The reorganisation of the DVSA administration that commenced in November 2017 would appear to be complete, although changes still being undertaken. The question must be, have we 'the trade' and 'the customer' benefited? The answer can only be an unmitigated
In the bad old days of area offices the big problem was that the phones were not answered. Investigation proved that this was due to the administration staff being on part time contracts, leaving the phone unmanned at certain times of the day. This was generally solved by the old adage 'keep trying.' A case where two Senior Vehicle Examiners located themselves in a non-MoT office, away from the Area office because it was 'quieter' speaks volumes about customer care.
Where that was annoying, the present system is more so, as it would appear the Hubs have no phones at all, certainly non that ring in. The National Helpline also appears to be well trained at protecting these offices from contact with the public in general and the trade in particular. An SVE recently discussed how he had to use the “don’t you know who I am?” approach to get through to speak to administration in another hub!
The National Hub at Chadderton are showing major signs of improvement, despite the three long term employees having had to cope with all the extra work and the training of anything between 6 and 15 new staff, depending on to whom you are talking. Is the reason that telephone contact is not permitted that there is no confidence in the new recruits?
Experience shows that where two more people can verbally discuss issues, much time can be saved.
If no change in this area is to take place the DVSA should :
• Publish the e-mail addresses for all hubs
• Publish all the SVE (or as is now Vehicle Enforcement Managers) mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses and the hubs to which they are attached.
The problem may be that the hubs are organised by the number of vehicles within postcodes, as opposed to strict geographical territories, ie Leeds hub covering areas of London, Llay (Wrexham) covering areas on the south coast. Information suggests that this affects only two or three of the hubs and if the detail was published it would be simple for the trade to accept.
It has been published that during the last 12 months all DVSA field staff have been equipped with new mobile phoned and new laptops, yet practically all paperwork regarding Site Assessment Reports and disciplinary interviews are still completed in almost intelligible handwriting - and in the case of Site Assessment Reports three page duplicating paper, and you can guess who gets the bottom and most indistinct copy. Agreed VEs (if that is what they are still called), are now detailing their corporate e-mail addresses on these forms, but it is no progress if that detail cannot be read.
If VEs cannot be trained to use this modern (?) technology why do the DVSA expect Testers to adapt to all the requirements of the DVSA via MTS.
Testers and the MTS system
When MTS was launched it was said to be the Minimum Viable Product – MVP. At a trade meeting it was described as being 'like a bare Christmas tree' and that as time moved forward would get all the adornments added to it. It is believed that the trade would agree that this has happened. However DVSA keep adding these decorations so that soon, to continue the allegory, only country mansions would have the space to house the tree!
Experience shows that the majority of Testers do not like, nor understand the use of multiple links, and consequently log on and off, tick anything that requires acknowledgement, and ignore all else. It is time that the MTS system was adapted to become 'Tester-friendly' as at the end of the day they are the biggest users.