Ogilvie Fleet, one of the leasing industry’s biggest independent operators, is investing heavily in its IT systems in order to expand its business with larger fleets.
Over recent months it has also signed a partnership agreement with Sixt and opened a base in Northern Ireland as part of its growth strategy.
However, the Stirling-based business told Fleet News it is not interested in losing touch with the ideals that have made it a success up to now.
“We don’t want to grow the business and lose touch with what we are, which is a very good service provider,” says sales and marketing director Nick Hardy.
“It’s a question of careful, steady growth, not quick wins at any cost.”
Ogilvie Fleet had a risk fleet of 9,515 vehicles last year putting it at number 24 in the FN50.
Over the past 10 years it has steadily moved up the FN50 listings.
Gordon Stephen, Ogilvie Fleet’s managing director, says: “The next benchmark for us is 12,000 and when we’re there we’ll take stock of the situation and ask ourselves ‘do we think we can go to 15,000 or are we happy at 12,000?’.”
Gap in market for mid-sized fleets
Hardy believes there is a gap in the market covering fleets between 100 and 500, which he claims have not received the service they deserve from bigger providers.
“If you look at our traditional market, which is up to 100 vehicles, and then you take the 500-plus segment, there is a pitch between these two segments that requires something more than a 50-vehicle fleet, but doesn’t want or need the complications that comes with operating something nearer a thousand vehicles,” explains Hardy.
“They want the enhanced online functionality, but they don’t want to lose dealing with a smaller, friendly, more personable, non-call centre type leasing company.
“There is an opportunity for us to fill the gap with a combination of personal service and the functionality our improved systems can provide.”
It’s a key part of the market, one that is valued by many of the ‘mid table’ FN50 leasing companies.
Ogilvie Fleet has already been successful in winning customers in this area, with nine recent contract wins for sole supply to fleets operating 120-180 vehicles.
Hardy recognises that the recession has played a part in bringing new business to the company.
“Businesses have had to look at their cost base, who they’re employing, why they’re employing them and it’s allowed us to take a big chunk of the administrative burden out of their business,” he says.
“We can help them become more efficient in their particular operation, but not lose any of the fleet management skills they need to run a 150-vehicle fleet.”
But Hardy is quick to add that Ogilvie is not about completely replacing the fleet manager’s role.
“It’s about certain companies being able to use their resources better,” he says.
Investment in technology
Crucial to Ogilvie Fleet attracting larger fleets, rather than the sub-100 bracket it has traditionally been associated with, has been improving its IT systems.
Those improvements have been rolled out over the past three years with the help of software provider Jaama.
Stephen says: “We recognised that the area where we were a bit weak was on our IT side and what we could deliver online, so first of all we delivered an online quotation system which I think it is better than anything else out there.
“It’s simple to use, it’s very flexible and it allows customers to integrate any car policy.”