June/July 2001: One of Europe's largest fleets is looking to cut between 2 million Euros and 4 million Euros from its annual expenditure through a new pan-European procurement programme.
Express delivery company DHL has gone out to tender for vehicles, fuel and leasing services for its 10,000-strong courier fleet.
The initiative is part of a company-wide procurement programme that has targeted nine specific sourcing projects with the aim of maximising savings by elevating procurement to a European or global level.
Last year DHL appointed LeasePlan as its preferred leasing supplier in Europe, and drew up a shortlist of three manufacturers - Ford, Mercedes and Renault - to supply its fleet.
In an exclusive interview with Fleet News Europe last year, Nigel Ward, project manager for DHL's fleet steering group FleetMaster, praised LeasePlan's service levels, but said he had anticipated greater savings from the pan-European leasing contract (Fleet News Europe, June 2000).
Ward has now moved to another role within DHL, and the new fleet project leader is a Brussels-based consultant reporting to DHL procurement programme director Peter O'Brien.
'We have been running a project for a few years that has not been delivering what we wanted it to achieve,' said O'Brien.
'Now we have a new focus under the new procurement programme, and all arrangements are under review.'
In an important development, O'Brien said DHL was moving away from its former de-centralised structure, towards a more standardised and harmonised approach to the market, and he believes this will help to secure better fleet-buying terms, especially from manufacturers.
When DHL has established new procurement arrangements for its courier fleet, the company will turn its attention to its company car fleet.