Michael has worked in fleet management for seven years now. After studying business management at the Automotive College, he became a fleet manager, gaining experience at several companies. In this role he spoke with clients’ employees on a daily basis. It comes as no surprise that Michael chose to work in the automotive sector, as Michael was brought up on a passion for cars. “My grandad maintained cars and repaired race cars. And I’ve always been crazy about Ferrari.”
At Dragintra Michael made an unusual start. He says, “Three weeks later we went in lockdown. I did go to the office a lot, because I wanted an excellent onboarding. As working from home was the standard, there was always just three of us at the office.” Dragintra offered Michael the opportunity to make the step to account management. Michael: “I wanted to become the sparring-partner of our stakeholders and help set the direction.”
Employees’ car budget under pressure
Michael incorporates the knowledge he gained from his daily contacts with employees in his advice on mobility schemes and policies. Because satisfied employees are crucial to Dragintra’s clients. Increasingly, car policies are under pressure, among other things due to the massive price increases. “In the various leased car categories there’s always been some annual indexation. But now the indexation could easily rise to 100 euros or more. This means that an employee’s car budget no longer suffices for the same car or reference car. Yet you don’t want employees having to take a big step down.”
Another aspect that Michael advises on are the home EV charging costs. “Most employers take my advice to pay the energy contract rates. As a result, people benefit privately from the energy price cap introduced by the Dutch government, while driving and home charging the company EV remains cost neutral.”
Compulsory electrification: planning and communication
In view of the 2030 climate goals of the Dutch government, all new cars will ultimately have to be sustainable. That means full electric cars or using alternative fuels. This also calls for an overhaul of policies. Michael advises clients on going green. He doesn’t want his clients to be presented with a fait accompli. That means starting well in advance, because for a motor fleet to go green, excellent planning is essential. “You map out everything. What cars employees are driving currently, maintenance and other costs, market supply, car prices. If necessary, we start a pilot and discuss the issues raised by participating employees.” Based on their feedback, the plan is developed further. Michael, “It’s very important that you get everyone involved on your side.” That requires excellent communication with all the stakeholders. “The reward is that the client’s management approves the plan and that you get to implement it.”
As an account manager Michael also continuously looks for ways to improve processes and optimise motor fleets. That’s why he keeps his finger on the pulse. Having regular operational meetings with clients, he distributes the questions that arise among his specialised colleagues and ensures timely follow-up of actions agreed. In addition, he ensures that the client data are always up-to-date, creates customised reports and analyses the data. “Thanks to Dragintra’s business intelligence system, clients also have insight in the performance of their fleets. And that results in better decision-making by our clients”, says Michael.
Business and private changes
In terms of mobility, Michael envisages even more substantial changes. “Alternative fuels like hydrogen but also other forms of mobility will play an ever greater role. The car lease market itself changes as well, in particular due to takeovers. We continue to be a valuable source of information for our clients and help them respond to relevant changes effectively and in time.”
And talking about changes. Privately, there’s a lot happening in Michael’s life. After the unusual start at Dragintra in lockdown, he and his fiancée bought a house in Bunschoten in the Dutch province of Utrecht in 2021. And in September this year they are going to get married! For Michael, 2023 is going to be an unforgettable year in every respect!