When Ryder gathered a cross-section of business leaders together to discuss what would help them best manage their fleets, the company didn’t know what to expect. It was clear that businesses were facing challenges like rapidly changing markets, increased regulation, and complicated automotive technology. What wasn’t clear was how business leaders were adapting their fleet management strategy to meet these challenges.
In an interview, Ryder Vice President and General Manager of Global Fleet Products John Barlow recalls how input from these conversations became the inspiration for Ryder ChoiceLease, which the company launched in May, 2016. The offering is a first in the transportation industry because it allows businesses to choose the level of maintenance and delivery method that works best for them – from pay-as-you-go to full service. It also has flexible lease terms, equipment types, and financing options.
Question: Whose input did Ryder receive in focus groups?
John: Because we wanted to understand how a variety of businesses make fleet decisions, we talked to decision makers about why they lease or own their vehicles, and what factors they consider in making those decisions. We also wanted to know if there were differences in the decision making process based on company size, geographic location and industry so we made sure we talked with a large and diverse group of fleet managers, owners, and executives.
Question: What were some of the most compelling comments from the groups?
John: In the conversations we had it was clear that people felt the only way they could be competitive in their industry – no matter which industry they were in – is to have as much flexibility and control of their fleet as possible. They had to be able to customize all of the aspects of their fleet management to their business and be able to make changes as needed to really feel confident that they could meet their customers’ needs.
Question: Did they have the ability to do that?
John: Not at all. If they owned their fleet, they had capital tied up in their trucks rather than using it to change and grow their business. They had unpredictable maintenance costs and had to spend time managing their fleet instead of on their core business. If they considered a lease, they felt that they were tied to the terms of vehicle providers which didn’t always work well for their business.
Question: How did Ryder feel it could fill this gap in fleet management products?
John: We knew that we had to create a new product – something no one else offered. So we took all of the things people in our focus groups said were important to them and created Ryder ChoiceLease. It provides precisely the flexibility, choice, and control that business owners say they need to run their companies in a rapidly changing marketplace – but haven’t been able to obtain until now.
Question: How does it work?
John: Ryder ChoiceLease allows you to decide the term – from one to 10 years. You also choose the level of maintenance and delivery method you prefer – from pay-as-you-go to full-service. You choose the trucks you want. And you choose from multiple financing options.
The only commitments you make in this lease are the ones you want – the ones you choose – because they are right for your business. This is what separates the Ryder ChoiceLease from others in the industry. You are no longer tied to terms that a vehicle provider decides for you – you decide your own terms based on your company’s specific needs.
Question: What has the response been to Ryder ChoiceLease in its first month in market?
John: We have had exceptionally strong interest from a broad range of companies.
Question: How do you think having Ryder ChoiceLease can change a business?
Barlow: Ryder ChoiceLease can free up capital, deliver cost predictability, and allow companies to focus on their core business instead of their fleets.
Learn more about the Ryder ChoiceLease portfolio in our brochure.