Global consolidation is a reality that many companies frequently face in today’s internationally focused society. As a fleet manager, you may find yourself managing a global fleet sooner than you think.
In the final part of this Q&A series, Esther Calvo Bolaño of LeasePlan International discusses emerging trends for companies at a local –and global—scale.
As companies seek to make their operations global, what should be a priority?
I believe centralization of corporate activities should be top-of-mind. Many multinationals are looking at the fleet category from a global perspective in order to create more efficiency and streamline supply chains. For the coming years, we expect to see global fleets continue to centralize internal expertise and local best practices. The need to improve management processes and increase focus on business value will also further the trend of outsourcing. Fleet operators need to be looking for experienced, global partners that keep on developing as the market becomes more complex.
What does taking an operation to a global scale mean in terms of technology?
First, it means the company will need reliable data. It will require global reporting systems that can provide data from all the countries in which the company operates. This will enable the global fleet manager to make decisions in different areas, such as cost control and reduction, TCO development, CO2 emissions and alignment in terms of policies and processes. This will increase the need to combine different data (HR, or risk-related data), which brings new and potentially valuable insights and possibilities. It also brings new demands of expertise in terms of data protection and related legislation.
What trends are you seeing in global fleets that local fleets should consider?
• Sustainability. There is an ongoing trend of corporate initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions, with Europe in the forefront. Despite the high cost, many companies in all global regions remain fully committed to achieving sustainability targets, especially multinational corporations. There is an increasing number of global and local fleets establishing emissions baselines and working on developing ways to select the right vehicles to reduce these baselines.
• Safety Programs and Training. There is an increasing request for a standardized safety program everywhere the company operates. Of course, this program would need to be developed in the local language, and take into account local regulations and practices. Furthermore, multinationals are also focusing on changing specific driving behaviors to improve fuel economy, reduce operating expenses, decrease emissions and promote safe driving.
• Vehicle & Engine Downsizing. The ongoing fleet trend to downsize to smaller engine displacements is global, primarily occurring in Australia, Europe and the US. This involves not only vehicle class size and engine displacement, but also right-sizing the overall fleet size. Ongoing developments in engine technology now allow downsizing to a smaller engine without impacting the fleet application. In addition, vehicles are being kept in service longer due to increased vehicle quality.
If you’ve recently become responsible for managing a global fleet, or would like more information on how to better prepare, visit LeasePlan USA’s global site.
Esther Calvo Bolaño works as vice president international sales for LeasePlan International. She is responsible for developing strategic international relationships with multinational companies headquartered in the Americas and APAC. She has more than 10 years of experience in operational leasing services and has worked in The Netherlands, Spain and now the United States over the past 16 years. She started her career at LeasePlan in October 2006 in Europe and moved to the United States in 2014.