Case Study, Hilti: Optimising fleet safety and sustainability in Latam
Besides its regional hub based out of Panama City, the Latin America arm of multinational construction firm Hilti has units with direct sales and management teams in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.
With a current fleet of approximately 600 vehicles in the region, the company’s highly segmented sales force calls for a large range of vehicles. “We have sedans, vans, SUVs and even pickups for mining and remote regions, with higher-end models reserved for more senior employees,” according to Rodrigo Fernandez, Region Procurement Head, Indirect Materials.
In this Case Study, Mr. Fernandez sheds light on what the company is doing in terms of safety and sustainability, two concerns of which we see as crucial in the region.
Latam Procurement Head
Number of Countries (Latam)
Seven (120 worldwide)
Number of Employees (Latam)
900 (28,000 worldwide)
Number of Vehicles (Latam)
Recently, the company has been focused on synchronizing its vehicle business with its main leasing partners and OEMs. Besides opening up opportunities to standardize the way it engages with suppliers, this strategy has enabled the development of good practices among the different countries Hilti operates in.
Fortunately, these countries have many automaker brands and models which are properly backed by dealers. These factors are key when it comes to doing business in a region that is as geographically extensive as Latin America.
The region, however, is not without challenges. For one, Hilti still needs to find the right non pre-payment fuel solution, one of the highest costs of any fleet, according to Mr. Fernandez. Moreover, in Argentina, leasing is quite expensive due to the high cost of financing so direct purchases are occurring there.
Employee safety is a pillar of the company’s people strategy. When sourcing, Hilti elaborates a scope which defines the type of vehicles needed per market, keeping in mind that vehicle safety statistics are among the most important criteria taken into consideration. Additional security and anti-theft equipment are also added when applicable.
Influencing driver behavior is also key to safety. “We maximize the use of GPS solutions in our vehicles. With this, we gather driving pattern data and other information, all of which gives us meaningful insight to create awareness programs for our drivers,” says the executive.
Remember that most of Hilti’s fleet is driven by its sales force so specific risks are at hand. As such, the company provides safety training courses which are provided by its leasing partners or insurance companies.
Hilti has launched a company-wide sustainability strategy which includes environmental issues related to its fleet. According to Mr. Fernandez, its global fleet accounts for almost three quarters of the company’s CO2 emissions and, as its goal is to be CO2 neutral by 2023, vehicles are no exception.
As such, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are taken into consideration when sourcing new vehicles and this means transitioning to cleaner technologies such as hybrid and electric units.
“This year, we will take a market-by-market look in Latin America, eying opportunities offered by local regulators and defining the best vehicle brands and models offered by our partners, not to mention the dealer networks available in each region,” said Mr. Fernandez.
“With this, we will create a timetable, defining dates of which we will make the transition from our current units to greener vehicles,” he added.
Rodrigo Fernandez will be one of several speakers present at the Fleet LatAm Conference 2021 taking place on 22 April. Besides talks about creating a safe and green fleet, topics include fleet efficiency, TCO control, establishing KPIs, the selection of powertrain, making use of data, and much more.