Suttons Group

Widnes-based Suttons Transport Group is using a £6m funding boost from Lombard to expand its fleet and modernise its technology.

The family-run business, which provides tank container and road tanker services for clients in the chemical, gas and fuel sectors, has invested £4m of funding to buy trailers and tanks to support a pipeline of new business wins.

The company said the other £2m has been used to deploy state-of-the-art telematics and technology solutions from Microlise which will be installed across its fleet of 1,350 tractor units, road tankers and trailers.

The technology will allow Suttons to manage its fleet more effectively through vehicle tracking and utilisation reporting, as well as managing driver performance to reduce fuel costs and improve efficiencies.

The business will also use the technology to improve driver communication through the use of sign-on-glass and image capture across the vehicles, provided via Samsung tablets fitted in the cabs.

In addition Suttons has upgraded its servers and endpoint technology across the business to help staff work efficiently from both the home and the office.

Suttons, which was founded in 1926 and has operations spanning Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil and the US, recently acquired German-based VTG Tanktainer.

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Keith Broom, group finance director at Suttons Transport Group, said: “This year marks an important milestone in the future of Suttons as we seek new opportunities across the globe and accelerate our digital-first approach.

“The funding from Lombard has allowed us to roll out new technologies that will streamline day-to-day processes, enabling us to concentrate on other priorities including upskilling our staff and seeking new business opportunities.

“Our long-standing relationship with [corporate senior relationship manager] Joanne McCumesky Brown and the advice from Lombard’s tech specialists were crucial to attaining the financial flexibility required to make these changes.”

Added McCumesky Brown: “Having worked with Suttons Group for more than 10 years, we know the business inside-out and through this foundation we are proud to have enabled the next chapter of their growth.

“Taking the time to build and future-proof our relationship with customers is engrained into Lombard’s identity as we understand how critical it is for firms to secure funding packages that align with their individual goals. It is extremely rewarding to see Suttons Group upgrade services and in turn, continue to attract new business.”

Byron Edwards, technology specialist sales relationship director at Lombard, said: “The pandemic has pushed a fast forward button on digital innovation and technology, and in response to that, Lombard has amplified its knowledge in this discipline to ensure we can confidently advise our customers.

“This is the first time Suttons Group has used our tech expertise to roll-out the unique Microlise software and I’m confident that more and more firms will continue to recognise the wealth of benefits it brings to operations.”