In the UK, a desire to professionalize the running of their fleets has led more companies to look at implementing an outsourced fleet management solution, according fleet management specialist Fleet Alliance, which has seen an upsurge in interest and a wave of new outsourced business wins in recent months.

UK fleet management has become an increasingly complex issue compared to a decade ago, and more companies willingly acknowledge that they are not sufficiently expert in this area to run their fleets as professionally as possible and meet all current financial, fiscal and legal requirements, said Rob Wentworth-James, corporate sales director at Fleet Alliance.

“The increasing complexity of modern fleet management with the need for on-demand, real-time reporting, carbon footprint evaluation, fleet analysis, driver support, license checking, accident and risk management, and other related issues means that it has become a role for the expert rather than the part-timer," Wentworth-James said. “We are talking to increasing numbers of companies which acknowledge that they are not experts in these key areas and that they need to be working with specialists if they are going to run their vehicles as professionally and cost effectively as possible.The demands of modern fleet management require a level of expertise that cannot be provided by those that manage the fleet as an adjunct to their own areas of specialism.This is why expert and professional fleet management providers such as ourselves, with access to the latest technology and the resources to back them up, have become much in demand."

Fleet Alliance has recently won a number of new outsourced fleet management contracts totalling several hundred vehicles, although outsourcing, in each case, does not necessarily mean the removal of the incumbent fleet manager.

“The fleet manager represents the conduit between the company and the expert supplier and has a vital role to play in communications and supplier management,” Wentworth-James said. “Outsourcing in this way makes more sense from a practical viewpoint than removing all in-house expertise, as it provides continuity between company and supply partner."

Many companies have more than one source of funding and utilize several contract hire and leasing suppliers, often through inherited legacy arrangements, which are complex and demanding to manage, according to Fleet Alliance. This is another area where the specialist provider comes into its own, especially one that has the ability to manage multiple funder relationships.

“At Fleet Alliance we are well practiced in working with a multi-funding model and managing a number of funder relationships through a panel of preferred suppliers. This expertise and experience is proving to be invaluable for that majority of clients which select multi-funding rather than solus supply arrangements,” said Wentworth-James.

Fleet Alliance, which manages and funds more than 14,800 vehicles on behalf of corporate clients, said it has seen an upsurge in interest in outsourcing from companies across all industry sectors, running above 100 vehicles.

“This increase in interest has been almost universal in its scope, but it is definitely being fueled by a desire to be more professional in the running of the fleet,” added Wentworth-James.