Debbie Wallace's blog: Planning ahead will help the fleet manager have a relaxing Christmas break
03 December 2021
Europcar Mobility Group UK's head of SME offers advice on working with mobility supply partners to reduce delays as we head into a new year.
2021 was a bit of a bumpy ride and with supply chain issues set to continue well into next year, businesses that rely on their vehicle fleets need to plan ahead.
Whilst none of us can second guess what life might hold in store for fleet managers in 2022, a few well-placed plans now could save a lot of time and frustration in the new year.
Access to new vehicles will no doubt remain challenging, with longer than usual lead times. And with the record-breaking prices being achieved for used vehicles, the 'pre-loved' vehicle may not be a financially viable option for many SMEs either. Add in the ever-quickening drive towards low emissions vehicles, plus the new regulations that surround the growing number of clean air zones across the country, and there are a lot of balls for fleet and business travel managers to juggle.
Working closely with supply partners and setting out mobility requirements for the next year - or even longer - as early as possible can help to mitigate some of the problems. Here are just a few things to consider when you are thinking about future fleet requirements:
- Build up a relationship with your mobility supplier - talk to them about your requirements so that they can understand how your business works. Getting in early may give you more choice of vehicles.
- Pinpoint seasonal shifts in the number of vehicles needed. This will help to avoid vehicles sitting around idle or finding yourself without the right vehicles during busy periods.
- Anything special? What type of vehicles do you need? Will they require any modifications or adaptations so that they are suitable for the job? Do you want access to low-emission vehicles that are compliant with clean air zone standards?
- How long do you need vehicles for? This may help identify where a mix and match of different acquisition models could work, from car use by the hour to rental as well as outright purchase and traditional leasing.
- Would an on-demand fleet meet the needs of your business drivers? Car sharing solutions based at your office can add another layer of flexibility.
Suppliers will want to do everything they can to keep your business moving, but with so many challenges facing the mobility sector at the moment, it is vital that you talk to your partners now - don't wait until the last moment.