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Courier company Yodel has been shortlisted as one of the finalists in the “Best Technology Partnership” category at the 2014 CCA Excellence Awards.

The CCA is the leading independent authority on contact centre strategies and operations. Yodel has been recognised for its new bespoke social media management tool 'Cadence', a powerful Social Media Groupware program for businesses created by Felicitas Media.

According to Yodel, Cadence has increased the productivity of their social media team by up to 150%, including the useful ability to check delivery queues, report driver/customer interactions and route consignments - this all helps to alleviate and resolve any customer queries or complaints.

Picture of Yodel Courier Vans

Dick Stead, executive chairman of Yodel has said, "We’re delighted to have reached the final stage for this prestigious award, It’s deserved recognition for both Yodel and Felicitas Media, who has helped us to evolve our social media service."

This is a massive positive for the independent parcel carrier as back in January of this year they had been voted the worst parcel delivery service for the second year running with up to 58% of Yodel customers stating that they had received a 'bad' experience when using the courier..

Yodel deliver parcels for several big named brands including Argos, Boots, Tesco Direct and Amazon. Customers were given little choice of courier and often had to sit and wait for Yodel to deliver, all the while receiving below average results according to Martin Lewis, founder of

It appears however that Yodel is now on the up-and-up with the inclusion of the Cadence social media program being used by their teams and an obvious turnaround in customer satisfaction.

We wish Yodel the best of luck with the upcoming nomination as they stand against the likes of Samsung Electronics UK, Santander UK, and Serco - LivePerson, all hoping to win the award.

The Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) has been campaigning to parliament for the introduction of a new licence for motor technicians working in the UK motor industry.

Each year more than 2,000 accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance. According to road safety charity BRAKE, in 2011 there were 2,125 crashes, with 52 resulting in fatalities, attributable to inadequate motor maintenance.

The IMI has already received positive reaction to the initiative from numerous leading automotive companies including: AutoGlass, TrustFord, REMIT and Inchcape UK to name but a few.

UK government has stated that in 2015 it will be legal to own and use driverless cars on UK roads. The IMI believes a level of regulation will be necessary to ensure that motor technicians are compliant with the higher standards of safety checks and maintenance works necessary to help guarantee the safety of motorists once these types of vehicles are in use.

Steve Nash, the CEO of IMI, said, “The imminent prospect of autonomous vehicles on UK roads makes the issue of licensing extremely urgent. Service technicians without the proper training are increasingly putting themselves and motorists at risk."

He added that research undertaken by the IMI has shown that "MPs currently see the motor industry as low skilled, low paid and dirty. It is vital that they and the public come to a better understanding of the requirements necessary to work on modern vehicles, especially with a new wave of technology on the horizon".

The IMI is still trying to get this licensing to be made statutory and they may still have some way to go. In our opinion, ensuring that automotive technicians are highly trained, skilled and regulated will help to keep us all safe on the roads.

It is important to make sure that you always have the correct van insurance when driving your van on the road, this may help if you do suffer an accident that was caused by operating a poorly-maintained vehicle.

Autorola, an online remarketing specialist, has been keeping tabs on used van prices over the last six months.

During this period the prices of used commercial vehicles have risen by more than 30 per cent. This means that the average prices of these vehicles have increased to record levels for the third quarter in a row.

Autorola has reported an all-time average price high in the second quarter of 2014. Used prices rose from around £9,605 to £10,513. This is just under a 10% increase of around £907.

White Ciroen Berlingo Van

At the moment this rise doesn't seem to be slowing down and there are a few reasons why it could be continuing.

Neil Frost, Autorola UK’s operations director, states, "More ex-fleet stock is coming back into the used market at 5-6 years of age with higher mileages and in a tired condition, this has helped increase demand for the newer used stock on our platform.".

Neil adds "SMEs are still buying used vans typically under £10,000 as they continue to grow, but struggle to get finance to buy a new van. With the holiday season nearly upon us and with the economy continuing to thrive it will be interesting to see whether prices stabilise in Q3 2014 or continue to rise".

With a continued rise of used van prices for the foreseeable future, one way that van owners are trying to keep some money in their pockets is by trying to get the cheapest van insurance quotes possible. Thankfully they have iVan to help them out with that, so they can run their business instead of browsing for the most suitable deals on cover.

The number of criminals specialising in 'crash for cash' scams involving vans is increasing, according to a recent report by the APU (Asset Protection Unit).

The report states that one third of 10,000 annual crash scams deliberately target vans.

The Asset Protection Unit, which is comprised of former forensic investigators and Police Officers, has shed some insight into why more van drivers are being targeted by these criminal gangs It has been reasoned that van drivers are more likely to be fully insured and, due to their busy work schedules, they may be less likely to dispute an insurance claim.

White Van with Dent

Neil Thomas, APU's Director of Investigative Services and a former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police, stated, "This is yet another example of how criminal fraud gangs are becoming more sophisticated – they are thinking quite hard about exactly who they target on the roads and it’s based on solid logic."

'Crash for cash' schemes are reportedly costing the motoring industry around £130 million annually, with the average value of an incident costing £30,000.

The scam involves a member of the gang pulling out in front of a chosen target and hitting the brakes. This gives the innocent party very little time to stop the collision or react to the situation.

Peter Oakes, Head of Fraud at international commercial law firm Hill Dickinson, has announced that "over 17% of induced accidents are perpetrated by individuals who have previously committed fraud, and they are increasingly turning their attention to commercial vehicles. Data and analytics is the best weapon the industry has against the fraudsters".

The best way to combat these schemes is to ensure that the necessary van insurance is in place and van drivers should always follow the basic rules of the road to maintain concentration at all times.

Volkswagen commercial vehicles has marked the 60th UK anniversary of the legendary Transporter series by releasing a special 60th anniversary edition.

The mainstay of Volkswagens van range since the 1950s, the transporter range has certainly become a cult classic in the world of van enthusiasts.

VW Transporter T1 1950's

The newly announced 60th edition model called the Sportline 60 is set to replace the existing Transporter Sportline model.

This new flagship vehicle is being offered in both short and long-wheelbase forms, with the option of being either a panel van or kombi.

Style is another feature that the Transporter series has always been known to carry in spades and the new Sportline 60 is no different. This Transporter is being offered in either Reflex Silver or Deep Black metallic paint schemes as standard, but there is also a White version that comes with a Black roof.

In addition the Transporter Sportline 60 comes fitted with a colour-coded front bumper with a low front spoiler and a chrome grille. The rear also has a colour-coded bumper plus a roof spoiler and unique rear badge. This all sits on 18" five-spoke Anthracite wheels, and the vehicle is adorned with special decals, black steel side bars, and gloss black door mirror covers.

Volkswagen Transporter Sportline 60

Like the existing Transporter Sportline models, the new Sportline 60 comes packed with high-tech features. There's a Kenwood sat-nav 'infotainment' system with functionality for smartphone mirroring, a DAB radio, CD Player, and iPod and iPhone connectivity is also available.

Don't worry about scratching this new van either, as there are front and rear parking sensors and a rear facing camera for those tricky manoeuvres fitted as standard.

This is all powered by VW's top-of-the-range engine, a 2.0 litre BiTDI 180hp engine that pushes out a maximum of 400Nm in torque. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission, or Volkswagen's excellent seven-speed DSG automatic gear box.

We think that this new Transporter Sportline 60 is a fantastic new addition to the manufacturer's line-up and advise anyone who owns or is thinking of owning one to get the most affordable VW Transporter insurance possible.

Once again Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 60 sten und alles Gute Transporter! (Happy 60th birthday and all the best.)