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CFC predicts software business acquisitions

Date: 10 July 2008   |   Author: Tristan Young

Toughening economic market conditions will lead to takeovers within the fleet software market, according to the new boss of CFC Solutions.

Speaking to BusinessCar, Neville Briggs, who became managing director of CFC earlier this year, said: "There will be consolidation in the fleet software market in the next few years. Some providers are not giving people what they want. It doesn't matter if those systems are slightly cheaper than ours; if it's not going to deliver, it's no good."

Briggs went on to say that this situation was a "fantastic opportunity" for CFC, adding: "We would be acquisitive if the right situation came along. And we do see [businesses] on a regular basis."

Without naming anyone, Briggs also added that some of CFC's rival fleet software firms were not as big as their profile claimed.

The news comes despite parent firm Pendragon announcing job losses in its main dealer group core business.

Meanwhile, CFC Solutions, which scooped best fleet software firm in the 2008 BusinessCar Awards, is piloting a new version of its Contract Manager software for leasing firms ahead of a launch later this year.

Contract Manager 4 sees the firm switch to a centralised server system accessed over the internet, rather than the previous system, which was based on customers' computers. Among the advantages of the new system are that any necessary upgrades can be performed remotely and customers don't have to buy expensive hardware to run the systems.

The current version of Contract Manager is used by six of the top 50 leasing firms, one of which is sister business Pendragon Contracts.

Briggs, who has overseen a £1m spend on central systems, added the server-based set-up, with secure access over the internet, would be the way forward for the fleet software industry.

Briggs believed CFC Solutions's systems can help fleets weather the credit crunch: "Fuel and oil cost increases aren't going to go away. However, there is so much that can be done to help, providing you've got the data to make the right decisions. Our systems bring everything together to run a fleet effectively."