CEO Steffen Schick has been at the helm of Fleet Logistics since re-joining the business in December 2019, having previously worked there from 2005 to 2008, including holding the role of Chief Operating Officer. Chief Sales Officer Samuel Kellner-Steinmetz has been with Fleet Logistics for just over a year, looking at sales operations with fresh eyes. Prior to that he worked with the Porsche Bank Group and BMW Group, and has extensive experience in the European fleet market.
Steffen Schick [SSK]: We brought substantial innovation to the market in our first decade and many of these innovations have since gone on to become standards of the industry. A classic example is FleetWIZARD - the first multi-brand configurator launched by a fleet management company.
In our second decade, our focus shifted to regional expansion and operational excellence with considerable success. And during the last few years, we have returned to our roots and have worked hard on becoming an innovator once again.
The recurring theme throughout all these years was that we wanted to provide peace of mind to our clients and help them take the complexity and costs out of fleet and mobility management.
Samuel Kellner-Steinmetz [SKS]: I first came across Fleet Logistics while working with Alphabet several years ago. At the time, they were known as the mediator between leasing company and client, but always acting in the client’s interests – and that is still especially true today. Fleet Logistics has always been seen as an innovator at a pan European level and now has developed an interesting set of know-how and experience across a whole host of different areas and disciplines. Due to our setup we have the ability to be flexible enough to meet the differing needs of the market which has changed immensely in the last 25 years.
[SSK]: Luckily there have been plenty of highlights! About 18 months ago, we agreed our new Managed Mobility as a Solution (MMaaS) strategy and have rallied the entire organisation behind it. This strategy has been instrumental in focusing our resources and driving the required change. And it has started to pay off.
On the customer front, we have been able to attract several large corporates who now rely on us to help them implement their fleet and mobility management strategies, and especially their approach to carbon footprint reduction. As a result, we have seen more growth than in several prior years combined.
Product-wise we have added substantial new offerings to our portfolio. The latest is MobilityFIT, a comprehensive suite of tools supporting the move towards lower carbon mobility, which has had a warm reception by our clients and several large innovative clients have now signed up to it.
MobilityBUDGET was launched in Germany earlier this year and is now generating a lot of interest. Our long-time client, Microsoft, was one of the first to deploy a comprehensive mobility offering, ranging from classic company car, through car subscription models to cash, as well as the realization of our joint pilot around MobilityBUDGET.
Internally, we have strengthened the team with several additions at management level, and have grown our operational teams in multiple countries. In addition, we have substantially upgraded our pan-European IT system and our interfaces in order to support our refined strategy.
[SKS]: In the last 12-18 months, we have seen substantial growth in terms of large, important, new customers, to some extent triggered by the movement to meet decarbonization targets set by governments across Europe. We have developed solutions to help companies meet their decarbonization objectives, such as MobilityFIT which ensures the move to CO2 reduction is steered effectively. While many talk about doing it, MobilityFIT provides the tools to make decarbonization actually happen. It has been triggered by demand from our clients and developed with their close assistance and input.
[SSK]: I would not refer to the new strategy as a change of course, but rather a logical evolution of our strategy and positioning. We have always aggregated complex offerings into more simple solutions, thus enabling clients to get the tailored solution they wanted. Our clients typically seek a specific combination of cost transparency, strategic support and vendor aggregation.
Our MMaaS strategy applies our extensive experience to the mobility sector in the wider sense. We firmly believe that given the undoubted convergence of fleet and travel, there will be a continued need for players who reduce complexity. This is why we focus on making MMaaS manageable rather than implementing pure MaaS solutions ourselves.
[SKS]: I would relate our success as a provider of Managed Mobility as a Service (MMaaS) to the successful development of our new mobility solutions, especially MobilityBUDGET. This has been very well received by our clients. What has become apparent with MobilityBUDGET is that we are talking to different levels of users, not just company car drivers, but those employees with access to mobility budgets. Also, we come into contact far more often with the HR department, rather than just the fleet department, and we see the rising need to having conversations with both stakeholders.
[SSK]: Our next chapter of product innovation will largely be IT driven. Following the consolidation of our two existing IT systems in Germany, we are back to one single core platform. This puts us in an outstanding position to bring new products to all our markets where there is customer demand, across both fleet and mobility management.
