TCH Leasing - Reaping the benefits

TCH Leasing is reaping the benefits of switching its internal fleet management software to DRIVE Software Solutions.

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TCH went looking for a modern IT platform when their incumbent supplier was unable to update its product – leaving them with an outdated system which was preventing TCH Leasing from being able to offer the products and services its clients were increasingly demanding during contract negotiation.

One of the main issues with the previous system was around an inability to manage electronic communications such as invoices and payment notification. Additionally, the  legacy system required more manual input than was ideal. TCH spent several years investigating potential systems before settling on DRIVE. Joint Managing Director Mark Hammond comments on the project.

MarkHammondTCH"Companies had approached us and asked us to look at what they were offering. We looked at them, and some appeared to be little more than an expensive empty box. A rival of ours alerted us to DRIVE’s products and once we started looking we could see there was a potential solution for us. I would not say we had no concerns, but we did our due diligence and had several meetings. I am pleased we went down this route."

The move to a new supplier came about due to frustration with the previous supplier’s unwillingness to develop its system. Hammond added:

"We had one or two blue sky meetings discussing what we would like, but nothing happened and the sky stayed grey. That is why we started looking for something new. We previously had a basic online quoting system but it was not very effective and it had not been developed over the years.

Customers are more demanding these days. They want better reporting and real, actionable information about their vehicles and drivers. We just could not do that. It took an inordinate amount of time to get anything done because the supplier did not want to develop the system. Often, it was easier and more effective for us to work around the old system rather than get it changed. This can lead to more work and process vulnerability."

Now that the switch to DRIVE has been completed, Hammond is positive about the future of the system and what it will be able to do for TCH Leasing. He said:

"Drive will release people’s time to do other things and allow us to exploit even more functionality in the solution. It is an on-going project to develop the system and grow the business in tandem. We have started to look at workflow - and that will benefit the business significantly.

We can automate elements of our business and give our clients timelier information. The system will ensure wemaintain a high level of customer service. It also has the power to ensure that tasks are not forgotten over time by prompting either ourselves or customers and taking away the need for manual notes or diarising off-system."

Ken Buckley, Sales Director, believes the move to DRIVE will help the firm expand the business and grow its fleet based around the increased online offering now available. He commented:

"The online facilities we had were limited – in fact, they were virtually non-existent. Customers want an online facility to be able to access all of their account, whether it be the maintenance element, accounting information or their quotations. They want to manage their vehicles and drivers and have relevant fleet management reports. With the old system, this was not possible. With DRIVE, we will be able to satisfy these crucial requirements and automate an element of the support which will allow TCH to take on more business without additional resource or cost."

Teething issues

One of the big challenges in implementing the new software was the complex accounts system in place at TCH Leasing. Accountant Bozena Kowalyszyn said:

From the time it went live and up to where we are today there have been very positive changes from our point of view. We have resolved a few issues which I am very happy with. Our part of the business was very heavily affected by the change of system. DRIVE needed to understand the accounting requirements of our business. We initially had issues with direct debit collections and emailing statements. But we put a lot of hard work into that and with help from DRIVE it is now working very well.

Easing frustrations

Administration Manager, Diane Shaw, believes the move to DRIVE will end some of the frustrations the TCH team had with their old system. Much of her frustration centred around the inability to send quotes from the system via email. Talking about this Diane says:

"On the old system emailing statements was just not possible. I had a box that said ‘Email’ but it didn’t send an email. The old supplier was just not able to fix the issue. “The fact that I can now actually generate a quote and press the button and send it to the person I want it to go to and say, ‘here you are’, is an absolute revelation."

The tail wagging the dog

The previous system, used by TCH Leasing became so out-dated that staff were having to work around it to get on with their jobs – a case of the tail wagging the dog. Describing this, Administration Executive Jennifer Jones said:

"Pretty much in every area of the business there were problems. We kind of made our day-to-day tasks fit with the way that the system was. We were doing manual things because it couldn’t do what you needed it to do. We had to manually key in the invoices for daily rental hire that came from an outsourced platform because it couldn’t cope with the interface. The system was also limited on the amount of characters, so when you were searching for a particular vehicle, especially with vans that have a really long description, you were not always sure that you were getting the right one resulting in ordering and supply errors. DRIVE is much better designed in this respect giving certainty in operation."

Getting up to date

Steve Rogerson, who works in group systems support, says one of the reasons for moving to DRIVE is to get a more up to date system where customers can log on and get details about their own fleet which was not previously available. And, after numerous meetings with the old supplier, it appeared that updates from them were never going to happen. He said:

"We kept asking the question, ‘where are we? What is happening with the development of the system?’ but they said, ‘we’ve got other things on the go at the moment’. So the result was that nothing changed."

