Fleet management should fall under the remit of HR, according to the HR Director of DFS.
Andrew Stephenson explains in this month’s edition of HR Grapevine that businesses can benefit from handing over company cars to the people function.
“I think fleet managers can do a very good job but it’s about what your ethos is and what you’re trying to achieve,” he says. “There is a danger with fleet managers, not all of them, that it is very much a procurement function; it is about buying this commodity at the best possible price and protecting its residual value by really not letting anyone do anything with it so that it’s in great condition when it goes back.
“And while that’s important, our starting point as an HR function was how do we just make this a fabulous experience for the employee? How do they get that same feeling choosing a company car that they would get if they were going out to buy their own brand new car?”
Stephenson believes that by HR owning fleet management the focus shifts from the cost of the cars to the engagement of the drivers.
He says: “This never started out as a cost-saving initiative – and actually we don’t look at it as that now – this started as an employee engagement initiative.” And, according to Andrew, it remains exactly that, with positive results.