Fleet News

DHL points way on multi-country deals

One of Europe's biggest fleets, DHL Worldwide Express, has issued a series of guidelines it recommends companies follow to ensure the successful implementation of a multi-country fleet deal.

The courier giant has just signed a major pan-European fleet deal for 13 countries and is now in the process of sourcing suppliers for the Americas and Asia Pacific. The company's global strategic cost director Peter O'Brien will make his recommendations to the DHL board in June.

O'Brien told congress delegates that the biggest obstacle companies face when attempting to implement major supply deals is a lack of backing from senior management.

'There has to be a clear mandate that this must happen from senior management,' he said. 'If not, while it may start well, the programme will not succeed in the end.'

Factors that need to be in place while preparing for the introduction of a European fleet strategy, according to DHL, are:

  • A clear mandate of support from senior management, with agreed objectives.
  • Regular internal and external communications.
  • A commitment to effective resourcing for the project.
  • Access to fleet cost data to create a clear baseline of existing costs.
  • A process for agreeing standardisation of specifications.
  • A tender document that is clear and in a format that suppliers can work with.
  • A clearly defined negotiation strategy.
  • An approval process at the highest level.
  • Resourcing for successful implementation.

    Delegates also heard that it was vitally important for DHL employees to be kept up to date on any developments involving the consolidation process.

    'It meant that no one could say they were not involved from the start,' said David Brennan, a consultant with AT Kearney, who helped DHL implement the European deal.

    O'Brien said that reaching an acceptable standard vehicle specification for each country was no easy task but that local buy-in to the project, for example the fleet procurement programme was sponsored by the managing director for DHL in France, ensured an acceptable outcome was achieved.

    DHL stands to reap substantial cost-savings now its pan-European supply deal has been implemented successfully, delegates heard.

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