“Reviewing the current supplier market for fleet management service providers in Europe, there is not the one-size-fits-all solution,” says Tobias Kern, senior consultant at Brussels-based global fleet consultancy, FleetVision, who has recently rolled out its rightsourcing fleet management program on behalf of an international fleet client.
This client had an offshore solution in place, where an internal fleet management team was centrally managing all operational fleet processes. The background to the tender process was to assess alternative fleet management concepts with the key focus on establishing the most beneficial solution in terms of service quality for the drivers, internal costs, and strategic support for central fleet responsibilities. FleetVision was subsequently appointed to manage the process, supporting the internal tender team as a neutral partner.
Overall, it is FleetVision’s underlying approach to rightsource the service partner, which supports the execution of the client’s daily operations and overall fleet strategy. Since “sweet spots” between providers are diverse, it needs a thoughtful selection process about the best fit towards strategic items such as sourcing concept, funding patterns, process complexity, invoice handling, cost control capabilities, market coverage, and supplier network management. From a general perspective, decisions between the engagement of an operational fleet “administrator” and a provider with true fleet “management” capabilities need to be defined.
Tendering for fleet management means rightsourcing a qualitative process, not just a quantitative management fee. This implies a double focus, where the financial competitiveness plays one part and the process capabilities and service quality plays the other. With the qualitative focus, the complexity of the sourcing process increases, since non-tangible capabilities need to be evaluated and compared. For this purpose, FleetVision has developed a specific decision matrix, which is applied throughout the RFP phase. Supplier presentation meetings help build an objective basis for an enhanced decision process for their client project teams.
Additionally, a clear service specification of the requirements is vital for the RFP process. Based on FleetVision’s experience, they support their clients to help “translate” the fleet management process into a clear service specification by using the supplier’s “language” along typical service components. Only a precise outline of key elements in detail will allow a qualified comparison of the proposals, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Hans Damen, Managing Partner for FleetVision adds: “Clear SLAs with an outstanding set of KPIs were negotiated and agreed, which enabled our client to measure objectively agreed upon service levels along strong performance indicators. This provides a strong foundation for a sustainable supplier management program and filters potential noise out of the sales cycle. These key values are embedded in every engagement on behalf of our customers”