Daimler Fleet Management (DFM) is challenging the conventional approach to fleet management – and it’s doing so with considerable success.
Like many fleet management companies, DFM offers funding and fleet management services for fleets of 20 or more cars and vans. However, while most suppliers deliver a set of pre-selected, standard products, DFM works with their customers to create bespoke solutions that drive greater efficiency. This flexibility extends to the vehicles they provide too; DFM will recommend and fund any make or model - whatever is the best choice for the customer’s business. It is a truly multi marque solution.
Customers benefit from a dedicated account manager, who takes a collaborative approach and will start by understanding their business challenges before recommending a solution that saves money, reduces downtime, and meets environmental targets.
A stroke of genius for Crown Paints
One of the biggest names in the decorating industry Crown Paints has given its merchandising team a high quality, professional makeover by setting them on the road in its first Mercedes-Benz vans.
DFM had been working with Crown for the last eight years and in 2016 was awarded sole responsibility for funding and managing its high-profile customer’s entire fleet of 170 cars – most of which are Mercedes-Benz – as well as its 130 vans.
Crown commissioned 15 Citans after DFM undertook a thorough and wide-ranging analysis of its requirements. DFM Fleet Sales Manager Scott Chambers made a compelling whole-life cost case for the Mercedes-Benz vans, which was then corroborated by the week-long trials of two demonstration vehicles he arranged for members of his customer’s team. This recommendation was based on Crown’s top priorities – reducing their environmental impact while still getting excellent value for money.
The Mercedes-Benz Citan range incorporates a number of fuel-saving BlueEfficiency measures as standard, including the ECO start/stop function (which turns off the engine whenever the vehicle is stopped in traffic, then restarts it as soon as the driver depresses the clutch), low rolling resistance tyres and optimised alternator and battery management systems.
After taking Crown’s downtime expenditure into account, DFM also offered to provide replacement vehicles when one of Crown’s suffers a breakdown and is not back on the road within an agreed timeframe. This typifies DFM’s approach: instead of asking Crown which products they wanted, they worked with them to find out how they could make their fleet more efficient – then carried out the steps necessary to make it a reality.
Care and attention
For Tricia Wolfe, General Manager at DFM, this ability to start off with a blank sheet of paper and build new solutions that drive efficiency for clients has become second nature. When asked about DFM’s approach, she said:
“It’s all about care and attention. Our specialist team build trust with our customers by listening to their needs, and taking a realistic view of their existing fleet. That means asking the right questions – questions that get to the bottom of where their inefficiencies are, and finding out what will work for them.”
“After we’ve defined the strategic approach, we drill down into more detail. We’ll analyse everything from whole life costs to C02 emissions before we make our recommendations – considering every make and model available until we find the most appropriate fleet structure. Through our experience and innovative approach, we’ll often find savings in unexpected areas.”
Once the fleet is in place, DFM continues to monitor the vehicles to ensure they’re as efficient as possible– all with the aim of reducing downtime and fleet spend. Whether it’s speed of response, a wider range of services, or a combination of both, DFM identifies the issue, and delivers solutions that create a better fleet for their clients.
DFM recently strengthened its offering further when parent company, Daimler, acquired European leasing and mobility experts, Athlon – a move that extends their cover across the whole of Europe with a combined portfolio in excess of 350,000 units. With their expertise, experience and innovative approach firmly in place, DFM is set to go from strength to strength.
DFM are challenging fleet decision makers to spend just 60 seconds telling them their most important objective. Whether it’s reducing C02 emissions, cutting total cost of ownership, improving vehicle reliability, or enhancing employee retention. Visit our website now to take part.