Bob White, ARI: Turning challenges into opportunities
Founded in 1948, ARI Fleet is considered the largest privately held vehicle fleet management company in the world. It manages more than one million fleet vehicles in North America, the UK and Europe and, combined with its global associates, more than two million worldwide.
Taking over the reins of the company since April is Bob White. Join Global Fleet in our brief chat with the executive about the company's performance, its goals, as well as challenges.
Global Fleet: As you just became the company's new President a few months ago, what would you say is the company’s mission right now.
White: It’s truly an honor to represent ARI as President and I’m excited to take the reins of the company I love. We as an organization are passionate about the fleet management business and that passion translates to how we serve our customers each and every day.
Our customers face greater challenges today in their businesses than ever before, and our mission is to be the best partner in helping them to turn those challenges into potential opportunities.
Finally, I’d like to say that our 90-plus year commitment to the things that matter most remains steadfast, being our employees, our community and of course, our customers.
Global Fleet: And how is 2018 so far? Are the company’s revenue expectations on track?
White: So far, 2018 has been a remarkable year for ARI and I fully expect we’ll sustain this momentum on into 2019. But as the landscape of our industry continues to evolve, our customers are going to expect more from us and frankly, we always expect more of ourselves.
We have seen great growth opportunities over the past five years and we’re reinvesting the results of this growth back into our organization in the form of both people and technology.
ARI headquarters in New Jersey, USA (Source: Google maps)
Global Fleet: What countries and industries is the company focusing on right now?
White: While we remain excited about the continued opportunities for us in North America, I believe there’s significant potential in a number of regions outside the country. We are focused on smart growth globally, but are prioritizing the UK and German markets.
Our unique approach to fleet has been extremely well received in those regions and we continue to disrupt the marketplace by offering the only truly transparent fleet management solution.
There is significant demand for this flexible approach as savvy organizations desire increased visibility and greater control over operating expenses to reduce their total cost of ownership.
As for industries, I see ARI continuing to focus on complex vocational fleets. There’s significant growth potential across the verticals that depend on these types of vehicles and I believe we can provide the most value to customers in this segment of the market.
Global Fleet: New US government legislation could pose a challenge for the automobile and fleet management industry. Is ARI ready to take on this challenge?
White: ARI is aligning with other major stakeholders within the industry to make sure our government representatives are fully informed about how potential legislation could impact our industries and those of our customers. Our primary focus is making sure our voice – and the voices of our customers – are heard by decision makers.
At this time, it is still too early to evaluate the true effect of any pending legislation. We are quietly observing how the implementation of policies will play out, and remaining poised for action if necessary.
We are well-positioned to adapt to potential challenges and are prepared to capitalize on any opportunities that may arise as a result of disruptions throughout the automotive industry.
Global Fleet: One topic of debate around the world is the use of electric and hybrid vehicles? Are they viable for fleet managers nowadays?
White: As OEMs push to develop and launch more alternative fuel models, they are likely to remain an important part of the fleet mix for many organizations.
Overall, electric and other alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) will be a growing part of the fleet industry, and we plan to play a leading role in helping our customers take advantage of these changes.
However, remember that the viability of AFVs for a company often varies based on the types of vehicles in the fleet as well as the infrastructure available to support AFVs in the surrounding region.