Fleet News

Fleet policies must fit varied national needs

COMPANIES need to create stand-alone international fleet policies to cover Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) because of the unique challenges they will face, an international fleet management expert has warned.

Businesses attempting to simply take international fleet policies from Western Europe and copy them will run into serious difficulties, warned Jorn Deichmuller, international purchasing manager for chemical and pharmaceutical group Solvay. He has spent the past few years creating an international fleet policy for Central and Eastern Europe.

Even writing a unique policy to match the demands of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) could fail because of stiff resistance from employees in the affected countries, he warned.

Deichmuller, whose company runs 7,000 vehicles worldwide and 5,000 in 32 European countries, with 1,448 in CEE, said: ‘It is not as simple as copying your policy from Western Europe to other pan-European agreements. In addition, countries won’t change without acceptance, you can’t force these things through.

‘You also need to be flexible, because what might be a good solution for the Czech Republic might not be good for Russia.

‘It would be great to have a single car policy for CEE and the rest of Europe, but I think that is a long way away.’

The Solvay Group
Founded: 863
Headquarters: Brussels
Employees: 30,000
Sales 2005: Euro 8.5 billion
Fleet worldwide: 7,500
Fleet EU: 5,000
Fleet CEE: 1,448
Source: Solvay

Fleet management in CEE

Dos

  • Work hard on the issues and react flexibly.
  • One car policy for the CEE region.
  • Use international contracts.
  • Change suppliers if necessary.
  • Work with lessors.
  • Allow individual national solutions where needed.

    Don’ts

  • Don’t try to copy your Western Europe policy – it won’t work.
  • Don’t change without the support of each country and local management.
  • Don’t try to change everything at once. Work steadily country by country.
  • Don’t rush – find the right solution over time, rather than changing and then correcting mistakes.
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