Fifty-one Zac Efrons with leg room to spare. That’s what you can fit into a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, according to the delivery experts at Smart Express. If you don’t have access to Hollywood stars, there’s room in a Sprinter for a three-seater and a two-seater couch, a few chairs and a dining room table. Fill it with whatever you want, really, and Smart Express will deliver it to your door... seven days a week, at a time that suits.
Susan Spelman and Devan Devaroyan have been successfully running Smart Express since 2005, and this previously Auckland-focused business now operates all across the upper North Island. They have a reputation for being dedicated to providing quality service, and a big part of that is thanks to the vans they use.
In 2005, the Smart Express fleet was just a one-person van and a two-person truck. Devaroyan and Spelman had seen a gap in the market for smarter delivery services that always put customers first.
“A lot of companies weren’t focusing on the customer experience,” Spelman says.
This was where they decided to create their point of difference. Smart Express satisfied the customer need for ‘white glove service’ with options that included unpacking and setting up delivered items. The gamble paid off.
… to impact
Now with 27 vehicles in the field - 12 Mercedes-Benz Vans and 15 trucks - and over 80 staff, the business is driving the delivery market across the upper North Island.
Along the way, they modernised the fleet with Mercedes Sprinters. Their two newest Sprinters are in demand amongst the drivers.
“Our drivers rave about the ergonomics and ease of use, it’s a lot more spacious,” Devaroyan says.
He laughs as he remembers one driver who was due for an upgrade: “He said, ‘man... if I had a choice I’d definitely choose a Mercedes!’”
Smart Express have found new Sprinters to be more reliable, more robust, more accessible, and better engineered. Their first ones ran up to 650,000 kilometres - and that’s important, because in the early years of a business, brand new is a luxury.
“They proved themselves to last the distance,” says Devaroyan, “but now we buy brand new and we recommend brand new.”
“These vehicles are engineered so you can use them as metro vehicles, but over long distances they give really good fuel efficiency, which makes a huge difference. From the visibility factor, to negotiating loading bays and traffic, the Sprinter is very efficient.”
Going the extra mile, literally
That’s an added bonus - manoeuvrability - which helps Smart Express deliver on their brand promise of service above and beyond. In the Sprinter, they’ve found themselves a professional van that handles like a car.
“A lot of our competitors go for small trucks but we can get ours down driveways,” Devaroyan says.
Smart Express places a lot of emphasis on that ‘last mile’ of any delivery. They’re aware that entering people’s personal space and transporting their treasured items requires a deft touch. The Sprinter helps make every first impression exceptional, it keeps up the reliability, delivery after delivery.
“Those vehicles run seven days a week, so we need a good reliable vehicle,” Spelman says.
“They just work - day in, day out,” Devaroyan adds with a smile.