Keeping on top of costs with Wickes

Wickes Building Supplies Limited (“Wickes”) is one of the first companies to be benefiting from Aquarius IT’s new Asset Finance system, which has been developed to work in tandem with the company’s popular Asset Maintenance software to provides operators and workshop managers with an intuitive way of tracking costs, and monitoring maintenance / part costs related to each individual asset. 

As a well-known home improvement retailer and garden centre, with more than 230 stores throughout the country, Wickes’ transport operation plays a central role in the company’s domestic and trade service offering.  A key part of this is managing the company’s fleet of 250+ vehicles to make sure it is compliant, and maintained and serviced to the highest standards, while also keeping a track on repair and maintenance costs. 

Mark Wheeler, Wickes’ National Transport and Compliance Manager explained that Wickes’ fleet is all leased from a small number of suppliers, with each having full repair and maintenance cover as part of the agreement.  However, as part of the contract, Wickes’ is accountable for all non-repair and maintenance costs, i.e., damage, and historically, these costs have been captured on spreadsheets in no great depth of detail.

Mark said: “With Asset Finance, I can now capture and record these costs digitally, and analyse what particular vehicle parts are getting damaged, and if certain vehicles types are getting more damage than others for example. This is important, because the majority of our fleet are operated by a third party, and by having this level of detail and analysis, we can challenge the third party as to how they operate the fleet on Wickes behalf, and put pressure on them to reduce non-repair and maintenance spend.”

“Since embedding Asset Finance into our IT systems, alongside Asset Maintenance, we have also introduced weekly cost surgeries with our inhouse and 3PL partners.  At these meetings, we are able to report on the findings from Asset Finance, and challenge certain costs and receive credit back from the lease providers,” added Mark.

“Alongside Asset Maintenance, Asset Finance has been a game changer in how we can dynamically manage, track and report on repair and maintenance costs; the flexibility of the system also means we have adapted it to suit our company needs, and we can even manually create new categories, without incurring extra development costs.” 

“It has not only helped us operationally on a day-to-day basis, it is also saving us money,” confirmed Mark.

Subir Gupta, Aquarius’s National Account Manager who also supported Mark and his team with the installation of Asset Maintenance to help Wickes achieve Earned Recognition in 2021, said: “Asset Finance is a natural extension to Asset Maintenance, and it’s interesting to see how Wickes are using it to monitor external and internal repair and maintenance costs.  It’s a different approach, and illustrates the flexibility of the system, as it is generally being used by operators with on-site workshops so that they have real-time control over purchasing.”

For further information on Asset Finance or to request a demonstration, please visit

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