By Daniela Gamble, Vice President, International Account Management, LeasePlan International
“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity.” ~ Kofi Annan
As more companies begin to consolidate globally, it is becoming increasingly important for local fleet managers to have an international perspective. Fleet partners must also keep client’s global needs in mind in order to provide world-class service.
Today, companies expect their vendors to be aware of industry trends – on a domestic and international level – and be able to advise how these trends may affect their business. This includes the ability to provide guidance, best practices and solutions to drive a return on investment on the assets managed in their area.
Fleet managers are also being held to these higher standards. More and more, they are expected to handle not only the tactical operations, but also the fleet’s strategic priority and direction. To that end, many global companies with U.S. headquarters are turning to the local fleet manager to drive policy across multiple countries. This type of activity only works well if the fleet manager can harmonize policies across the diverse global markets and navigate the differences among the regions.
If you manage a global fleet now, or could in the near future, it’s critical to understand what these differences are. Take lease types, for example, which vary among the United States, Latin America, Europe and Australia. You may find that in one country, the open-end (TRAC) lease is the best fit for your fleet, whereas a novated, closed-end or open calculation lease is a better fit in another region due to your company’s global reporting standards.
It’s smart to also consider market conditions, taxes and, more importantly, the culture of each country, as these elements come into play when establishing your global fleet program. Take some time to identify with each country’s identity, realizing that culture can drive vehicle selection differently in each part of the world. In Europe, for example, vehicles are more of a personal selection. Whereas in the States, vehicles are predominantly work tools, which means companies select them primarily based on the application.
Never say never about the possibilities of going global in your future. It could happen to you. And, if you find yourself in the situation when the fleet you manage suddenly expands to multiple countries, rely on your fleet partner for help. Or, download this tip sheet to get you started on your global fleet program today.
Daniela Gamble serves as vice president, international account management for LeasePlan International. Daniela manages the strategic relationships of all LeasePlan’s major U.S.-based international clients. She leverages her 10 years of global fleet management experience to help clients create synergies and drive down total cost of ownership of their fleet around the world.