International fleet policy – 5 proven steps to maximize cost benefits
“Of course we know that economies of scale would mean a considerable cost reduction. But, we haven’t been successful yet in putting an effective global fleet policy in place”,a fleet manager of a global company confided. “Each and every time we try, local preferences and patterns are our major stumbling blocks.”
Question here is: is there a way of turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones? What if we embrace local differences, instead of trying to steer clear of them?
These 5 proven steps are a structured approach to achieve just that and help you maximize cost benefits!
Step 1: Mix ‘n Match – the right team
First off, you’ll need to get a team together with a clear mandate and support of senior management. That’s top-down. To get the support and insights you need from a local level, it’s important to get local people on the team, as well as people from HR, finance, legal, fleet and procurement. This will give you the right balance between international versus national and employer cost reduction versus employee satisfaction. A well-balanced team will be able to decide whether new policy should consist of just a few guidelines or a comprehensive set of rules.
Step 2: Get the most out of best practices
Why reinvent the wheel? Check out what colleagues in other countries do well and use this to establish common best practices. For instance: use your – or your lease provider’s – fleet management information on car choice across different countries to benchmark makes and models. Use these benchmarks to establish your fleet selection.
Step 3: Getting it right – cost benefit analysis
This is one of the tougher steps. It’s all about weighing the costs versus the benefits of a whole range of scenarios. These can include guidelines for fair wear and tear, promoted employees and their right to a higher-grade car, private usage, etc.
Step 4: The human factor – getting employees’ thumbs up
Ever known somebody whose emotions aren’t raised when the topic of company cars is addressed? Somehow, cars elicit emotion. But, resistance or dissatisfaction can be tackled. Be sure to make the how and why behind aligning international fleet policy clear to both your stakeholders as well as your drivers. If you do this effectively, chances are your national fleet managers and drivers will see the benefits and help meet your objectives.
Step 5 – Embrace change
Tomorrow is different from today. Dare to embrace change and keep your international fleet policy flexible to keep pace with market and industry developments, best practices and your corporate business strategy.
From stumbling blocks to stepping stones
Aligning your international car policy is a complex process, but the reward at the end is well worth all the effort. Especially, if roadblocks on the way to developing and implementing such a policy are embraced and used to create common goals and guidelines.