a whole, Babcock enjoyed a gold-medal summer. Behind the scenes, we were playing a key role in the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics – by seamlessly moving thousands of British Army troops, deployed to provide security at the Games, to and from event sites.
In an extension of the Project Phoenix contract (under which we provide fleet management services for non-combat vehicles to the Ministry of Defence), Babcock was called upon to supply the MoD with over 100 coaches, drivers and mechanical support.
True to our ‘Trusted to Deliver’ motto, we not only made it happen – we went that extra mile too.
Forging a powerful piece of private-public partnering, Babcock – drawing upon the first-class fleet of British coach-hire company Procters – created a total-support solution for the MoD. Our innovative approach included embedding drivers and a coach-management function within troop bases, as well as making sure vehicles were exempt from London Emission Zone charges. The results? On-target delivery and major savings for the client.
‘We worked with the customer to reduce costs while delivering a first-class service,’ says Andy Caldwell, Babcock Phoenix Development Manager. ‘So we agreed with them not only to embed drivers within the main holding points where the troops were garrisoned, but also – in cooperation with Procters – to move a whole infrastructure in: mechanics, temporary workshops, breakdown trucks and support vehicles.’
Displaying the innovation and inspiration for which Babcock is a byword, we fitted telematic tracking devices on each vehicle. Caldwell explains: ‘This allowed the Olympic transport cell full visibility. They were doing timed movements into the Olympic grounds, so any delay had to be closely monitored and then investigated. At any one time the whole fleet could be seen by the customer.’
There was a well-publicised setback to deal with when, at the last moment, the MoD suddenly had to consign another 3,500 troops – and Babcock had to find transport for them. Demonstrating our trademark flexibility once again, Babcock made it happen.
‘We had to facilitate the movement of those troops at extremely short notice – sometimes as little as four hours,’ says Caldwell. ‘Which again we achieved and brought further support in terms of coaches.’
Overall, Babcock brought savings of a third to the MoD, as well as a flawless delivery.– as Major Ian Sturges, one of the MoD’s key figures in the operations, confirms. ‘If we needed something, Babcock said, “Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you get it.” And they did. Nothing was too difficult. The requirement was changing hourly as the situation progressed and Babcock and Procters were with us constantly, being exceedingly flexible. It was a joint cooperative project – and one that worked.’