[SKS]: MobilityFIT is the first of a series of new developments, and is now being used right across Europe, having been piloted with one major client who operates 14,000 cars in many different countries. Last year, we launched MobilityBUDGET in Germany and are still to decide which countries to roll it out to, because of the tax complexities that operate in different areas of Europe. Over the coming months we expect to develop this tool still further as we better understand the needs of the users and add differing functionality to match their requirements.
[SSK]: We want to become the preferred provider of MMaaS for large clients. Having now fixed most of the basics, our focus is on growth through innovation. Our vision is underpinned by continued investment into digitalization to help us become “easier to do business with” and to speed up our own transformation.
[SKS]: Over the next 3-5 years, I see us aiming to become a premium MMaaS provider across Europe and developing new products and solutions to meet the growing and increasingly complex mobility needs of our customers. We will be making some of these developments in response to market demands as the market evolves from its current state to one where mobility solutions play a wider role. Also, we will work closely in conjunction with our colleagues in our consulting arm who are constantly developing and rethinking how mobility solutions should look for our clients.
[SSK]: The need for continued reduction of CO2 emissions will most definitely be at the top of all corporate agendas. Mobility solutions will have a key role to play here as the company car will no longer be seen as the solution that suits all needs. Increasingly, companies will have more flexible mobility requirements, not just the car.
Of course, electrification will play an important role, too, and we have some clients who are very aggressively moving towards a carbon neutral future. One such client, with 14,000 vehicles, wishes to be carbon neutral by 2025, in just four years’ time, and electric power is currently the only viable solution. This approach is by no means unusual amongst our clients.
[SKS]: The movement to decarbonization and the reduction of CO2 emissions will probably be the biggest single factor to shape the structure of fleets going forward, led by Government targets and deadlines. To some extent, the Coronavirus pandemic has had an impact here as companies have realised that their employees need to travel less business miles to function effectively and this has helped them rethink their transport policies.
[SSK]: The trend towards carbon emission free transport started before COP26. Most of our clients have in place concrete plans on how fast to reduce emissions or are at least working on them. I am convinced that COP26 will help stress the importance of taking decisive steps to the remainder of our client base, but in many cases, plans are well advanced.
[SKS]: Legislation is increasingly steering businesses down the road to lower carbon emissions at a national level. We have seen the US come back on track with the appointment of a new president and even China is making major developments in carbon reduction by setting demanding goals not only for their production of new greener vehicles. All of this was given a sharper focus by the COP26 conference which underlined clear goals for global carbon reduction and a framework to achieve these.
[SSK]: Fleet Logistics has shown a high level of resilience and has always managed to adapt and change with the times. We have a loyal team of industry experts who are driven by the desire to take fleet and mobility management to the next level. This, we feel, will serve us well for the next 25 years.
[SKS]: The key to our continued success is working closely with and listening to our customers, while at the same time remaining flexible and able to adapt to meet their needs. We are the ideal size that gives us enough scale but which allows us to be nimble enough to change quickly if we need to.
[SSK]; Exactly two years ago, I joined the company I had left back in 2008. It was great to find a number of colleagues who had been loyal to Fleet Logistics and were still with the business. We have since embarked on a journey that has involved a large number of high-profile projects, many of which we have successfully concluded. Just to mention a few, we received the payment services provider license under the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2) in mid-2021, to make payments safer and more secure and afford better protection for our customers.
And recently, the culmination of a three-year project has seen us successfully consolidate our two existing, backbone IT systems into one standard platform which has allowed significant product innovation, and we have now resumed on an aggressive growth path.
[SKS]: For me, the highlight of my time at Fleet Logistics has been the opportunity to work with fantastic teams of people who are vastly knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. I’ve also found it very exciting to be working closely with our clients and finding ways to perfectly meet their requirements and needs. Another personal highlight was this year’s Fleet Europe Summit in Brussels, the first physical version of the event for two years. We held some very in-depth and interesting conversations at the Summit and everyone seemed grateful to be back in a physical rather than virtual arena.
[SSK]: We are enormously grateful for clients, suppliers and staff alike who have stayed loyal to Fleet Logistics, some have been with us since our very beginning for the full 25 years. It is our ambition as an organization to excite, and whenever we fall short, we take this as an ambition to try harder. This is, and will always be, our mantra going forward.
[SKS]: We are committed to working closely with our clients, to listening to them and remaining flexible enough to adapt to meet their needs using our skilled set of products and services. With demanding targets for CO2 and TCO reduction, we need to be able to continue to innovate to help them reach their targets, plus have the ability to think outside the box where required. This will remain our focus along with our commitment to developing the foundation of trust that we have built up with them, often over many years.