Fleet News

Managing your company cars: Controlling rental costs

By Neil McCrossan, CEO, Nexus Group - An extract from the Managing your Company Cars book edited by Colin Tourick and produced in association with Fleet News

Please introduce yourself and your company

I have been working in the vehicle rental industry for more than 30 years.

During that time the UK corporate and fleet daily rental industry has become the most sophisticated and service led in the world.

Daily rental has proved itself to be a cost-effective and efficient means of assuring staff mobility and underpinning client propositions for corporate and fleet users when working in partnership with the correct rental provider.

I led the management buy-out/buy-in of Nexus Vehicle Rental in 2008.

Since that time the business has focused on the investments in people, systems and strategic acquisitions necessary to deliver high-quality service propositions and drive the very significant growth the business has experienced.

Nexus provides rental supply, rental management and software to a range of business users large and small, for customers ranging from fleet companies across the spectrum that are using rental strategically, to end-users from the private and public sector utilising rental services tactically to support staff mobility and travel requirements.

We also believe that managing the use of daily rental needs to be a transparent process.

Our class-leading IRIS rental management suite of applications enables our customers to transact rental efficiently knowing that each transaction is placed with the appropriate supplier and that the open system is providing all the monitoring and data necessary to support good decision-making and maximum control over service and cost.

Our customers are unique. Each has their own requirements and preferences which we recognise and support. The one thing our customers have in common is access to our huge supply chain which ensures we can provide the right vehicle at the right time at the right price. From the mundane to the bizarre, Nexus provides.

Readers may be unfamiliar with your type of business; you are not a traditional car rental company but you work for fleet managers and help them get the best arrangements from rental companies. How exactly does that work?

The UK daily rental industry has created the processes and systems to provide highly-effective customer support. With a reduction in the number of companies operating in the sector – and the commercial pressures facing every organisation – we have seen even more focus on customer service. There has also been a real commitment to continued investment in the right technology and systems to deliver great customer service as cost effectively as possible.

Companies like Nexus are at the heart of that innovation. We are facilitators – working with rental companies and our customers – which mean we can focus on our customers’ requirements without having to spend time or resources managing fleets or locations.

We work with a myriad of suppliers – from the biggest to the smallest – which means we can offer customers the widest possible choice.

No one company can match what an organisation like ours provides. Of vital importance is the relationship between facilitators such as Nexus and the operational rental companies.

Buyers need to be sure that they have secure access to a genuinely comprehensive supply chain offering a wide choice of vehicles. This requires a combination of international, national, regional and vehicle specific rental companies.

Customers need to secure the right vehicle, the right service, the right location at an agreed rate, and increasingly this means having access to a multiple supplier platform that is easy to access and manage.

For example, at Nexus we work in partnership with all the major rental companies in the UK as well as more than 80 local, regional and specialist providers.

This means we have access to a UK fleet in excess of 400,000 vehicles including more than 80,000 commercial vehicles to meet all the vehicle rental needs – no matter how bizarre they may be – of our customers, from one-day-one-way to 90-day plus.

And that is another important facet of organisations like ours. Because we have access to the majority of rental vehicles from national and local suppliers across the country we are not afraid to have some vehicles tied up for long periods of time.

For businesses that is vital – they need to know that if they need vehicles for extended periods there won’t be any penalties.

Great choice and service has to be backed up by effective online tools for reservation management. Certainly working with facilitators like Nexus means businesses don’t have to shop around to find the right vehicle for their needs, in the right location – and at the best rate.

It can all be done from the desktop – and there’s usually a high level of control in terms of managing rental usage, tracking the activity of individual renters and keeping a close eye on costs.

Cost always matters. Customers should look for a rental management and supply business that can deliver advanced service propositions, no transaction charges and cost benefits through its greater purchasing power with the rental industry.

The best solution for clients will be providers that deliver great systems combined with human expertise. You always need both so it is best to source from one provider.

It’s a compelling proposition and one that more and more organisations are turning to in preference to using a single supplier.

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