Can you please describe a typical day in the life of a Fleet Acquisition and Procurement Manager?
We deal a lot with the US and Europe, so the morning is usually spent checking on emails from them. But being in rental, no two days are the same. So, for example, here in Melbourne things were going gangbusters and rentals were through the roof. We didn’t have enough cars. We were chasing cars every day. Then all of sudden, bang, lockdowns happen and that’s it. There’s no more, and we’ve got the reverse problem.
How have you tackled the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown your way?
I’ve never seen anything like it. Normally we would purchase around 10,000 cars every year, just in Australia. And probably about two to three thousand in New Zealand. Before Covid hit, we ordered all our cars. We were on track to do that. Then, back in March and April of 2020, we had to cancel 80 percent of our order. We just did not know what was going to happen. Luckily for us, people were cashed up and couldn’t get new cars. So everyone was buying used cars. That really helped us.
Then, in 2021, we’ve had trouble getting new cars to replace the used ones we sold. It’s sort of a vicious cycle. A lot of the manufactures are suffering from a couple of factors. There's an increase in demand from a retail point of view. But also there’s a massive issue globally about semiconductors. So, supply is down.
You just have to adapt. We’re sort of chasing everyone at the moment. We’re lucky, because we’ve got really good relationships with the manufacturers and they’ve really looked after us. Toyota in particular, they’re our biggest supplier. They’ve been great, and they’re really trying to help us out.