Celebrating 10 Years of Success: The Wheels | ALD Automotive Global Alliance
It’s hard to believe that more than 10 years have passed since the idea of an alliance between these two global players first came to fruition, but this year, we’ll celebrate the 10-year anniversary of this vision becoming a reality. From an early desire to increase coverage around the globe to the culmination of the alliance, the story of Wheels and ALD Automotive is one of mutual interests and shared goals.
Despite different ecosystems (e.g., laws, business practices, vendors, partners) in each market, the alliance has thrived in providing a true global solution with the right governance structure to leverage specialized regional and local expertise in advanced account management. Present in more than 55 countries with more than 2.1 million vehicles on the road, the partnership facilitated unsurpassed global coverage. In honor of our anniversary, let’s take a closer look at why the alliance has been so successful over the past decade.
From the outset, our goal was to deliver improved performance and value to our international clients. With increasing globalization and opportunities that international expansion presents, growing corporations are taking on initiatives that have important implications for their fleets and the broader enterprise, including sustainability, risk and safety, digitized driver mobility services, leveraged supply chains and vendor consolidation. As fleet increasingly becomes part of global procurement, it is a natural category to leverage sourcing opportunities for our global clients. Companies were (and still are) looking for greater service integration within their businesses and, as industry outsourcing leaders, we felt that combining our mutual expertise would be beneficial for our international clients and their fleets worldwide.
To start, we established a combined governance structure with a dedicated governance committee made up of senior executives from both organizations. The committee meets regularly to define common strategic objectives, align priorities and leverage specialized expertise. While each organization is investing in priorities that drive performance in their respective markets, we ensure that our clients are served with the best expertise and range of products and services available within the alliance. We frequently participate jointly in global tenders, and it happens often enough that one of the two allies represents the other in the global tender. This is a clear illustration of the mutual trust within the alliance because we share common values and culture. Another illustration of our close cooperation is the ongoing commercial intelligence shared between our respective sales teams, in addition to our monthly plenary alliance sales calls and our weekly one-to-one sales colleague updates.
Once the foundational pieces were in place, we identified three key strategic levers to support our clients’ growth: coverage, culture and control.
International development requires having a partner that can support you in any location with the right local market expertise. But coverage goes beyond countries. Coverage means the expertise to leverage the ecosystems that are available in those countries and regions – because there is a wide range of maturity differences in the various markets. Within Europe, there are at least small nuances if not significant differences across countries. Within the LatAm region, the gaps between fleet ecosystems in Brazil and Chile, for example, shouldn’t be measured in kilometers – they can be measured in decades.
With some of our largest customers present in more than 50 countries, our goal is to provide a coordinated approach with the ability to leverage local fleet ecosystems, drive consistency when needed and optimize overall global performance.
With many common global customers, we realised that we were fundamentally aligned in terms of customer-focused culture and corporate values. Our experience is that clients expect a culture of sustainable development that is focused, passionate and curious about new ideas that are proactively shared in a consultative and collaborative way. We also organize global gatherings in Latin America and Europe and during Global Fleet conferences to share relevant news, exchange best practices and discuss industry trends. The solutions and ecosystems in Brussels, Belgium or in Lima, Peru are very different than those in Iowa City!
The extensive scope of global organizations also means that clients need control. It is often a struggle to see, track, measure and improve key cost and value drivers that impact performance – such as safety, carbon emissions, and vehicle cost. With this in mind, we jointly invested in state-of-the-art technology to provide extensive oversight through a consolidated reporting tool. Our global clients benefit from ALDnet.com, our digital fleet management platform that we continually improve each year.
Clients use the platform extensively to manage their fleet at global, regional and local levels and have access to multiple dashboards and indicators, including the capability to drill down at individual-vehicle level across all countries, whether the lessor is ALD Automotive, Wheels or a partner of the alliance. GlobalFleetReporting.com is another tool developed by the alliance and made neutral by transferring it entirely to independent third party DMC to enable fleet managers to receive multi-vendor, high-level operational and financial reporting from their entire global fleet. It is unique in the industry.
We’re proud of what the alliance has achieved over the past 10 years, which is the most complete, strategic and farthest-reaching global network in the industry. We are committed to providing our multinational clients with harmonized services and market-specific expertise and insight to deliver performance and value across the alliance.
Here’s looking forward to the next 10 years!