One of the most ambitious but clear goals was set out by President John F. Kennedy when he stated that ‘this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth’.
In terms of shooting for the stars, the goals of fleet management company FMG Support are just as ambitious. It is positioning itself as a competitor to the stellar brands of the AA and the RAC.
Competing against such huge, well-known firms is almost as ambitious as it comes in the world of fleet and reflects the range of services and support the firm believes it offers to businesses and their motorists, captured in its description of itself as an ‘independent fleet performance improvement company’.
FMG Support focuses on three key service areas, which can be used independently or combined to create bespoke product, depending on a company’s requirements.
Until late last year, the divisions traded under the names AMC, Delta Rescue and Satellite Vehicle Rentals, before a rebrand to FMG Support took place.
It now offers all its services under the single brand, covering fleet incident management, roadside repair and recovery management and rental management.
The key to its service is its wide network of third-party suppliers, all approved for quality and standards set by the firm on behalf of customers.
Fleet customers use FMG Support as a central contact and then service agents are chosen to meet their demands for a particular job, taking into account location, the type of request and any customer specific issues.
The firm prides itself on its relationship with suppliers, which is essential to maintaining its reputation as providing high levels of service, but value for money.
To keep the best suppliers on board, FMG Support has launched a partnership programme in the past two months to encourage repairers to strengthen their relationship with the business, securing supply for customers.
Nick Brown, chief executive, believes this is why the firm can challenge such dominant names in the industry when bidding for contracts.
He said: ‘People have key reasons for buying our services, particularly our pride in what we do and the quality of our services, our ability to exceed expectations, determination to succeed and the intelligent way we approach problems.
‘We thought that if customer views are the same throughout the business, then what is the point in having three separate brands? Our support services, such as fleet incident management, are used by firms including major leasing companies, as white label services. But we want our reputation for quality to mean that our name enhances a company’s offering, in the same way as computer manufacturers are proud to say “Intel inside”.’
As well as the rebrand, the firm has found the demands of its customer base changing, with 65% of turnover now coming through accident management related services, double its share of a few years ago, with an equal remaining share going to rental management and breakdown recovery.
Turnover is expected to reach about £38 million for the 12 months to September this year, compared to £29 million the year before and with high expectations that it will top £50 million the year after.
Its ability to cope with such rapid growth of more than 30% in 2004/05, in addition to 61% growth the previous year, is largely down to its investment in state-of-the-art computer systems to help automate a large part of the management process when dealing with fleets and drivers, based on a common platform called Ingenium, developed in-house with a £2 million investment.
Brown added: ‘One of FMG Support’s unique selling points is that its systems and processes can be adapted and tailored to the specific needs of each customer. As Ingenium is developed in-house, it is continually revised to ensure that it can meet greater levels of required flexibility, depending on what the customer wants. We also can show customers there are more efficient ways of managing their requirements.’
Its investment in technology goes further, as computers record all calls in the call centre, to clear up confusion or disputes by electronically retrieving the relevant conversation, while satellite imagery of every inch of UK road is available to pinpoint crash sites. Its success in accident management in particular is its speed in dealing with the consequences of a crash as quickly as possible, through its close links with customers, drivers and insurers.
FMG Support’s ambition and commitment meant that it won service company of the year from one leasing company in the first 12 months of its contract.
Brown said: ‘We first went in doing loss recovery, then became an accident management partner and now we are in discussions with them about providing our rental system. ‘Just through our focus on the way another fleet dealt with roadside recovery and the downtime of vehicles, we saved one company £125,000.
‘We are seen as the team that comes in from an independent perspective and therefore can take this consultative role on business process improvement.’
FMG support - key service areas