Marcio Hociko
Director of Operations
View from the Top

Transparency, Attentiveness and Experience Fuel Leasing Success

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 15:24

Q: What were the key operational decisions that facilitated LeasePlan’s rapid growth in recent years?

A: LeasePlan has been primarily focused on customer service, which was the key success factor behind our growth. The company has also introduced international products into Mexico, helping us to stay ahead of the competition. For example, our customers have access to online portals for invoicing, for displaying the status of vehicles, and for all of their operational needs. This kind of product has been implicit in our success, and is directly related to our customer service goals. In addition, we should soon have 26 people within our call center, almost doubling our previous size. We want to enhance the quality of contact with our clients, which led to an additional focus on internal training. Our training program covers internal procedures and the entire suite of products that the company offers. This is repeated once every quarter to ensure that our employees are constantly learning and improving to offer optimal customer service.

Q: What are the main benefits of the Open Calculation concept?

A: Transparency is the driving force behind this concept. Open Calculation allows us to share the profits that we gain from maintenance, tires, and our Residual Value program. Our commitment is to offer a car for a specific price, but with Open Calculation we will share the profits at the end of the contract. During the contract lifecycle, we will follow the costs and suggest fleet programs that focus on the needs of the customer, which are generally oriented twoard cost reduction. Some customers are dubious of the program and question how we could make any money if we are sharing our profits. In response, we simply explain that their success is our success too. This is because if we commit to share the profit, we also commit to reduce our clients’ costs. The lower the costs they have, the more profit they can gain with the buffers of maintenance and residual value. This is how we build trust with our customers as we work with them to increase the performance of their fleets.

Q: What are the main difficulties in applying gestoría given the regulatory environment in Mexico?

A: The main challenge is that rules vary across the 32 states, so we need specialists that know the rules for each location. Finding that information from each state was tough, but we are improving our processes each year and growing this service quite well. Everything that we learned we have put into our processes, guaranteeing that the knowledge we are developing will be used far into the future. LeasePlan is the only company that offers gestoría services as a standalone product; our competitors only provide it within a package. Our strategy was to offer solutions to clients that were not convinced about fleet management, but still required assistance with gestoría. These services are quite bureaucratic and complicated, normally presenting a headache for fleet managers.

Q: How advanced are LeasePlan’s telematics systems in terms of service and maintenance notifications?

A: The two types of telematics systems are GPS, which is not linked to the vehicle’s computer, and OBD, which is integrated into the car’s system and can be monitored by LeasePlan. The choice of which system to use comes down to the needs of the customer. If they just want to reduce accidents, control mileage, and track the car, we deliver the GPS system. If there is a need to access in-depth information about the vehicle’s performance, then we can also provide OBD solutions. The data that we collect allows us to provide a broader range of services to our customers, but it also helps to reduce costs, allowing us to be more competitive in the market.

Q: What new launches is LeasePlan planning in terms of telematics, and what else does the future hold for the company in Mexico?

A: While we are in a pilot phase right now and intend to launch a full proposition for telematics that includes management reports for reducing costs and monitoring driving behavior by the end of 2015, and we aim to offer more features in telematics during 2016. Our customers want us to help analyze the data that is obtained, while also recommending ways in which that data can be used to reduce losses in time or fuel consumption, which can further translate into reduced insurance costs. We are also launching a free mobile app in Q4 2015 that will allow drivers to track the status of the car and monitor maintenance requirements. Drivers that use the cars for operational tasks can use the app to request maintenance instead of calling our call center, resulting in a more efficient service. They can also view the dealer network in their area and their maintenance history, which will prove to be very useful when the car has an issue. The app will be packaged alongside our other services at no cost to our customers. The next phase of the company’s operational strategy is to be recognized as the leader in fleet management and driver mobility solutions in the Mexican market, as well as reaching the target of having 20,000 units in operation by the end of 2015.