Mobile internet world needs agile fleet solutions, says Sofico
But, in this new mobile information race, how leasing and fleet management companies respond to these demands will set them apart and give them a competitive edge in a mature and congested marketplace.
So says global fleet software solutions experts, Sofico, whose systems manage around 700,000 vehicles worldwide – more than any other current leasing and fleet management solution provider.
Sofico argues that to be able to meet these new on-line generational requirements, in which information will need to be available through a variety of remote access devices to keep drivers and fleet managers in touch and informed, fleet suppliers such as leasing and fleet management companies require the very latest in sophisticated, flexible software solutions.
And it is here where many existing legacy systems, often inherited through acquisition, merger or takeover, lack the architecture, modern technologies and inherent flexibility necessary to support the need for on-demand information and to deliver true multi-channel, high-value customer service.
Roger Smith, head of Sofico UK, believes that several leading UK contract hire and leasing companies are already moving ahead in providing information in this way for fleet customers, to the extent that the rest of the leasing industry will need to respond quickly simply to keep up.
‘However, many are held back by high cost systems and increasingly unwieldy application landscapes. They are in real danger of being left behind in this new mobile information race,’ he said.
‘With the advent of mobile internet, telematics and mobile and smart phone Apps, the thirst for information is relentless and increasing, but to fulfill that need, leasing companies require flexible, modern and fast fleet software solutions that don’t require major investment when opening them up to multi-channel use.’
Roger Smith added: ‘We are aware of some leasing companies who are spending heavily on developing web and mobile internet based systems , when a total back-office and fully web enabled modern solution like our own Miles system is readily available for far less.
‘Why sink costs into a technologically obsolete, rigid application environment with high on-going costs, low flexibility, inherent complexity and poor multi-channel support capabilities, when a modern, agile solution is already out there?’
Sofico’s second generation Miles software system was launched in the UK last year and is currently being implemented at two UK leasing companies, with ongoing discussions with several more. It is built on internet technology and provides a platform for delivering interactive services in a way that is totally complimentary to leasing company back-office operations.
Miles is particularly flexible in supporting changing business processes through its integrated end to end Workflow Factory and also in facilitating the introduction of new products and services. It is an open solution which can readily receive and utilise fleet information such as mileage readings, driver behaviour and telematics data.
On top of this core capability, Miles also allows leasing companies to add their own differentiators and competitive advantage into the system through a suite of configuration tools.
The system also delivers real business efficiencies, as existing users can verify. Take Deutsche Leasing Fleet, for example, which operates 130,000 vehicles in Germany on behalf of corporate customers. The company implemented Miles some two years ago and has since seen some impressive benefits.
For example, the improvement in productivity that the Miles system generated was at a level no-one had initially predicted, with a 5% increase in managed contracts per full-time employee after 12 months, which grew to an 11% increase after 18 months and a 14% increase after 24 months, far exceeding the original targets.
The company also saw improvements in invoicing efficiency, end of contract calculations and reporting capability, as well as being able to extract and present far more detailed information about its fleet customers than had previously been possible.