Losing the company car will hit managers' morale
With the recession biting down hard on most organisations, news of the latest major UK business to replace its existing company car scheme with a ‘one-size fits all’ policy isn’t entirely unexpected (Whitechapel trims ECO fleet offering, Fleet News, August 27).
Depending on the size of the business, this sort of move can potentially save a company millions of pounds per year – but at what cost to management morale?
Maintaining and boosting staff motivation and self-esteem is a considerable challenge for most companies at the present time, with many bonuses and benefits being cut back or eliminated all together.
Employees are feeling the pressure to work harder and deliver more, particularly at senior management level, and need to have the confidence and belief in the importance of their role at the company in order to produce the necessary results.
It’s also vital for businesses to cut costs and reducing expenses will be a key driver for many organisations.
But such a blanket change to a company’s fleet policy could have catastrophic effects on its ability to retain top executive talent, in addition to leaving the business more vulnerable to risk from the grey fleet.
If a cash allowance is offered as an alternative, it’s extremely likely that the company will see a considerable rise in its take-up, enabling the employee to make their own choice of vehicle while distancing the company even further away from control over aspects such as maintenance, servicing and compliance.
Companies will need to review policies governing grey fleet management, as well as take steps to consider ways of supporting human resources and morale, in order to ensure that budget busting initiatives such as these don’t end up actually costing the company more in the long run.
Phil Peace, director of sales, Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions
Market forces dictate change
The trend for businesses to concentrate on their core markets continues to grow.
Large suppliers have a resource geared up for high volume and are best suited to serve large customers.
Conversely, smaller businesses (such as ours) provide the more intimate levels of service needed by the smaller fleets and must remain ready at all times to step in and satisfy the demand.
It’s simply another case of market forces dictating change.
David Lacy, Fleet Department
Importance of DVLA checks
Regarding your story on ensuring foreign drivers are DVLA registered (Fleet News, August 27), there are other significant advantages to the employer and to the driver.
For example, the DVLA checks licences sent in with a D9 (a form for non-GB licence holders) and weeds out forgeries.
There are quite a few of those in circulation and because drivers are on record with DVLA their identity and licence can be verified when stopped for a motoring offence by the police, which may well save them being arrested.
It also makes accepting a fixed penalty much easier, which avoids a trip to court where the penalties tend to be very much higher.
Edward Handley, WRRS Consultancy