After discussing the major problems fleets are facing in Part I of this two-part series, hear how NationaLease, AmeriQuest, and Corcentric are helping them meet the challenge.
Moderated by Kate Freer, Vice President of Marketing for AmeriQuest Business Services, the panel consisted of Pat Gaskins, Senior Vice President of Financial Services; David Nitzsche, Senior Vice President of Supply Management; Bill McCouch, Senior Vice President of Procurement Services; and Dale Tower, Vice President of Remarketing, all from AmeriQuest. In addition, the panel also included Jim Wright, Vice President of Sales for Corcentric and Joe Gallick, Senior Vice President of Sales for NationaLease.
After discussing the challenges that businesses are dealing with, including new and emerging technology, globalization, and greater regulatory issues, Freer asked panel participants how they create value for their customers and help them drive growth?
AmeriQuest is about a lot more than just reducing price. That’s the opinion of Bill McCouch who said, “It’s about the total solution. And that total solution comes about when we collaborate internally to come up with what’s best for our customers. One of the things we know is that information is the currency of success, and our goal is to keep our customers informed as to, not only all the changes going on, but also how to make those changes work for them. We don’t just consult; we execute on everything we recommend.”
Pat Gaskins acknowledged one of the biggest challenges that he and his team face from customers is inertia. “We have customers who will say this is the way we’ve always done it, and if I don’t change, I should be safe. We tell our customers, and ourselves, to accept the possibility of failure because that will allow you to grow. It’s important for companies to constantly challenge their perceptions and to update their business plans. AmeriQuest Asset Management services is uniquely positioned to provide our customers with a “what if” analysis of potential changes. This comes from the optimal use of data. Whether it’s vehicles, drivers, or other outside influences, we use the data to help customers predict spend patterns, become more efficient, and avoid potential missteps in the future.”
Corcentric deals with a wide range of customers from varied industries beyond transportation, but as Jim Wright noted, “When it comes to financial capital, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in. That’s why we’ve worked to create solutions that positively impact all areas and functions of a company including: infrastructure, personnel, transactions, revenue, and more. We also encourage our customers to take time for self-reflection; to take a hard look at their company’s inefficiencies and potential pitfalls.”
Dave Nitzsche talked about the importance of making sure his customers have access to the suppliers they need. “With more than 150 supplier programs,” he said. “We’ve taken a multi-tier approach so we can help mitigate any supply shortage risk. In this ongoing economy, that’s a safe bet. We’ve also developed better tools for integration which will allow our customers to make more informed decisions.” Nitzsche spoke again on the importance of choosing a technology partner for the future, not just for today. He noted that there is nothing more frustrating than investing in a technology that can’t be easily integrated with new developments.
Joe Gallick spoke about the relationship that his NationaLease team has with their customers. ”We’re able to really engage with our clients; to gain an understanding and listen effectively. That allows us to bring solutions consistent with the outcomes they seek.” He also spoke about the need to not just respond to challenges, but to anticipate short-term issues on the horizon. “It’s sometimes easier to plan for the long-term than for the short term, though long-range plans need to include some measure of resiliency that allows adjustments to be made for unforeseen events. Doing some scenario planning upfront and exploring potential what-if events can help greatly.”
For Dale Tower, the over-supply of used Class 8 trucks isn’t something that will change soon. “We are finding more creative ways to assist our customers move their equipment including exporting them,” says Tower. “We work with them on a customized basis to help them achieve the optimal price on their used assets. We have our finger on the pulse of the market every minute and we’re able to impart that information to our customers.”