What I’ve learnt: LeasePlan UK's Lesley Slater
Working for a global leasing company
It’s fast paced, constantly evolving and full of positive challenges. More often than not, large corporate clients are now looking to maximise their global scale and purchasing power. I’ve increasingly experienced a desire for product and service consistency across all countries. While it can be tricky to get consistency with some different requirements/maturity, this demand hits LeasePlan’s sweet spot as we are a truly global organisation, represented in 32 countries.
Manufacturers are also becoming more global, and they want to work with companies which have a similar reach. This is a slightly different challenge due to the structure of our relationships, but it is one that we’re more than capable of meeting.
How digital will impact the leasing industry
Vehicle manufacturers, dealers and leasing providers are all fighting for driver attention.
One space where this competition will become noticeably fiercer is digital interaction. When LeasePlan interacts with drivers digitally we know it will be compared to their everyday digital experiences. This means we have to create truly user-friendly interactions.
We are increasingly embracing social media as the lines blur between corporate and retail leasing. Our offer and products are therefore evolving constantly to keep up. Most importantly, I know the experience needs to be consistent, however drivers choose to contact us, so aligning multi-channel digital solutions with service experience is key to success.
Keeping ahead of client expectations
By working closely with our clients’ businesses we have found we are better able to deliver effective work for them. I’ve often found that in-depth client understanding, combined with innovative thinking, is required to meet these challenges and deliver beyond expectations. Fleet policies that drive both cost and suitability have become more and more sophisticated and supporting systems need to be capable of managing this.
Truly exceptional leaders are adaptable. They will moderate their style to suit different people and different situations regardless of what their default or preferred style of leadership may be. I believe that this ability, combined with clear vision, personal objectives and expectations are the key to getting the most out of people and making them feel empowered.
Positive female role models
For me, it’s not about “having it all”, it’s about being able to achieve what you want – to have choices that work for us individually, rather than one inflexible route to success. Positive role models aren’t just the high-powered, public figures but “real” people we come into contact with in our daily lives who inspire in the way they combine their personal and professional responsibilities.
It’s a good idea to have a network of people who can support, influence and inspire us. Role models who want others to succeed and offer advice can be hugely influential.