Fleet Logistics: a fleet solution that grows with its customers

Dynamic fleet services provider Fleet Logistics has undergone a change in ownership. CEO Rainer Laber explains how this gives the company an exciting platform for growth, enabling it to grow organically alongside its valued customers as part of a global enterprise.

Fleet Logistics has been a pioneer in the fleet management industry since the mid-1990s, but since mobility and certification market leader TÜV SÜD bought the company in September, it has found a platform to build above and beyond its prior experience in Europe.

For expanding companies looking for fleet management services, there is now an opportunity to work with a partner that can respond more quickly than ever to the demands of reaching into new markets.

TÜV SÜD is a 150-year-old large-cap engineering company that has focused on testing and certification," says Rainer Laber, CEO of Fleet Logistics. "The periodic testing of cars, rail assets, food, cosmetics and any kind of technical equipment has been its core business, but its purchase of Fleet Logistics is a strategic move to expand its automotive services.

"It has operations in over 60 countries, but its automotive business has had a more European focus, while its other business units are global. The acquisition is a platform to spread its services, and Fleet Logistics was already working to become a real global player. Since the acquisition, we have already expanded our portfolio of contracted cars from 95,000 to 120,000 in 21 countries," he adds.

Ready to respond

Fleet Logistics provides services for companies that operate large fleets, and when such companies expand their business into new territories, they need to set up fleet operations quickly. The obvious solution would be to find a local partner in a new market, but the model for organic growth that Fleet Logistics has under its new ownership means that it can rapidly expand its services to simply extend the existing business relationship.

"If a customer needs access to a market in the Asia-Pacific region, where we are not present, then we can still follow that customer in a relatively short time by funding a new business line for TÜV SÜD."

"We don't work on a partnership with local service providers - we use the organic structure of TÜV SÜD," explains Laber. "If a customer needs access to a market in the Asia-Pacific region, for example, where we are not present, then we can still follow that customer in a relatively short time by funding a new business line for TÜV SÜD.

"We don't have to create a new legal entity in that market, which would be costly and very time-consuming. We can quickly access more than 60 countries through the TÜV SÜD network in this way, which is a big advantage for us and for our customers."

Using this model, Fleet Logistics has already opened new operations in Brazil, the Czech Republic and Poland; there are plans to move into Israel, Turkey and South Africa next year.

"Our customers have fleets in those markets, so they want us to be there," says Laber. "They understand our mission, which is to give fleet managers transparency in order to optimise costs. We have made a lot of changes, but as far as our customers are concerned the business model is the same.

"They see no change at the front end, but internally the world has completely changed. We aim for high-level customer service, but the previous account management system had too many manual elements. Now, we still have the account managers at international and local level, but they are supported by four expert teams that enable account managers to match our services to our clients' roadmaps."

Responsiveness is the key that defines the external model for growth and the internal model for the organisation of skills at Fleet Logistics. The intention is to not only grow quickly with customers into new markets, but also to generate rapid responses from internal teams responsible for managing relationships with OEMs and leasing companies, or maintenance support or managing end-of-contract issues.

"We are not a finance company and we don't ever want to be," says Laber. "We help to build optimised service packages for our customers as a neutral provider of automotive solutions. Under the ownership of TÜV SÜD, we can focus on that and bring that model to our customers wherever they want to go."

Fleet Logistics CEO Rainer Laber.