The journey from fleet manager to leasing company executive is a well-trodden path: many have switched, attracted by the ‘bright lights’ of working for a contract hire provider.
However, it’s not one-way traffic; occasionally the reverse journey takes place, with someone bringing their leasing and fleet management knowledge to a fleet.
That was the case with Richard Tiffany, global fleet director at Rentokil, the Fleet News Awards 2013 fleet of the year for 1,001-plus vehicles.
Tiffany earned his spurs at Interleasing, Lombard, ALD and, latterly, Lex Autolease where he was part of the bid team which won the tender for Rentokil’s business in 2007.
That contract involved the sale and leaseback of 4,000 vehicles with Tiffany working as the dedicated strategic account manager.
At the tail-end of 2012, Rentokil started to reassess its fleet operation, looking at a European structure and head-hunted Tiffany to become European fleet director.
Within three months his role had widened to become global fleet director as Rentokil sought a fleet policy covering all its markets from Asia Pacific to America within a centrally-managed resource.
Fleet News: What is the key priority for the global fleet strategy?
Richard Tiffany: At the moment I believe we do a good job of managing the metal, i.e. all fleet running costs outside of a driver’s behaviour. Our key global objective for 2014 is to manage the matter, i.e. the brain matter of a driver and how they can improve our risk statistics, lower our CO2 and reduce cost through fewer repairs and fuel use.
Managing the driver is one of the most challenging areas of fleet management and using tools like telematics, fuel exceptions and strong fleet management data helps us deliver new driver policies.
Keeping it simple is the key; it’s about intelligent exception reports to identify the people who are behaving the best and the worst to help us control the variable spend and to make people accountable.
The aim across all countries is to ensure Rentokil management colleagues receive one-page push reports which clearly identify the areas of focus within their cost centre.
FN: What are the steps to achieving this?
RT: We need to bring together data from different sources – leasing company, risk company, fuel reports, and telematics – into a simple report to give us the bigger picture.
My experience is that fuel cards provided by lease companies are normally more expensive than a direct fuel deal, but in many countries, such as Australia, America and South Africa, the fleet management company offers strong discounts via Shell or Caltex, so the MI reporting is more joined up.