Businesses are complex and constantly changing organisms. They are often unpredictable. Anyone who has ever worked in an organisation will have multiple examples of when they have gone into work intending to get through a list of certain tasks but ended the day without having ticked anything off.
However, if operations and staff aren’t adaptable then this can be detrimental to operations as a whole.
Take fleet management for example. Of course, there should be a set process for how employees choose and receive their company car, but there are always going to be times when a ‘one-size-fits-all’ procedure isn’t practical.
Scenarios will crop up which don’t quite follow the rules and this is where short-term car leasing can be helpful. Here are just a few examples of where the flexibility of short-term leases can be beneficial and potentially save your company money.
In the beginning…
Anyone who has hired a new employee will be able to tell you that new recruits can be unpredictable.
For example, a new starter could decide the role isn’t for them after a few short weeks or a candidate who dazzled during the interview can turn out to be rather dull in reality (i.e. all mouth and no trousers!).
To purchase a vehicle or get tied into a long-term contract before you are sure of a new employee’s future prospects can be a risk. Therefore, if their role requires a company car, it may be practical to sign a short-term car lease in the first instance.
A vehicle can then be purchased or a longer-term solution organised when you are confident the new recruit is likely to stay or that their probationary period is definitely going to get signed off!
Not for long
There are always going to be situations in business where staff are required on a short-term basis. An example of this is cover for maternity leave. A temporary employee could always use the vehicle of the person leaving to have a baby, but is it right taking your permanent employee’s mode of transport away during their period of absence?
According to Maternity Action, employees are “entitled to keep a mobile phone and company car that are provided for personal and business use during maternity leave”.
Other scenarios include absence through injury and suspension during a period of investigation. As well as temporary employees coming in to replace a person during a period of absence, short-term contracts can also be useful to increase the workforce for specific one-off projects or during a particularly busy time of the year.
Short-term car leases allow temporary employees to have access to a vehicle for the exact duration of their contract – as long as it is over 28 days – and they can also be extended or shortened easily if any unforeseen circumstances occur.
In times of need
As well as times when temporary employees are required, there may be particular occasions when employees who don’t usually require a company car will need regular access to transport.
For example, during an office move, member of the operational team may need to take regular trips between buildings to discuss the set up in the new offices or sensitive information may need to be transported between locations during the transfer.
Also, if you are a seasonal business, there may be peak sales times where staff who are usually office based help out the sales force. Organising and attending a large conference often requires “all hands on deck”.
Providing a short-term leased car for staff to prepare the stand and attend the event will allow greater flexibility and may even provide a cost saving in comparison to several employees using public transport. Particularly if they are travelling in and out of London where return train tickets during peak hours can often exceed £300 a time.
Playing the waiting game
Even if you have an established fleet management process in place, it can often take several weeks for new employees to receive the car of their choice.
However, you may need them to be on the road ASAP, especially if they are working in a sales capacity. Short term car leasing allows them to start visiting prospects without delay as the sign-up process is usually within 24 hours and stock vehicles can be delivered quickly.
There is also the added advantage of not having to consider servicing, maintenance and recovery costs as they are already included as part of the contract.
Finding your feet
If your organisation is a start-up or a relatively new business it may be difficult initially to raise the capital required to purchase vehicles or arrange long-term car leasing contracts. This can be quite debilitating, especially if access to vehicles are essential to the continuing growth of your business.
In this instance, short-term car leasing is the perfect solution as only a small deposit or often no deposit at all is required.
Also, by paying a short-term lease regularly can often improve the credit score of your business with the bank. This will allow the organisation to borrow more at a later stage to invest in vehicles.
These are just a few of the many scenarios where short-term car leasing allows fleet managers to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the operations within their business.
Mark Williams is the brand strategist for Flexed.