Following a successful start to 2020, which included winning Leasing Company of the Year at the Fleet News Awards, Gareth Roberts from Fleet News spoke to Ogilvie Fleet Managing Director Gordon Stephen about the year that followed.
Fleet News: What measures did you take to try to manage the situation?
Gordon Stephen: We made a decision at the end of March, when we sent out invoices to all of our 2,100 customers, that we would turn it completely on its head and say ‘unless you tell us otherwise we will not take your April direct debit’.
We gave anybody who wanted it a three-month payment holiday. About half of our customers paid.
Our funders agreed to a payment holiday as well, so it wasn’t impacting us financially.
No direct debit payments were taken from customers until July and, after that, we just agreed a payment plan with them, which worked exceptionally well. It was the right thing to do.
FN: Did all of your customers take advantage of the payment holiday?
GS: Some said they were fine, because they were still working. But a lot of our customers, like us, had to, effectively, mothball their business.
We’ve got 100 employees and on April 1 we put 65 on furlough. Most of them remained on furlough through April, May and part of June, and then we started bringing people back as and when required.