Fleet News

Lease chief reveals secret of success

FLEET managers need the equivalent of a 'nuclear weapon' in their business armoury to help successfully introduce a pan-European policy, delegates at the Fleet News Europe Conference, in Brussels, heard.

Just like the political world, the nuclear option would be more a threat than a real weapon, so it would be used as a bargaining tool to push through policy changes needed to make a pan-European deal a reality.

Grégoire Chové, director, large corporate group for leasing giant Arval, explained: 'There are several ingredients required for a successful pan-European project and one of those is an empowered fleet manager. It helps to have a 'nuclear weapon' that everyone knows you have so that any strong, ambitious programme can be introduced.'

Such a weapon could be board-level support that could be brought to bear on countries refusing to support change, or the authority to remove people from the project.

In addition to a determined and authoritative person to drive the process forward, there need to be clear long-term objectives, Chové said, along with formalised needs, so everyone is clear on what is wanted, backed by a structured implementation process.

Once the scheme is in place, there needs to be a process to monitor the value delivered in each country.

'If one piece of this puzzle is missing, then a pan-European scheme can not succeed,' Chové said. For those that are successful, the potential rewards of an effective pan-European policy can be huge, he added.

'Requests are increasing and firms are moving towards a pan-European approach. Savings of between 5% and 20% on total cost of ownership are possible. But it needs empowerment and that nuclear weapon to make sure people work so the whole project works.'

However, the market is still growing from a very small base, with Chové suggesting that the total number of true pan-European deals is about 100.

Chové said: 'More firms are moving this way because fleets are looked after by purchasing and sourcing departments rather than just fleet managers. Strategic sourcing techniques are gaining leverage and one of those is to use volume to put pressure on supplier margins.'

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