“The award is an interesting way to learn”
This year again, Fleet Logistics is a sponsor of the runner-up of the Global Fleet Manager of the Year award at the Fleet Europe Awards. “Getting recognition is a great result for your efforts,” says Carola Ehrhardt, Director of International Client Quality at Fleet Logistics. We asked her for her company’s perspective on global fleet management, on the awards – and on its acquisition by VWFS.
What do you see as the top trend in global fleet management?
Because of the challenges posed by globalisation, we see customers shift their focus towards bigger fleet management suppliers – similar to the consolidation trend in leasing. Especially in Europe, there’s much more focus on green fleet topics like CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, plus e-mobility. Suppliers need to deliver on those KPIs, on top of consolidated financial data. Also, they have to answer the increasing demand for strategic advice, due to the massive changes in our industry.
Just how global are you yourself at Fleet Logistics?
With 380 employees and more than 30 years of experience in fleet management, Fleet Logistics Group today services fleets and delivers transparency across borders, for both national and international customers, and this all over the world. There’s no limit on the industries we target, but typically our fleet clients are players in Pharma, Medical Equipment, Food & Drink, Consumer Goods, Machinery & Tools, as well as the Software and Hardware industries.
We offer a wide range of products: from Strategic Consulting to Global Reporting to Fleet Care, or Fleet Management product. We offer tailor-made solutions for every customer need. This means we are a one-stop-shop service provider, able to offer global support to our clients.
Fleet Logistics is now part of Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS). What has that changed for you?
We’re still in the phase between signing and closing. Final approval from the anti-trust authorities is still pending; but we have picked up positive feedback from the relevant authorities regarding our European business. All parties are working towards quick closure of the agreement. Until the deal is finally closed, we’re not allowed to disclose any market-related info – and that includes our strategic relation to each other.
Independent from the timing of the agreement’s final closure, what can you say at this moment?
One thing is clear and agreed among our shareholders: we’ll preserve our independent and neutral approach and keep our USP to offer the best solutions to our clients.
Even after the deal with Volkswagen will be closed, TÜV Süd will remain an important shareholder of ours. Both VWFS and TÜV Süd agree the success of Fleet Logistics is the fact that we can offer our customers manufacturer- and financer-independent mobility services. This independence will continue to be an essential driver for the future growth of Fleet Logistics. That will not change.
What can you tell us about what will change?
For our fleet customers, VWFS is a new partner whose focus on mobility means we’re now able to offer them significant added value in this area. We plan to adopt the existing business model of intermodal mobility in order to offer additional services in this area in the near future. We have agreed to retain brand neutrality of our vehicle portfolio and also our objectivity towards leasing companies.
As at previous editions of the Fleet Europe Awards, Fleet Logistics is sponsoring the Runner-Up in the Global Fleet Manager of the Year category. What’s your advice to companies hesitating to participate?
Receiving internal and external recognition is a great result of efforts taken in the past. Putting forward your candidacy for the Global Fleet Manager of the Year Award is really worth the additional work, and I can highly recommend it to those who are considering it.
What are you hoping to see this year’s candidates for the Global Fleet Manager of the Year focus on?
Today, everybody’s talking about Mobility Management – I’m looking forward to learning how candidates manage to combine Travel and Fleet Management, how they put Mobility Budgets into practice in their internal car policies, which supplier offers provide them with the most added value, and how they balance cost efficiency strategies with driver satisfaction needs. Beyond that, the award is an interesting way to learn which considerations and investments companies need to make to respond to the upcoming challenges of the emerging new mobility paradigm.
The registration process for this year’s Global Fleet Manager of the Year Award is closed, but you can still register for the Fleet Europe Summit – the annual meeting place for the fleet industry’s best ideas and networking opportunities – and find out who won at the Fleet Europe Awards, which will close the Summit.