Sharon Goodridge-Milford and her family formed Goodridge Milford Funeral Directors in March 2011 but the company’s history stretches back through generations of funeral directors. Their heritage lies in the Goodridge Milford Funeral Home, and – like their predecessors – they serve the West Midlands. Sharon and her brother-in-law Winston explained how important the selection of their very first fleet was to the company’s future.
“Although we all have a great deal of experience in the industry, Goodridge Milford is only a few years old,” said Sharon, “and every business decision is close to our hearts. Earlier this year, it was time for us to purchase our first ever fleet of vehicles.
“We already knew we wanted Mercedes Benz vehicles, but hadn’t chosen a supplier, nor had we decided on the exact model of vehicles. We were very fortunate to connect with Kevin Smith and family at Superior UK, who guided us all the way.
“We’d seen the Binz hearse, and preferred it over the traditional Mercedes Benz shape for a funeral vehicle. We actually discovered Superior UK through an internet search. Shortly after sending our first enquiry, Kevin got it touch. The speed and personal nature of his contact set the tone for the relationship.
“From that very first phone call, Kevin was very helpful and accommodating, He told us history of the company and explained all the differences between the Binz and trade Mercedes Benz hearse. We were confident that we’d made the right decision for Goodridge Milford.”
The decision may have been made, but there was a lot more that Superior UK wanted to do to ensure Goodridge Milford were confident in their decision to purchase a Binz fleet.
“Kevin invited us to Superior’s HQ and workshop near Reading,” said Winston, Sharon’s brother-in-law, and the partner who oversees operations and fleet. “We were able to view all of the cars and look around them at our leisure.
“After that first visit, Kevin kept in regular contact. We were given first refusal when a suitable fleet became available, and I visited Superior UK with Sharon’s two sons, Marquell and Kyle, to be shown the exact vehicles. The cars were pristine, and we felt very reassured.”
Kevin at Superior assisted further by handling Goodridge Milford’s exact specifications, pairing the vehicles, transferring number plates, and even assisting the funeral firm with obtaining vehicle finance.
“When it came to delivery, we gave Superior a very small window of time,” recalled Winston. “We actually needed the vehicles here with just 24 hours notice. Kevin was able to meet our deadline and delivered the vehicles to our door well within the 24 hours. In fact, I was a bit embarrassed, because he was there waiting for me when I turned up to work at 8:30am. And I live locally! That really impressed me.”
As always, Superior UK delivered the customer vehicles by specialist covered transporter. “The handover went like clockwork,” said Winston. “Kevin and his team were brilliant, went through every detail of the cars and showed us around them. We are all delighted with them; we couldn’t ask for better vehicles.”
“It’s Winston and my sons who are driving the vehicles,” said Sharon, “but I can tell they are beautiful to drive. It’s difficult to think that they’re not brand new, because they drive like new and the condition is excellent. We’ve received very positive feedback from families: they love the look of the cars from a distance, and then once inside they comment on the quality and how smooth the journey is.”
“The condition of the cars was always important to us,” explained Winston. “Appearance, safety and visual appeal is key for us and for our families. We haven’t had any issues with the cars, but we know any after-care from Superior will be great, and it’s reassuring to know that the post-sale support is there.”
Goodridge Milford are now looking for additional fleet vehicles and have once again turned to Superior UK for assistance. “It certainly strikes a cord with us that Superior UK are a family business too,” said Sharon. “The close working relationship between Kevin and Peter is noticeable and it’s something we can understand and appreciate.”