Richard Tiffany, Rentokil: Have an open mind
For a Europe-based fleet manager two main things are different in North America: the working methods and the manufacturer choice available. Richard Tiffany, from Rentokil Initial, worked out how to deal with them.
What were your first impressions of the USA market when you took on responsibility for this?
Richard Tiffany: “There is a lot of financial leasing in North America, but virtually no full service where the lease provider takes the end of contract residual risk. This means fleet management products are generally pay on use services rather than being budgeting within a full service lease. North America is a very positive market for Rentokil, the fleet is growing at pace as the business expands.”
What was the first thing you did?
Richard Tiffany: “Working in collaboration with our North American Fleet Director we wrote and issued an RFP. We had arrived at about 5,000 and we wanted to bring everything under one supplier, so that we could achieve some consistency across all of the States. We selected our preferred supplier and entered into a four year contract which delivered several million dollars in cost savings.”
How do you keep a check on your suppliers, in these circumstances?
Richard Tiffany: “Locally we have an Operational Fleet Director who ensures the supplier is supporting us both from an operational and legal perspective. We are very keen to ensure that the supplier when we review our next RFP has enough evidence to promote that they have been consistently supporting us with strong reporting and strategic advice.”
What are the easiest mistakes for a Europe-based fleet manager to make when he takes on the USA?
Richard Tiffany: “The easiest mistake is to enter the country and think you can run RFP’s on operating lease or multiple manufacturers for vehicle requirement when the choice is limited.”
Do you have a top tip for someone in your position going across to the USA for the first time?
Richard Tiffany: “Researching the market is a very good start. Listen to your own internal colleagues locally as they know the market better and ensure you have an open mind when engaging as European policies on lease / manufacturer choice will potentially not work.”
- Key area of activity: Pest Control, Hygiene & Plant
- Headquarters: London
- Fleet Manager: Richard Tiffany
- Job Title: Procurement Director – Global Fleets & Indirect
- Number of countries: 67
- Number of vehicles (global): 18,000
- Top tip: “Listen to your local colleagues”