There is no “one size fits all” approach to outsourcing, according to Lesley Slater, brand director at LeasePlan.
Both LeasePlan and Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions offer a bespoke product rather than a standard model for outsourcing.
This means companies can choose the elements they would like to outsource and what they would like to retain in-house.
Driver management/communication is the most popular element to outsource, says LeasePlan and Hitachi.
“We act as the fleet department as far as drivers are concerned,” Slater explains.
This means that all queries regarding new car orders are directed to the leasing company.
It also handles the road fund licence and P46 and P11 reporting.
This approach can backfire if drivers aren’t educated to contact the leasing company though.
“You don’t want to move to outsourcing and the fleet team is still getting x number of phone calls from drivers,” Slater says.
Driver management also doesn’t work as well in a multi-supply situation with drivers selecting a new car from different leasing companies, according to Slater.
For services such as accident management, a company could choose to go to their leasing provider or direct to a provider such as FMG.
Asda has significantly reduced its downtime and the number of spare vehicles it maintains by using FMG for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, accident management and roadside repair and recovery.
“In the past Asda had high downtime,” John Catling, CEO of FMG, says.
“Through their ‘golden quarter’ – October to Christmas – downtime could be up to 30%. It’s less than 3% through that period now.”
FMG has reduced the retailer’s downtime through proactive work with each Asda store, using Asda’s data on past causes of issues together with its own Ingenium Insight data, servicing and repairing vehicles out-of-hours and managing spare vehicles proactively.
Asda is now doing more orders with fewer vehicles and has a target to reduce its fleet size by 250 this year.
For daily rental requirements a company could go direct to daily rental company, use their leasing company or a rental management company such as Nexus.
Neil McCrossan, chief executive of Nexus, claims that Nexus’s offering is “significantly different” to what leasing companies offer.
Nexus has a supply chain of 150 rental companies and its service includes managing accident damage and fines, invoice verification and management information.
A customer’s service level requirements are loaded on to Nexus’s IT system IRIS , the system identifies a group of suppliers that meet the requirements and have a vehicle available and then considered levels of service and price before confirming the booking.
“If you use two or three different rental suppliers yourself it takes time and effort,” McCrossan says. “With us it’s a single process and a single system.”