The initiative follows calls on fleet managers to beat a path to their boardroom to demand the adoption of an e-commerce strategy, and news that the UK's major contract hire companies are working together to establish a common e-commerce system to serve the industry. Ford expects all its 222 main dealers and their 200 branch sites to adopt the system, and believes many of its 321 retail dealers will also appreciate the advantages of e-commerce.
About 120 fleets running more than 200,000 Ford vehicles used the manufacturer's paper-based Fleet Central Billing service, and Ford expects many small and medium sized fleets to utilise the new 'on-line' facility, particularly given its provision of a multi-franchise solution for all-make fleets. Ford Fleet Servicemanager includes an automated authorisation process for service and maintenance work, but allows fleets to set their own work and spend parameters before a dealer must seek their direct approval.
Fleets wishing to sign up to Ford Fleet Servicemanager face an initial fee depending on their fleet size, subsequent charges of 2.5p per vehicle per month, and a £1 fee per transaction. They will also have access to the 1,600-strong garage network that has already installed the Translease system.