EXPERT: Jonathan Pearce, of Northgate
During times of economic change certain sectors have been more affected than others, with the most successful able to adapt to change quickly and efficiently.
The uncertainty of future conditions can make forecasting fleet needs two, three or four years in advance not be as simple as it once was.
With economic fluctuations more prevalent than ever in today’s climate, SMEs, especially those operating in manufacturing and construction, need to take note and consider whether their fleet is suitably equipped to ride the waves.
Accounting for 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK, SMEs do bear the brunt of the current economic uncertainty.
Where growth has been experienced, many businesses will be expanding for the first time and be faced with difficult decisions in regards to forecasting their fleet and selecting the most appropriate acquisition method.
To avoid the worry associated with managing depreciating assets, the uncertainty of future residual values and being tied into fixed contracts with no wiggle room, flexible hire is the ideal solution for SMEs, and one that may not have been previously considered.
Acting as either the sole solution for a business’ fleet or forming part of a wider vehicle acquisition strategy, it’s already hugely popular within sectors that experience changes to the pace of business operations, as a result of seasonal fluctuations or a general upturn in their sector.
By giving businesses the ability to add or remove vehicles from their fleet, or change vehicle type, at any time without penalty, they can reap the rewards of improved utilisation and invest in other areas.
The support of the supplier is also guaranteed should emergency back up or replacement vehicles be required in the event of breakdowns.
The rising costs associated with running a fleet are additional challenges to be considered by business whose fleets may be growing.
Fuel, tyres, oil and lubricants, parts, breakdown and recovery costs have all increased over the last few years; as the fleet grows so do these costs.
Thankfully, these types of extras are all accounted for as part of a flexible hire product, taking away any unknown elements and meaning budgeting and forecasting can be more accurate.
Additional benefits include:
- One transparent weekly rate, no hidden charges or penalties
- The ability to control fleet costs and utilisation
- Being able to forget about forecasting fleets
- Flexible hire periods, fleet size and vehicle type
- Access to the latest fuel-efficient vehicles, which may have been previously unaffordable
- Freeing up capital to spend on growing your business
- For vehicles required on a longer term basis, customisation including tow bars, roof racks, interior racking and livery – all tailored to individual requirements
For SMEs looking to improve business efficiency, choosing flexible vehicle hire is a no brainer, and a smart solution that allows businesses to quickly respond to market conditions and the current economic climate, with the constraints of contract hire and purchase completely removed!