Blue Poppy

Fleets within fleets

The word ‘fleet’ suggests an amorphous, singular mass. Taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach creates efficiencies, but today’s complex business environment demands a more sophisticated approach.

The structure of many leasing and rental companies is changing as customers demand a more complex array of services.

Once upon a time you could reliably offer diesel for higher mileage and petrol for less business-critical vehicles. Now companies have to think about numerous external factors, and apply them to each and every car, van and employee.

Are they going to drive in clean air zones? What is the tax burden for perk drivers? Where does electric fit into an operation? What parts of the fleet should be on short, medium or long-term contracts? Is there a salary sacrifice opportunity? This list is getting longer every week...The truth is that one size seldom fits all.

BVRLA members are increasingly taking the approach that every business has fleets within its fleet, with each needing to be supplied and serviced differently. The end result is that leasing and rental companies are spending much more time in consultation with their prospects and customers.

As a consequence of this, traditional departments are being restructured along new lines, with each company having its own approach. The driver behind this change is technology.

Increasingly sophisticated fleet management and mobility systems, telematics and data analytics are enabling firms to develop more complex digital offerings that, when combined with more flexible funding and supply arrangements, can deliver for any fleet.

Much of this technology is now available off-the-shelf, at a reasonable cost, so there are opportunities for all rental and leasing companies.This increase in options means that there is more time and cost per tender or transaction at the front end, but there are major benefits.

While getting a signature on the dotted line is costlier, customer loyalty is commensurately higher, as relationships become far more symbiotic rather than transactional.

Another bonus is the increasing maturity in the people leasing and rental companies are employing. They are better trained and more experienced, with higher levels of customer service and business knowledge.

Just when its customers need it to, the sector is evolving into a heavily consultative, service-led industry, ever more integral to its clients’ future succeses.

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