The key to successful procurement is understanding exactly what your customer needs and having the supplier relationships in place to deliver, according to Neil Dixon, head of procurement at LeasePlan.
“Some customers will want a one-stop shop, some want to pick and choose, while others will be more price focused,” he says.
Dixon is responsible for the procurement of SMR services, tyres, breakdown providers, accident management and repairs, rental, glass repair – everything but the physical purchase of the car.
“I buy everything except the vehicles which is a bit strange for a fleet leasing company,” he says.
“Procurement is about looking at the vehicle for the duration of its life and everything that falls under that, as opposed to just buying the vehicle.”
Dixon has been working in procurement for the past 30 years.
He started his career buying boats and life vests and progressed to helicopter procurement and Tetley Tea before joining LeasePlan five years ago.
He heads a team of 23 people that works across three core areas: procurement, supply management and technical.
Procurement helps to get the best pricing, supplier management looks after the relationships with key suppliers and the technical team makes sure the work that is done on the vehicles is correct and priced appropriately.
The procurement process
LeasePlan’s procurement process starts by understanding exactly what a customer’s needs are.
Dixon and his team work closely with the commercial team to understand each individual company.
In most cases there will be a pool of suppliers to choose from, and the one selected will be based on price, location, service and availability.
“There is not a one-size-fits-all solution and what we are trying to ensure is that we have all the right products and suppliers in our toolbox to meet the customer’s needs,” says Dixon.