Fleet News

Fleets return fire over Axus outsourcing claim

FLEET decision-makers have hit out at claims that their operations could be run more cost effectively if outsourced. The managers, speaking at the Midlands regional meeting of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, were responding to recent statements made by Axus managing director Brian Taylor.

He said that fleets could save thousands of pounds simply by cutting out time-consuming paperwork. The vehicle leasing company boss said fleet managers could make savings of more than £20,000 a year on a 100-strong fleet by cutting out the processing of invoices through an outsourcing agreement.

Taylor said that fleet managers need not fear losing their job but could pass on the administrative burden, leaving more time for other matters. But this met with hostility from fleet managers at the ACFO meeting. David Percival, manager of Morris Material Handling's 129-vehicle fleet, said: 'If saving money on invoicing is the main way companies are attempting to encourage outsourcing, then I do not think we have too much to worry about. A fleet manager's job does mean constant pressure to make all sorts of savings, and £20,000 is nothing compared to what we are looking at cutting at the moment.'

Steve Rhodes, who runs Rank Leisure's 1,200-strong fleet, agreed. He said: 'I have spoken to many outsourcing companies and on paper it may look like money savings, but this isn't always the case. For instance, always check that the rates they are quoting are not the rates an 'individual' might pay for a particular service. Fleet managers can often negotiate very favourable rates with a local garage if it knows it is going to be servicing a car a day. Just check the figures.'

Some fleet managers, however, have said they had found outsourcing accident management beneficial to the running of the fleet. Peter Babbage, Transco's fleet manager, is one. He recently estimated that the administrative costs for his 10,000-strong fleet were slashed by £1.5million through an outsourcing agreement with PHH Vehicle Management.

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