What is PHH Arval doing to pursue growth with material handling equipment?
One of the exciting growth initiatives at PHH Arval is our broader expansion into material handling equipment – forklifts, order pickers, pallet jacks, etc. – that help move material within organizations and within operations.
Initially, we didn’t realize there was as much demand as there is. We started to hear from our clients: “you have done so much with my fleet; can you help with some of my other equipment types, as well?” We found that material handling equipment is often managed locally, particularly in organizations that have decentralized operations, so no one really knew how much material handling equipment they had. We have client examples where they thought they had 100–200 units and then through our efforts, discovered significantly more.
The product offering is an opportunity that we see to bring the value that we have brought vehicle fleet customers to a new asset type. We are able to help customers with visibility of inventory, glean data associated with that inventory so we assist them in making better decisions about the types of vehicles that they need; and the types of equipment that they need and how best to take care of them.
One of the other things that our customers have told us that they really like is our third party perspective, providing independent oversight of their maintenance services. We are not tied to any brand or manufacturer so we offer independent insights and best practices to help them reduce their costs and increase the productivity of their material handling equipment.
We also found that our clients appreciated the fact that we could support them end to end through the entire lifecycle of these assets. Not only in leasing and ordering and acquisition but helping them to specify the equipment to make sure they are using the right type of equipment for the right purpose. The program includes everything from financing to consulting, maintenance and other services, all the way through resale and replacement asset planning.
How is the fleet landscape changing with the integration of telematics data in the PHH Arval’s services?
One of the other growth opportunities that we are very excited about is telematics and the growing role of telematics data in fleet automization, whether that is improving the productivity of drivers and assets or reducing costs and improving safety outcomes. One of the areas that we see ripe for transformation by telematics is accident services. Being able to communicate data about the vehicle and the location of that vehicle along with driver and driving patterns allows us to not only address current situations but to prescribe preventative activities, including learning and other interventions, to help reduce future accidents. Pulling telematics data together with motor vehicle records and also previous accident experience and transactional data helps to add a rich depth to the value that we can bring to our customers.
One of the other areas that we find valuable in telematics is automation. The equipment itself can communicate where it is in a maintenance or repair cycle, automatically capturing transactional data and communicating that to all the people that need to know about it – whether that is the fleet management company, the driver, the client or even the supplier who is doing the work on behalf of PHH.
Michele Cunningham is responsible for strategic development at PHH Arval. This includes developing and implementing the company’s “go-to-market” strategy, with responsibility for Marketing and Communications, Sales Operation and Administration, and management of the PHH Arval Global Alliance. She has over 20 years of business-to-business marketing and strategic planning experience in such companies as Random House, AT&T Capital Corp., and Williams Scotsman. She also gained expertise in technology-based analytics and software during her years with Neuristics, a data mining and analytics company, and THINQ, an enterprise software company. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Virginia and has earned professional certificates from Arizona State University’s School of Business and from Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.