Cheshire-based Sandwich Express has come a long way from making horse-drawn deliveries, almost 100 years ago. Today, the family business has a growing fleet of catering vans, serving customers across the county and beyond. The vans are custom-built for Sandwich Express with refrigeration and heating, making each one a café on wheels. They all run on low-cost diesel, thanks to Shell fuel cards supplied by Fuel Card Services, part of The Fuel Card Group.
Martin Drury, Sandwich Express MD, said: “Managing costs is critical in catering and fuel represents a significant element for a business like ours, constantly on the road. Our Shell fuel cards mean that we regularly pay up to 4p per litre less than pump prices, regardless of where the drivers refuel. As a bonus, being notified each Friday of our fixed diesel price for the coming week is a real help in cashflow planning. Even better, we do not have to factor in the transaction charges and network fees that other suppliers charge.”
A single weekly VAT-compliant invoice covers all refuelling for all Sandwich Express vehicles, with payment made automatically by direct debit. The gap between filling up and paying means up to two weeks of interest-free credit. Sandwich Express makes full use of the eServices facility, which includes paperless invoicing and 24/7 account access via secure internet.
“Administration is so much quicker and easier now,” said Martin Drury, “and not having to keep track of paper invoices is wonderful. After the lower diesel costs, the biggest benefit is the simplicity of reclaiming VAT, which also helps with cashflow. If we ever have a query, I just call Iain Wilson and he sorts everything straight away.”
Sandwich Express, like all Fuel Card Services customers, has a dedicated account manager. It means fast, accurate service because Martin Drury always talks to the same person, rather than having to queue for an anonymous call centre worker. “This level of personal service makes a real difference,” he said. “I do not have to waste time explaining things to random strangers and hoping that they understand, because Iain knows us. We can get straight on with things.”