This a video of me talking about our Mercedes -Benz Van Fit out. I recorded it last Summer, hence I say “new van fit” when the van registration plate looks a year old now. But this is the fit as we currently deliver to the franchisees. We have vans available ready to fit out straight away and we aim to get the van here as the new franchisee starts their training so they can use it to get to and from the local hotel where they stay whilst training.
But things to note: The van in the video is the Mercedes-Benz Citan 108CDI but new franchisees get the Mercedes-Benz Citan 109CDI, so 95 bhp, with Blue Efficiency so has stop start, and with the Drivers Kit added which gives a middle armrest and storage, reversing sensors and electric folding wing mirrors. We got an excellent new deal with our local Commercial Mercedes Company and it went down by approximately £100 a month when they upgraded the spec from the Citan 108CDI to the Citan 109CDI!
In all I haven’t driven a better van, the level of the fit in the cabin is fabulous and the handling and performance of the van is a real pleasure. I love the stop start technology, I’ve got it on both my own cars now too. The van fits everything that I was looking for in a van for our business: it’s layout is the best one for a professional oven cleaner, it averages close to 60 mpg (I haven’t checked this but the manufacturers figures are 62 + mpg, it is the safest with NCAP rating of 4, and it is a Mercedes upgrade, they have put a Mercedes touch to everything including the suspension) of the already excellent Renault Kangoo van. I’m still not that keen on the cruise control layout in the van, I find my car one easier to use, and the handbrake gets some getting use to, and why did they put the 12v socket where it is so the cable to my sat nav can get snagged on the handbrake?
I mention five jobs a day as when I did five jobs a day, in the early days of 2005 and 2006 I needed to pack the jobs in to get a return on the day and also to make the waiting time shorter – at one point we were booking in clients five weeks in advance. Also we have done 5 or more jobs in a day since then on the times we have done student halls of residence.
I worked out the fastest way of getting the jobs done and having the side door on the driver’s side really helped, I noticed the difference when I went from my first van – Ford Transit Connect with one side door – to my second van Ford Transit Connect with two side doors (I don’t recommend the Ford Transit – we had three engine fails on the two vans we had, one twice: in warranty and out of warranty). It wasn’t just the van layout I thought through I looked at everything else to. But what I’m saying here is you want the optimum set for a van then this is it.
The average number of jobs you would be looking at as a franchisee would be three, with a target of £240 being a healthy one. We haven’t done five jobs a day for a while now, but the principles of getting yourself into a system to get the job done in the fastest, most efficient, way still applies. Our insulated dip tank that stays hot all day on one charge obviously is another key thing in this.
Why would you want to do it in slow time, slower time, like you’d do if you have a van with one side door, or no side doors at all, which I have seen, or a gas burner set up where you heat up at every job?
Graham Rogers Started OvenGleamers as one man in a van in Taunton in 2004. The business grew to a five van operation by 2007. OvenGleamers first franchisee started in October 2010. OvenGleamers Became An Associate Member of British Franchise Association in 2012. Now growing National OvenGleamers Network. OvenGleamers are AGA and Big Cooker Cleaning Specialists. Graham writes on this blog and films videos and has a podcast.