Identifying ways in which we can reduce costs for our customers is a key part of a fleet analyst’s role. We spoke to Alison Bebbington, fleet analyst , who told us more about how the team works to understand where efficiencies can be made for each customer. Read more…
“Each day is different, as there’s always so much activity going on within a fleet”, explains Alison. “The most important skill you can have is the ability to build strong relationships with your customers and manufacturers, as well as internal support teams at Lex Autolease, because of the number of different departments you have to speak with to fulfil a customer’s request!
“Many of our customers are currently looking at where they can make savings. With rising costs, model changes and the transition to electric vehicles, a lot of my time is spent reviewing policies, or working with manufacturers to review discounts and discuss new model launches.”
“Policy benchmarking is an important part of my role as it allows us to give our customers the data and insight they need to overcome challenges they’re facing. Because we work with such a wide range of businesses, we’re able to anonymously compare data to understand how a particular customer compares to others within its sector.”
Alison shares the example of a customer who received employee feedback that their choice selection was limited compared to their competitors. “To understand whether this feedback was founded in truth, we carried out an anonymous benchmark review against six other businesses in their sector. This revealed that while three grades were on par with their competitors, two were not.
“This was a key issue for our customer to resolve from a recruitment and retention perspective, but there wasn’t any additional budget to use so we had to consider other solutions. We then looked at their benchmark mileage against the actual mileage and found it not only to be significantly higher than the industry average but also more than their drivers were using. Our recommendation was therefore to reduce the mileage, which improved the vehicle choice in line with their competitors, without spending anything extra.”
It’s unsurprising that over the last two years, the mileage covered by drivers has reduced and the move to hybrid working is changing the way fleet cars are used. As such, it’s important to review contracted mileage and ensure it’s being managed effectively. Alison explains: “As fleet analysts, we review the pooled mileage forecasted balances on an agreed period to ensure that the year-end balance is not predicting a charge. Over the last 18 months, running these figures has saved our customers an average of £1,112 per vehicle.”
For those customers who order every vehicle on the benchmark mileage and are continually forecasted a credit balance within the excess mileage agreement, we recommend that they consider changing this. Instead, we suggest that drivers quote on the benchmark mileage which makes the order process fair for all drivers. Once the driver has selected their vehicle the order is placed on the mileage covered by the driver.
By operating in this way, the customer pays a lower rental from day one. Alison shares an example: “one vehicle was quoted on 20,000 mpa but ordered on 15,000 – generating average savings of £3,544 per vehicle over a four-year contract.”
Alison also regularly negotiates with manufacturers to make sure her customers are getting the best deals. In one instance, this included carrying out a full manufacturer review and handling the tender process on her customer’s behalf, meeting with manufacturers to understand what they were able to offer in terms of new models and lead times. Alison says: “this allowed me to put together clear recommendations for my customer on the best manufacturer to use – and each manufacturer also offered an additional average discount of 2 percent, which soon added up.”
Alison concludes: “We always strive to go the extra mile for customers, whether that’s by working with manufacturers to get the best possible deals, or helping them provide additional flexibility for their employees, such as a trade up option that allows an individual to pay more towards a vehicle they want, without it costing the business any more money. For us, our role is a collaborative one that provides our customers with the cost savings they’re looking for.”
The examples provided are based on customer’s individual circumstances at a specific point in time. Similar benefits/savings may not be achievable by other customers due to a variety of different circumstances and factors, and these examples should not be construed as a guarantee of the benefits/savings achievable.