Fleet Management Companies Buid TrustMon, 09/01/2014 - 13:16
Almost twenty years ago, two companies, both leaders in their fields, began a partnership with one idea in mind: to provide integrated fleet management and leasing solutions to meet the needs of hundreds of highly sophisticated companies operating in Mexico. The result of this partnership, between US based Automotive Resources International (ARI) and Mexico’s Corporación Zapata, was the creation of Ariza de México (Ariza), a 50/50 joint venture which, after 20 years, has become the absolute market leader in Mexico. “Our strategy has been to provide integrated solutions that help decision-makers maximize the contribution of their fleet to the achievement of each customers’ strategic goals, while minimizing the costs associated with it,” says Carmen Dávila, Director General of Ariza. “Back in those early years, the concept of outsourcing in general, and fleet management in particular, was not widely spread in Mexico. Therefore, we devoted a significant amount of time and effort to explain the substantial benefits that could be obtained from an integrated approach to managing fleets: whether it was a distribution fleet composed mainly of light and heavy trucks, or a sales and executive fleet of consisting of cars, Ariza could always help customers drive costs down, avoid an unnecessary head count, and strengthen control of their fleets.”
Over the years, Ariza not only grew at an accelerated pace, but realized that as customers began to enjoy the benefits of this new approach to fleet management, they also started to recognize new areas of potential improvement related to their fleets. It is here where Ariza has focused much of its attention over the past several years. “One particular capability that we have developed, is the possibility of customizing our service platform to address the particular and always evolving needs of each customer,” says Dávila. Ariza’s fleet management solution embraces every single stage related to a fleet of vehicles. That is, from the initial analysis and selection of the ideal vehicles, through each and every aspect of the life of each individual vehicle, including purchase, delivery, insurance, maintenance, all taxes and regulations, accident management and recovery, and finally the vehicle’s disposal. As well as offering all these services to fleets of any size and composition, Ariza provides coverage throughout all of Mexico.
“Along the way, we identified that one of our key customers’ concerns was achieving transparency in their most critical processes,” says Dávila. As a result, Ariza devoted significant resources to develop web-based applications through which its customers can trace all of Ariza’s processes, and many of these in real time. Ariza has also unearthed opportunities in the extended use of data by providing customers with substantial and meaningful information to help them make better decisions regarding every aspect of their fleet.
One of Ariza’s key differentiators today is the very thorough reports that it makes available to its customers, many of them specifically tailored to their particular needs, with the objective of providing a foundation for continuous improvement and timely decision making. “As our customers’ challenges have become ever more complex, so has our list of fleet management offerings. We are always alert, close to our customers, and listening constantly, which enables us to be flexible, adapt, and create new services,” comments Dávila. “One clear example is the new set of initiatives that we have designed to support our customers’ ever more critical compliance and corporate governance practices. Among them, we have implemented a whistleblower line known as Ariza’s Ethical Line, which is operated by an autonomous third party, and supervised by our Board of Directors´ Audit Committee.” Other examples include advising its customers on changing government rules and regulations, tax efficient alternatives to direct ownership, fuel smart card solutions, and carbon footprint measurements. In today’s ever more global environment, Ariza can also provide seamless global support through ARI’s own infrastructure in Europe and a very extensive network in Asia, Australia, and Ariza’s own direct expansion into Latin America. “At Ariza we think that the struggle between flexibility and control can be effectively managed: we help our customers build as much flexibility as possible into their fleet management processes, while still maintaining sufficient control,” concludes Dávila.