Three experienced fleet managers presented ‘Why suppliers fail’ to delegates at the Fleet News Industry Conference.
Liz Hollands, fleet manager for DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, Caroline Sandall, fleet manager for Barclays, and Richard Rose, operations manager for Astra Zeneca, revealed a number of weaknesses in suppliers’ customer service and suggested ways of addressing the problems.
Complaints ranged from poorly-trained or demotivated staff handling customer queries to suppliers not really understanding a customer’s core business and how that dictated specific needs.
Caroline Sandall said data generated by suppliers’ systems was not always accurate. Richard Rose told delegates: ‘When it all goes pear-shaped, give us solutions and see it through.’
Andrew Leech, sales and marketing director of cfc solutions, asked: ‘With so much emphasis here on customer service, why do decisions still come down to price?’
The conference agreed that fleet managers struggle to convince procurement and finance departments that short-term savings might not be in the long-term interest of the company.
Many of the points covered in the debate form the 10-point criteria for the Fleet News Suppliers Charter. For more information on the charter, click here.