What were they think­ing?

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - ACQUISITION FEATURE -

Many years ago, I was driv­ing through town and I chanced upon a sign-writ­ten ve­hi­cle which was so to­tally not fit-for-pur­pose, I was al­most moved to write a let­ter, ex­press­ing my opin­ion on the ridicu­lously inap­pro­pri­ate na­ture of the ve­hi­cle se­lec­tion to an or­gan­i­sa­tion that should have known bet­ter. Here was a Dae­woo Lanos – an evil lit­tle hatch­back, de­signed for Snow White’s seven lit­tle min­ing col­leagues – or pos­si­bly Richard Ham­mond from Top Gear. Quite how the Lanos even made it into this fleet is be­yond me. Here was a car that trav­elled be­neath ANCAP’S galaxy of stars and quite well be­neath it too, so some­one was clearly try­ing to score Brownie points by pur­chas­ing on price alone. Be that as it may, some­one had de­ter­mined that all the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s cars – in­clud­ing the lu­di­crous Lanos – were equipped with safety bar­ri­ers be­tween the rear and front seats. OK, good theory and good prac­tice, ex­cept for one thing: the po­si­tion of the safety bar­rier in the Lanos pre­cluded any ad­just­ment to the seats, the po­si­tions for which were clearly de­ter­mined by a crash test dummy of about 5’2 inches. The oc­cu­pant in this case was rem­i­nis­cent of Arnold Schwarzeneg­ger’s char­ac­ter in The Ex­pend­ables, who was re­quired to use a SMART car as a get­away ve­hi­cle, mak­ing the wry com­ment that: “My shoe is big­ger than this car!” This poor guy looked for all the world like Dino from the Flint­stones, but in this case, there was only a slim chance of him putting his head through even the Lanos’ flim­sily fab­ri­cated roof, but I reckon a de­cent out­breath would likely have blown the win­dows out. It was so stu­pen­dously ab­surd to put this guy into a car like a Lanos to be­gin with, but to fur­ther re­strict his abil­ity to even drive it com­fort­ably in def­er­ence to OSH safety con­sid­er­a­tions was be­yond the pale. This high­lights the im­por­tance of hav­ing peo­ple who know about ve­hi­cles and what those ve­hi­cles will be do­ing as the peo­ple mak­ing ve­hi­cle pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions. And it’s not just an on-the-sur­face con­sid­er­a­tion ei­ther. For ex­am­ple: what hap­pens when cer­tain safety items are in­cor­po­rated into the ve­hi­cle? Can the ve­hi­cles sup­posed to be used by any­one, be driven by ev­ery­one? What is go­ing to be the per­cep­tion of your or­gan­i­sa­tion based on your sign­writ­ten ve­hi­cles? These are just some of things to be con­sid­ered when it comes to ve­hi­cle ac­qui­si­tion.

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