Enterprise Holdings: 'HR should play a bigger role in fleet'

Enterprise Holdings: 'HR should play a bigger role in fleet'

Enterprise Holdings, which encompasses brands such as Enterprise Rent-a-car, Alamo, and Exotic Car Collection, holds a fleet in excess of 90,000 vehicles and more than 4,500 employees. But how do they manage such a large offering? And what’s HR got to do with Fleet?

We spoke to Adrian Bewley, Head of Business Mobility at Enterprise Holdings, to find out…

How does Fleet fit into the business from a HR perspective?

It’s massively underplayed, despite it falling under staff welfare and wellbeing. HR plays an enormous role in reviewing grey fleet practices, which is one of the biggest opportunities to essentially reduce cost, risk and mitigate duty of care.

Right now, grey fleet sits between finance and HR and nobody really owns it but HR could play a much bigger role. What’s perceived as a staff benefit, isn’t really when you get into the mechanics of it, it’s more of a hindrance, driving your own car on company business. It’s a false economy because there’s a risk, combined with putting miles on your own vehicle which may or may not be well maintained.

HR’s role is to enforce travel policy, but because grey fleet sits between different departments, it almost sits between the lines of responsibility. I personally believe and have done for a while, that HR should play a much bigger role in fleet and employee mobility.

In what way?

Enforcing policy. Many firms have travel policies that aren’t enforced, they’re just guidelines. Around two-thirds of travel policies are enforceable but the remaining third just is left, or the elements of checking on grey fleet are far shorter than they need to be. However, there’s a major cost reduction that can be achieved in managing it more closely.

Grey fleet is often unmanaged and unchecked and there’s no authority to it. Whereas if travel is managed, it’s very different - you can monitor how far someone has travelled and how much fuel was used. There’s no temptation for employees to stretch the truth when it comes to being reimbursed.

Does a fleet offering play a role in staff recruitment and retention?

Massively. I think it’s one of the main pillars of why people choose a rental car company like ourselves. A company car used to be viewed as the way to attract staff, but by giving them the opportunity to access relevant services, this gives them more flexibility. We’ve noticed over the last 18 months or so, that companies are looking to differentiate themselves and for us, that’s creating a mobility plan, that meets the customers’ requirements in an on-demand way.

For example, we have a journey planning tool which allows access to all our products and services, giving employees greater and wider choice. We also create a journey assessment that maps out the best and most efficient way to travel, whilst taking staff requirements into account. That’s the evolution of the ‘company car’ - from a fixed asset offering for a fixed time, to a more fluid, flexible offering.

How is the relationship between car and employee managed?

We have fleet managers and there’s a new position we’re seeing on the rise, which is mobility managers. This basically refers to the choice a B2B user has today, covering grey fleet, trucks, LCVs and company cars. Fleet managers look after fixed assets, anything from a company car or lease programme, whereas a mobility manager covers the movement of people, which is much broader.

Our thought leadership on that is there should be a greater rise in mobility managers, as grey fleet is on the expansion and the expenditure in this space is growing, but it’s unregulated. It falls between HR, fleet and finance, and unless you have a great co-ordinator bringing all the departments together, most people leave it as they don’t know about alternatives.

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