Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s donor coach fleet is important for a variety of reasons. It enables blood to be collected at mobile drives, provides a comfortable environment for donors to give, attracts new donors and connects the organization with the community by showing the faces of real donors and recipients on the vehicles – all of which are important reasons to keep them up-to-date.
In the last two years, five coaches have been refurbished. The refurbishment process takes two months, and is headed by the organization's Vehicle Maintenance team.
The process requires collaboration between multiple departments, and a lot of coordinating with outside vendors. Although it can be strenuous, it is important to ensure that the fleet is improving along with the organization. If you ever wondered what exactly goes into the refurbishment process, the steps are as follows.
Step 1: Vehicle Maintenance coordinates a schedule with the vendors who will be responsible for various aspects of the refurbishment process.
Step 2: Vehicle Maintenance coordinates with the Marketing Department for the new graphics, which feature the faces and stories of individuals from the current year’s marketing campaign. The Management Information Systems and Mobile Services departments remove all equipment from the coach – computers, terminals, TVs, etc.
Step 3: The coach is sent off to the selected millwork vendor, the first of four in the process. The millwork vendor removes all cabinets from the coach and replaces them with new ones.
Step 4: The coach is then sent to the second vendor in the process – flooring. This vendor removes the old flooring and replaces it with new flooring and sheet metal.
Step 5: Next, the coach is sent to the body shop. The body shop will paint the inside, repair any damage done to the inside and outside of the coach, including the front and rear steps and everything cosmetic.
Step 6: The coach is sent to the graphic shop – the final vendor in the process. The graphic shop wraps the coach in the new graphics that were provided by the Marketing Department.
Step 7: The coach is returned to The Blood Center where Vehicle Maintenance does a complete inspection of the coach. They check the lighting, A/C units, install small amenities, decals, etc.
Step 8: Mobile Services reinstalls the collection supplies, and MIS reinstalls all the terminals and cables to ensure that all electronics are functioning properly.
Once the process is completed, you get new and improved model that has become a lifesaving staple in the community.
Coach #25, pictured here, is the latest coach to undergo improvements, and we think it looks great. Check out the photos and information about our recipients Jacob and Kisa, and donor/volunteer Ron, inspiring people as they pass on the highway!