Interviews
19 oct 22

Rodrigo Martins, Syngenta: Achieving efficient fleet management in Latin America

While the overall goal of international agriculture company Syngenta is improving sustainability, quality, and safety of agriculture with world class science and innovative crop solutions, achieving top notch efficiency in fleet operations is the focus of Rodrigo Martins, the company’s fleet operations manager in Latin America. 

Mr. Martins seeks efficiency by aligning driver needs with vehicle models, considering safety, sustainability, and kilometers run, all while looking to mitigate idled fleet as much as possible.

Achieving operational efficiency calls for resilience, hard analysis, and a never-ending search for improvements, according to the fleet manager who works with a fleet team of 11 collaborators in Latin America.

Company

Syngenta

Name

Rodrigo Martins

Job Position

Operations Manager, Fleet

No. of Countries

19 (Latin America)

No. of Employees

approx. 9,860 (Latam) 52,000 (Global)

No. of Vehicles

3,156 (Latin America)


One of the keys to maintaining smooth operations is being able to deal with supply shortages in the market today. As most of us know, the global situation has directly affected the automotive industry, and this has forced us to rethink medium and long-term planning. 

“We are currently considering 12-month and 24-month limits on vehicle renewal wait times, seeking new partners that can meet these demands for our new drivers and newly hired employees,” says Mr. Martins.

Considering multi-country operations and administration, the company is focused on standardizing procedures, KPIs, and the overall exchange of knowhow.  “Despite cultural and legislative differences, we feel that we are aligned and working to achieve common goals, said the Fleet Manager.  

For example, Syngenta has implemented a single LATAM Safe Driving Policy which covers all drivers, countries, and business operations into one.

The company compiles telematics data about kilometers driven, driver behavior, and more, with data from six suppliers being funneled into one dashboard. After evaluation, drivers are recognized for their good performance and disciplined for bad results.
 
Due to the complexity of large countries, more flexibility is needed when creating policies in expansive territories like Brazil. And that is why Syngenta is using Brazil as a benchmark for good practices in Latin America. 

KPI’s to achieving excellence in Latam operations

•    On-time Delivery: Guarantee vehicles with the shortest possible time

•    Qualification: Complete mandatory training stipulated by EHS and fleet management teams. Driver licensing control

•    Idleness: Maintain vehicle availability for drivers. Optimize work hours and preventive, corrective and claims maintenance.

•    Sustainability: Reduce CO2 emissions according to Syngenta's Sustainable Agriculture Plan.

•    Costs: TCO forecast vs incurred, Cost per kilometer, per type, per vehicle model. 

•    Security: Support EHS teams in drive behavior monitoring through vehicle telematics. Number of fleet vehicles equipped with telematics

Eye on Electrics

Although we are seeing an increase in hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) sales in Latin America, the lack of charging infrastructure outside the large metropolitan areas is still a major constraint for agribusiness, not to mention the initial prices of vehicles right now. 

However, as we are a company that is highly focused on sustainability, we are eyeing upcoming launches of new hybrid pickup trucks, said Mr. Martins.

For networking and best practice sharing through virtual meetings and live sessions with executive level fleet decision makers with global or regional responsibilities, join the Global Fleet Managers Club

Authored by: Daniel Bland
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