September 20, 2022
Many companies are now looking for a broader approach to finding a mobility partner – one that digs deeper into the mid to long term fleet strategy, business model and supplier resources as it leads to better travel choices for the company. employer and driver.
Now is a greater opportunity than ever. The demand for rental mobility is increasing and incorporating new travel requirements, as the manufacturer market continues to restrict vehicle availability, at least in the short to medium term.
To implement this approach, we see five fundamental questions that fleet and travel managers are increasingly asking of rental companies to shape a better conversation about business travel:
1. What is the three to five year requirement? Is there technology to help us map locations, vehicle types, and trip patterns, as well as reduce exposure to duty of care?
The data enables the transformation from ‘rental as a service’ to ‘mobility as a solution’, allowing providers to tailor a travel plan to meet your needs. Can the supplier help you capture it?
The proposal can include a mix of long-term rental, use of on-street or dedicated car club vehicles, electric vehicles, carpooling and alternatives to pool cars. It may also recommend the introduction of software to measure, sort and qualify vehicle demand, potentially reducing mileage and journeys as well as risk management.
2. What is the vehicle investment strategy? Is there an evolution plan according to your needs, including a migration to electric vehicles?
Check what the rental company’s vehicle acquisition strategy has been over the last three, six and 12 months and make sure there is sufficient supply to meet your needs.
Eventually, we may well see an oversupply of vehicles once again. However, check that companies are adapting to a new and pivoted market that is certainly not going to change drastically in the coming months.
3. What are the physical resources and capacity?
A more distributed workforce, with some employees working from anywhere or from multiple locations, means vehicles need to be located close to where they live and work.
How far are the nearest automobile club branches and vehicles? Are there branches open on Sundays and weekends? How many vehicles are available for automated rental 24/7, all year round? What is the plan for expanding the network with new branches and expanding services at each site?
4. How will your team provide the support and expert advice we need?
The shift to electric vehicles is just one of the factors explaining the importance of the human touch in the rental process. Everyone is experiencing a global talent shortage, and many organizations see automation and AI as an opportunity to downsize their workforce.
How does the lessor react? How committed is it to creating long-term careers for its employees? How does the company provide training and encourage excellence in customer service?
5. Is there sufficient capacity and resilience in the face of the ongoing VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity?
In an increasingly uncertain world, there is much more than costs to manage when it comes to business travel. Can your rental partner help you with the decarbonization program? Do they have the product range you need and a local and global footprint? Is there evidence of innovation and new approaches to mobility that will drive efficiency and create more opportunities?
Paul McCorkell is Commercial Leasing Director UK and Ireland at Enterprise