Exclusive: LatAm Fleet Manager of the Year on complex role of the fleet manager
The role of the Fleet Manager in Latin America has changed much in the last few years, mainly as he or she has much more responsibilities today and needs to think more strategically than ever before. Tania Mijas of La Roche - Genentech and first Fleet LatAm Manager of the Year, explains the Do's and Don'ts of the increasing complex fleet manager role in Latam.
Considering all the evolving technologies, mobility solutions, the impact of COVID-19 and the chip shortage crisis, the role of the seasoned Fleet Manager is now bigger, more exciting as well as more complex, and this offers much more career opportunities.
In the past, the Fleet Manager was more of a sourcing or procurement expert with some additional fleet responsibilities, but the job today involves knowing much more than Fleet, according to Tania Mijas who is Senior Category Lead Travel, Fleet, Congresses, Meetings and Events in the Americas for the San Francisco based biotechnology company.
In this best practice, the executive gives us the building blocks to being an expert Fleet Manager, all of which are being used in her current position.
Hoffmann La Roche – Genentech
Senior Category Lead (Travel, Fleet) Americas
No. of Countries under management
10 Latin America (+ USA & Canada)
No. of Vehicles under management
950 vehicles in Latin America
Total No. of Employees
101,200 employees worldwide
Remember that the Fleet Manager is the first point of contact in all processes, from listening to stakeholder needs and improving efficiencies to larger tasks such as achieving mid-to-long term goals and milestones.
“Although his or her main role is to satisfy stakeholder needs, he or she really needs to take a deep dive into all components of fleet operations today,” says Ms. Mijas.
Global Fleet Chief Editor Steven Schoefs announcing Tania Mijas as Fleet LatAm Manager of the Year at the Fleet LatAm Conference 2021 (copyright: Fleet LatAm)
Besides keeping abreast of the new technologies, industry trends and the economic scenario in each country of operation, being a good Fleet Manager calls for having many skills which are essential in making the right decisions.
Among them are:
• Building key partnerships with Automakers (OEMs)
• Developing strong relationships with Fleet Management Companies
• Putting together a professional and knowledgeable team
• Supporting Stakeholders
• Paying attention to risk management
• Addressing Environmental and Health issues
• Knowing all relevant laws and regulations
Moreover, knowing your total cost of ownership (TCO) when leasing or buying vehicles (maintenance, fuel, personnel costs) and using the most efficient tools to support overall fleet operations are key. Finally, remember that sustainability is of utmost importance today.
Harmonizing Supplier Management
In each of the country’s you operate in, it is very important to have strong alliances with strategic suppliers who have a presence in the country or at least a strong partnership.
Consolidate volumes with your strategic suppliers and make contracts with strong SLAs and KPIs. Maintain an open line of communication whenever issues arise.
Carry out business reviews in each country (including metrics, dashboards, reporting) and make sure to involve stakeholders. “For a region as large as Latin America, having a dual source model is recommended for better supplier management,” Ms. Mijas told Fleet LatAm.
Sustainability vs TCO
When it comes to deciding on the TCO of combustion engine vehicles (CEI) or electrified vehicles (EV), there are several factors to consider. While the investment for some vehicles can be quite high up front, remember that they could also pose phenomenal long-term benefits.
There are some factors that are quite tough to predict, according to the executive, such as the future price of vehicles, and the time it takes to produce them.
“In the end, remember that having a good Fleet Management Company partner is key to helping you along your way in making these and other important decisions,” says Ms. Mijas.
For more insight on the fleet and mobility markets in Latin America, see our video playlist for the latest Fleet LatAm Conference which took place in September 2021.