“We are excited to welcome Brad to the team. His industry experience, passion for clients and dynamic leadership ensure continued innovation and growth for our teams," said Merchants’ Chairman, CEO and President Brendan P. Keegan. “We look forward to working together on strengthening our strategic solutions and market position to keep our clients at the forefront of fleet."
A tenured fleet industry professional, Burgess has more than two decades of experience in selling value-based B2B service solutions to Fortune 500-1000 companies as an individual sales contributor, regional, and national sales leader.
Previously, Burgess served as vice president of commercial operations, marketing, and global relationships at Element Fleet Management, “where his strategic mindset and robust understanding of the rapidly evolving fleet market established him as an industry leader,” Merchants officials noted.
In an interview with Automotive Fleet, Burgess provided an overview of his new role at Merchants Fleet and described his vision the future of the company’s strategic solution team and its product offering.
Burgess will oversee sales for Merchants fleet business in addition to the strategic solutions team, which, he said, includes four major strategic functions: innovation, product development, electrification, and strategic consulting in the industry.
His team will focus on “providing solutions to clients to address all their needs, helping them stay on the cutting edge of fleet while addressing their challenges today.”
The product development team under Burgess will concentrate on “keeping our offerings best-in-class in the market and bringing new solutions related to technology, electrification, market expansion, and more.
According to Burgess, Merchants plans “a few new offerings in the EV space that will solve many of the considerations when it comes to EVs.”
In his experience with company fleets, he has learned fleet customers value “service, flexibility, innovation, proactive support, and more. It’s important to me that clients are the number one priority, and Merchants is focused on that.”
Burgess told Automotive Fleet he views the top three challenges facing fleets are continuing supply chain issues, the impact of inflation, and electrification and other emerging technologies. Fleets, he has observed, want to work with experienced, trusted professionals. What’s more, they have an increased need for flexibility and desire innovation and proactive support, said Burgess.
Burgess noted that Merchants has “thrived” during recent disruptive times — growing 38% during the COVID pandemic while the industry declined —because the company “turns challenges into opportunities.”
“Every challenge creates an opportunity for innovation — and we are well positioned to be nimble to the needs of our clients — we offer them support for what they can’t do themselves,” observed Burgess. “Everyone is being asked to do more with less; Merchants has a great opportunity to be the partner who can support them and create value in unique ways.”
He cited the company strengths in dealing with industry challenges, including “thought leadership with incredible people and experience; flexible offerings that don’t force clients into a box; innovative product and technology solutions; high-touch service with assigned client representatives; and strong funding to support clients over the long term.
Among Merchants’ newest offerings are TotalConnect, a connected vehicle platform providing efficiency-improving data and insights to fleet clients, and ChargeEV products, for which the company will debut three new solutions to “further simplify the charging equation,” Burgess revealed.
A two decade-plus industry veteran, Burgess believes his new post is “the right next step because Merchants aligns with what I believe it takes to win for clients, employees, and partners. Each client needs something different, and we are positioned to respond to those needs.”
According to Burgess, Merchants is a values-driven organization, with a broad set of services, offering one source for all fleet needs, including mobility and commercial sales. The company’s leaders employ a “long-term vision regarding technology, electrification, and tailored solutions to tackle the many current supply chain hurdles.”
In driving end-to-end fleet electrification solutions, Burgess said the company “meets clients where they are in the transition and fuels innovation in products, technology and process.”
Quite simply, Burgess said he appreciates Merchants’ focus on “culture, people, and providing a great experience for all the people we impact.”
Creating value for clients ultimately “creates a competitive opportunity for them to win in their own businesses — and that’s what gets me to the office every day. To create value for those who trust us with their business,” Burgess explained.
“Creating collaborative partnerships has been the cornerstone of my career, and I am thrilled to be joining the Merchants team to explore new ways of driving competitive advantages for our clients, employees, and supplier partners,” said Burgess.
Burgess steps into the role at Merchants as the organization plans for the retirement of Senior Vice President of Sales and Strategic Solutions Tom Coffey. “On behalf of the Merchants board, executive leadership team, and the entire Merchants family, we want to thank Tom for his Hall of Fame career, extraordinary leadership, innovation, and friendship over the past decade,” said Keegan. “We wish him and his family a very happy and healthy retirement.”