Optimizing costs

Feb. 1, 2008
Running a business successfully is all about optimizing costs while providing the best level of customer service/satisfaction possible. That's why many businesses look to leasing for their fleet vehicle and maintenance needs. Leasing from an experienced vendor like Penske Truck Leasing allows them to focus on their core businesses, knowing they're getting the lowest cost per mile with their distribution

Running a business successfully is all about optimizing costs while providing the best level of customer service/satisfaction possible. That's why many businesses look to leasing for their fleet vehicle and maintenance needs. Leasing from an experienced vendor like Penske Truck Leasing allows them to focus on their core businesses, knowing they're getting the lowest cost per mile with their distribution fleet.

“Customers want the assurance of getting the right vehicles for their transportation requirements, getting the proper maintenance, having a predictable budget for fleet operations, and in case of over-the-road breakdowns or during peak seasons, having spare trucks available to them to keep their product moving,” says Jim Feenstra, senior vp-marketing for Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., Reading, PA.

Penske offers all these benefits and will work with customers to ensure vehicles are spec'd to optimize their transportation costs. This includes things like providing the most fuel-efficient vehicles, those that offer the longest life in their application, and those that will provide the best residual value at the end of the lease.

Taking advantage of Penske's full-service leasing and contract maintenance services are some 14,000 private fleet customers across every SIC (Standard Industry Classification) code imaginable, notes Feenstra, including food services industries, grocery delivery, pharmaceuticals, medical supply, parcel package delivery services — you name it.

Penske Truck Leasing serves customers from more than 1,000 locations across North America. “The equipment needs of our customers vary from those who operate just one panel van to those with large tractor-trailer fleets,” Feenstra says.

To suit their individual vocations and vehicle applications, including delivery and weight requirements, terrain, climate, etc., Penske Truck Leasing offers a wide range of vehicles and specs. Penske, Feenstra explains, has relationships with all the major truck OEMs, as well as tire suppliers, engine manufacturers and powertrain suppliers. The goal is to be able to provide customers with vehicles that match both the needs of their fleets and their drivers, with the understanding that many fleet managers today are spec'ing upgraded driver comfort and convenience features to attract and retain good drivers.

“We've operated millions of vehicles since starting business in 1969,” Feenstra reports. “Over that period of time we've looked at the parameters captured for every single vehicle, not just for cost per mile, but also for things like vehicle and engine performance, and life expectancy of every major component on the truck. This 40 years' experience is what enables us to match a customer with the right truck and accurately predict the cost of operating that truck, as well as the optimal leasing term.”

For maintenance, the majority of customers bring their trucks to a nearby Penske shop. Alternatively, the leasing company offers on-site capabilities. For example, a fleet can elect to have Penske come in and take over the operation of its maintenance shop using Penske technicians, inventory and processing systems.

“We have wireless shop capability, using a proprietary software program called ServiceNet, [which] basically manages the entire maintenance process for our vehicles, capturing every service call for every vehicle,” Feenstra explains. “To support our over 2,500 technicians in doing repairs, all maintenance information from the OEMs is already built into the system; the program can walk a technician through exactly what needs to be done.”

As part of a full-service lease or contract, Feenstra says, customers have access to Penske's rental fleet of 60,000 commercial vehicles when a replacement vehicle is needed. Penske offers 24/7 roadside emergency service. In addition, contract customers who can predict their needs for additional trucks, such as on a seasonal basis, get a fixed rate for replacement vehicles built into their contract.

About the Author

Deborah McGuffie-Schyhol

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