Time to consider outsourcing your fleet?
BT Fleet provides answers to the concerns an operator might have about outsourcing all aspects of fleet management
1. Which areas of fleet management is it possible to outsource?
It is possible to outsource all aspects of fleet management, dependant on operational requirements and contractual arrangements. Many organisations have adopted this approach to release financial and people resources to focus on core business areas. Look for a provider that has the scale, resilience and experience in managing and delivering a seamless transition of services particularly when you operate a complex commercial vehicle fleet.
2. Which internal departments need to be involved in a decision to outsource?
The decision to outsource fleet management is a strategic one and should include procurement, finance, operations and the fleet team as a minimum. Other stakeholders to consider are HR and your drivers. When outsourcing, it should not detract from the service you provide to your customers; especially in the case of mission-critical commercial vehicle fleets.
3. Is there a minimum fleet size before outsourcing makes financial sense?
Fleets of all sizes can benefit greatly from outsourcing. However, it’s important to identify the elements you can outsource and those you need to retain in-house. This will also impact on the level of savings that can be generated. At BT Fleet, we have saved customers over 20% on their SMR spend when they’ve outsourced this element to us.
4. How can a fleet assess the value of a prospective outsourcing arrangement with suppliers, rather than simply appointing on price?
You need to understand what value your outsourced supplier will bring. This comprises their expertise, innovation, buying power, and the process improvements they can introduce.
5. What are the advantages of a fixed cost fleet management contract against a pay-as-you go agreement?
The obvious reason for choosing this approach is for managing cash flow and forecasting spend. However, at BT Fleet we operate a pay-as-you-go model, as we believe this gives customers full visibility of costs. In addition, with maintenance spend typically skewed towards the second half of a vehicle’s age, this means you aren’t overpaying in the early years.6.
6. How can fleet customers be sure that their outsourced fleet management supplier will apply the same rigour to cost control as they do internally, so they can be confident their fleets are being run efficiently and cost effectively?
This should be an offered by any leading fleet management supplier. Agree the contract KPIs from the outset and the penalties for failing to meet them. The KPIs could include vehicle availability, MOT pass rates, driver satisfaction and the amount of financial savings achieved. This is an approach we proactively offer to all our customers.
7. In-house fleet managers will strive to minimise the downtime of their own vehicles. How can they be sure that outsourced fleet management suppliers won’t leave their vehicles at the back the queue for service, maintenance and repair?
The garage itself is a focal point of any SMR strategy.
The infrastructure should allow the rational and timely use of skilled technicians and be able to introduce technological innovations where appropriate. This can allow the garage to out-perform both manufacturer and third-party benchmarks, and is most likely to be achieved where fleet operators work in partnership with a dedicated fleet management company, making best use of the latter’s expertise and economies of scale.
Making sure commercial vehicles keep up with operational demand is a constant challenge for fleet managers, particularly when the fleet is operating at close to maximum utilisation.
This is where fleet operators need an SMR provider that can work with them seamlessly and proactively to reduce the pressure on fleet owners and managers, freeing them up to focus on core business. BT Fleet’s garage network is unique within the fleet industry, allowing us to demonstrate total expertise combined with nationwide coverage, ensuring vehicles are available when needed.
8. How should company car and van drivers be involved in assessing the performance of an outsourcing supplier? If drivers are accustomed to a personal service from their fleet manager, won’t outsourcing leave them with the frustrations of dealing with a call centre?
The move to an outsourced model, when delivered correctly, should not detract from the service experience for drivers.
Whilst it’s understandable that drivers may think they are losing the personal touch, the ability to have 24/7 access to a team is much more compelling.
At BT Fleet, we adopt a hub approach which means drivers have a dedicated team who have a deep understanding of the customer’s operational challenges.
9. What service level agreements and key performance indicators should be applied to an outsourced fleet management arrangement?
Fleet management providers must quantify the impact return on investment. A fleet partner should help organisations meet internal targets in response time, availability and customer service. In addition, we recommend you agree compliance measures particularly for O-Licenced vehicles where the testing and servicing regimes are much more stringent.