Paul Barker's blog: 19 May - Why are we still talking about whole-life costs? (1)
19 May 2015
We had a debate at BusinessCar HQ after Deputy Editor Tom Seymour came back from the recent ACFO seminar.
The conference was dominated by speakers talking about why fleets should base policies on whole-life costs, and our debate centred around how we covered it and how newsworthy the whole thing was, because this feels like a topic those in the know, and I include this publication in that, have been talking about for years.
But it's clearly still not happening, and it's harder and harder to understand why, as there's now so much evidence and data that can help make the case.
There's always a variance in the quality and microscopic nature of how different fleets are managed, but if industry experts are saying those operating a whole-life cost policy are in a minority, then it's something that needs to change.
It's a concern that the message isn't getting through, and the reducing number of pure fleet managers isn't helping, although you would have thought that outsourcing to leasing companies would counter the reducing levels of expert fleet managers within organisations.
A good leasing company should be helping a fleet operate the most cost-efficient policy possible - not just helping it maintain whatever status quo the company had previously settled into - and my fear is that many companies have lost the expertise in their own vehicle fleet to even be asking the right questions of their suppliers.
It takes a bit of work to make a whole-life cost policy effective, but it's work that every company should have somebody tasked with doing because of the potential financial savings.