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Lex offers new services in audit and benchmarking

Date: 19 September 2017   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Lex Autolease is currently piloting two new services - grey fleet audits and a fleet benchmarking product - that are expected to launch before the end of 2017.

The former will see the leasing giant introduce assessments for businesses operating grey fleets, the purpose of which is to detect risky practices by drivers using their own vehicles.

"We've been piloting a grey fleet mobility audit recently, which involves doing an audit of customers and helping them identify areas of risk, and telling them how to mitigate some of that risk," Lauren Pamma, Lex's head of fleet consultancy, tells BusinessCar.

"Our first couple of customer reviews have thrown up some quite interesting and surprising findings. We looked at a customer recently and found one employee driving around in a 40-year-old Rolls-Royce claiming business mileage, people in motor homes - really, things that are outside policy."

The second product will involve cross-referencing a fleet's data with that of other, similar businesses, to highlight areas that could be improved with a view to cutting costs.

"We're the largest leasing company and we've got probably just over 380,000 vehicles on the fleet now, so we've got an awful lot of data about how people drive and what the cars do," adds Pamma. "We're really trying to use all that data now, so we're piloting - and hopefully rolling out later this year ? a benchmarking proposition.

"We've got quite a breadth of customers and all sorts of segments, which should mean that for almost any customer, in almost any industry, we've got a reasonable sample size to compare them to, to help people drive out cost."

The service will comprise what Pamma described as "operational benchmarking" and cover elements such as damage, fines, maintenance, manufacturer discounts, mileage, CO2 and policy. 

"It's really just looking at all sorts of areas of the operation and the data we've got, and saying 'You're a retail business and they're a retail business. Are you structured in a way that means your guys are all coming back with £500 worth of damage and, actually, this company's are only coming back with £100. Is there something in their policy that's acted as a way to help them look after their cars better and reduce costs?'" she says.

"We're trying to use the data and actually apply the insight to it; so what is it that's causing that cost, and how can we help you help your drivers drive better and
save money?"

Additional sources such as telematics data may also be included in the assessment, should the fleet in question have them, and amalgamated into a management system. "At some stage, we will look to get the data in from telematics devices as well, so we can link it into driver behaviour.

We'll start to use all of those different data sources and present that back in one interactive dashboard, where you can drill into the data and work out which driver it was, or if it was particular departments in the business that you've got an issue with, and what you need to do."

Pamma says the size of Lex's fleet meant it was "bound to have at least three or four other customers who are either in the same industry as the customer who's being benchmarked, or they're the same sort of size, or they operate in the same geographical area.

"We haven't just got 20,000 vehicles where we might have one relevant competitor and we've got to scrabble around to find the data. We've got that breadth and depth of fleet data to make benchmarking really meaningful," she says.

Neither product has a formal name at present, though they are expected to launch in the final quarter of 2017. Pamma says there will probably be an additional charge for the grey fleet audits because they are "outside of what we would normally do". But, she adds, the benchmarking service may be included in standard leasing packages for existing customers, and potentially offered as a stand-alone, additional service.  

"In theory, benchmarking should be something we can do for business that we don't already have as customers. Whether that's definitely in the plan has not been confirmed, but there's no reason that we couldn't do that, as long as we could get the data for that customer in a similar format, and then we could compare it to our own," she says.