Milestone for fleet SMR as 1link Service Network reaches 20th anniversary

A milestone for fleet service, maintenance and repair (SMR) technology has been reached as epyx’s 1link Service Network celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

Launched in 2003, the product was the first SMR processing platform of its kind and rapidly became the de facto method for major fleets to handle all transactions with franchise dealers, independent garages and fast-fits.

Since its launch, more than 54 million repairs have been undertaken, 26 million services fulfilled, eight million MOT tests completed and almost five million tyres fitted, generating 46 million invoices and a spend of nearly £10 billion.

Today, the platform is used by 105 major fleets including 41 of the UK’s top 50 leasing companies, alongside nearly 9,000 service providers.

Tim Meadows, chief commercial officer at epyx, explained 1link Service Network had been continuously developed over time to take account of changing fleet and garage needs, as well as developments in technology.

“Today’s 1link Service Network fulfils essentially the same role as the launch product but has been continually refined and evolved to the point where it provides a degree of control that is unrivalled by any other method of handling SMR.

“Looking to the future, there are a range of developments underway that will see us enhance the platform still further – probably the most important being the reimagination of the jobsheet journey, a complete ground-up rewrite that is currently underway.

“We’re also well aware of the potential of developments such as connected car, diary booking integration for dealers and artificial intelligence. All of these are in various stages of incorporation into future product plans.”

Tim added that 1link Service Network could lay claim to being the first major e-commerce platform to become widely used not just in the fleet sector but the motor industry as a whole.

“When it was launched, we quite often had to not just introduce fleets and garages to the platform but to the whole idea of using the internet at work. For some, we even helped to get them online.

“Its impact cannot be understated. Before 1link, booking and authorising a service or maintenance transaction between a major fleet and its suppliers involved endless phone calls and faxing and, even then, the rejection rate for the final invoice was very high.

“Instead, our technology allowed the transaction to be agreed and authorised online in moments. Within a few years, it was in use by virtually every major vehicle leasing company as well as many other major fleets – and that situation continues to this day.”

epyx is based in Meriden, Warwickshire and employs 136 people.

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