Ironing out issues

As would be expected, several issues cropped up during the implementation of the DRIVE system. Accountant John Honeywood said:

"Things have definitely settled down and we are running smoothly. I am looking forward to taking advantage of the improvements DRIVE can deliver. The main issue that DRIVE has helped us with is reconciling the fleet to the nominal ledger. Reporting the details on any given lease such as start date, end date, number of months paid in advance, etc., to establish from the fleet side, what we expect the balance in the nominal ledger should be and then comparing the actual balance in the nominal ledger to ensure that what is reported in the accounts is correct.. This used to be problematic with a lot of manual workings, but the guys from DRIVE wrote a report that does that for us now.

With more automation, it feels like we have a bit more time to investigate issues as they arise.  I am looking forward to an even smoother running operation from here on."

Looking to the future

Purchasing Manager Jane Ibbotson hopes that recommendations made by employees will filter through to make amendments to the new system. She said:

"I’m hoping for it to speed our jobs up a little bit. There is clutter on there that I think we don’t need, so over time hopefully we will be able to remove it ’ to make the screens look neater so that we are only dealing with what we need. We have quickened up on the ordering and we want to make it even better. 

We now have a new schedule that accommodates a client who is ordering 50 identical vehicles so he can have just one schedule, and not have 50 schedules. The previous system meant we had to complete this task manually."

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The DRIVE perspective by Director of Sales and Marketing Simon West-Oliver

simon west oliver drive portraits 10 17 004Drive Software Solutions (DSSL) was approached by TCH Leasing following an extensive review of the  suppliers to the sector and a suggestion from one of their local competitors that they should really talk to us.

DRIVE as a solution was viewed by many as a supplier for the large end of the market, multi-nationals and OEM’s. It was fortuitous for both parties as DSSL were about to launch into the market a hosted managed service solution aimed at businesses just like TCH Leasing.nAfter several meetings and detailed due diligence TCH Leasing agreed to be the first client to embrace this new way of delivering the latest market required functionality and technology.

The key issues that TCH Leasing wanted to address stemmed from their incumbent IT supplier who didn’t appear to be keen to support a highly agile business that had a desire to embrace technology to help them grow their market share. It was apparent that TCH Leasing needed a stronger digital presence and needed to secure their hard earned client base by offering them flexibility and a range of on-line facilities to manage their fleet assets. A key driver for TCH Leasing was modernisation and the ability to compete with larger suppliers who were starting to offer a true digital experience to the market.

Businesses the size of TCH Leasing are often IT support constrained as they tend to be very sales and persona driven organisations, offering a highly personal level of account and relationship management to their customers.

Having the time to lose key members out of the day to day activity of running the business to implementing a new solution is always a major issue. To meet this challenge, DSSL increased the level of both remote and on-site support and extended the time to facilitate and support the key staff involved.

Now that TCH Leasing is up and live with DRIVE, they have a true “cradle to grave” platform from TCH’s online landing page and front of shop website, to a hosted managed service, so TCH have an almost plug and play business application that is future proofed by the ORACLE technology platform it sits on.

The DRIVE Solution provided to TCH Leasing

A single phase implementation of DRIVE, making full use of ORACLE scalability, reliability and referential integrity capabilities, to deliver the core business functionality consisting of:

  • Fleet Administration: At the core of DRIVE is the administration which provides a central control of every aspect of the “day to day” operations of a fleet centric business.
  • DRIVE Financials: The DRIVE Financials suite is a fully interfaced financial management module and offers profitability reporting at lease and vehicle level.
  • Quotations and Leasing: Fully supports a busy sales centric organisation with both internal and external 
    web facilities.
  • Short Term Rental: The fully integrated short term rental module provides control of internally owned assets or for “back to back” rental arrangements with third party rental companies.
  • Credit Management: DRIVE provides for credit line management whereby credit variables and a rule set can be quickly applied to a product or group of companies, this includes hierarchical rules.
  • Workflow: A fully integrated DRIVE developed product, Workflow monitors activity in real time and provides timely reminders or instructions based around the customer, product and SLA metrics.
  • eModules: An easily deployed web facing environment designed for users external to the business, where the look and feel can be easily customised and controlled.
  • Customer Management: Analytical reports are supported with simple workflow and task management to ensure a full proactive sales management process.
  • Reporting: ORACLE-Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) is included.
  • Management Queries: Management queries enable on screen reports to be run against a defined set of search criteria and results columns.
  • Bespoke Reporting: DRIVE provides a BI (Business Intelligence) reporting tool with a rich set of features and presentation formats.
  • TCH Specific functionality supported in DRIVE.

About DRIVE

DRIVE is a global cloud based solutions provider and strategic mobility company. With over 30 years’ experience and an ongoing commitment to our core market to deliver asset management solutions in the evolving mobility sector, we are a partner trusted by the biggest names in leasing across the world.

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