DEFRA - Managing Agent to the Environment Agency

We have worked with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) since 2013, providing essential plant, tool and equipment hire services.

Customer Name
DEFRA - Environment Agency
Project and Location
DEFRA is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding the natural environment and sustaining a thriving rural economy. It supports the farming and fisheries industries, helps enhance the rural environment and protects against flooding, disease and other natural threats.

To carry out its vital work DEFRA requires a vast range of equipment and plant to be available, with swift mobilisation to help:

-          Meet seasonal peaks in demand and specific operational needs
-          Provide specialist incident response equipment
-          Provide support to the rationalisation of DEFRA’s existing plant fleet

The Challenge

DEFRA required a managed partner to effectively administer all of its equipment requirements. In 2018 it developed a framework contract and invited suppliers to tender to be a part of it. This was designed so that a number of equipment suppliers would feed into a managing agent, through which the sourcing and management of all equipment would be handled.

The Solution

We were delighted to be awarded the role of managing agent in 2018 for DEFRA, having provided efficient, reliable services to them for many years. This successful partnership has been strengthened further, as we now manage all equipment suppliers on the DEFRA framework as well as supply equipment ourselves.

Our team provides a one stop shop hire solution 24/7 from our contact centre near Birmingham. We manage enquiries to do with breakdowns, damage and loss and create bookings. This approach provides one point of contact for DEFRA, with one phone number and one email address for all of their equipment hire needs.

We also provide all plant up to 8 tonnes and agricultural equipment in our role as a lot supplier on this framework. This includes excavators, welfare vans, dumpers, lighting, generation, traffic management, temporary access systems, chippers and much more.

The Results

This managed service solution enables an efficient and effective approach for everyone involved. DEFRA has confidence service delivery can be met quickly and has absolute clarity on points of contact. Other specialist equipment providers are fully embedded into the process and can meet demand and supply for their products as required.

This successful way of working has seen us and our partners able to meet unexpected demands and incident response requirements, such as

  • In December 2019 a case of Avian Influenza was confirmed at a commercial chicken farm in mid Suffolk by APHA (the Animal and Plant Health Agency). Our team mobilised clean up and containment equipment to help prevent it from spreading, which included trakway, crowd barriers, tower lights and pressure washers.
  • In February and March 2020 much of the UK suffered flooding. Hard hit areas included York, Doncaster, Barnsley, Nottingham and Bridgwater. Our dedicated DEFRA contact centre teams dealt with several incident response requests, both in and out of hours. We helped deploy pumps, welfare vans, tower lights, tracked dumpers, telehandlers and haulage to aid the movement of equipment and traffic management including managing diversions and road closures.

As well as providing the agency with substantial annual savings, Dale Eynon, Director of DEFRA Group Fleet Services said the new framework would also improve efficiencies and levels of service. 

Our new framework is anticipated to provide efficiencies and improved levels of service across many areas including; an improved supply chain, reduced cross hire, rate transparency, support for incident response and the availability of the latest equipment technology and latest engine emissions. Due to this new approach we are also able to access competitive rates, great customer service and quality equipment.
Dale Eynon, Director of DEFRA Group Fleet Services

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