IBIS Partner Interview – Enterprise
Long term IBIS Global Summit partner Enterprise Rent-A-Car is one of the largest transportation solution providers in the world. Here, we speak with Stuart Sandell, director, sales replacement division – Enterprise Rent-A-Car Europe, Enterprise Rent-A-Car to find out more about the business and how it continues to evolve.
Please provide a brief overview of Enterprise’s ‘total transportation solution’ philosophy.
Businesses are increasingly looking for one company to advise them and provide the best mobility service either to their customers, in the case of body shops and insurance companies, or for their employees.
Enterprise has developed a branch network, range of vehicles, funding options and proprietary technologies to support this. It means we can offer mobility to customers for an hour, a day, a week, a month or even many years, whether they require a small hatchback or a supercar, a hybrid or a van, or even an articulated truck. We have the relationships and the network to support all of these requirements.
The automotive sector is changing rapidly, what specific challenges and opportunities does this present to Enterprise?
Greater choice and advances in technology mean that customers value the experience and advice that Enterprise can bring to help them make the best mobility decisions. This is leading to a growing demand for rental, and also gives us the opportunity to offer more than just vehicles. We provide software, analysis, booking technologies and strategic counsel so that we can deliver the best service to customers.
Our heritage in the replacement market means that we are one of the biggest providers of vehicles to body shop and insurance customers while their own vehicles are being repaired. As our fleet is one of the largest in the world, and our vehicles are on average only 10 to 12 months old, we are also one of the largest repairers of the latest models featuring the newest innovations. We welcome the opportunity to share this knowledge and experience with our partners to help them develop their skills base and understand the challenges around the corner.
How is the business integrated within the collision repair sector?
We partner with repairers in order to offer the best service to our customers and theirs. We supply repairers with bespoke technology to improve repair management and communications, manage high volumes of repair and create low cost replacement vehicle solutions to provide mobility to their customers.
In return, repairers offer us the capacity to deal with the volume of repairs from our rental locations, and enable us to provide high quality service at the right price, at a fast turnaround to meet the demands of our customers.
We continue to invest in developing our suite of software solutions. We recently announced our partnership with Guidewire where we have a fully functional accelerator for our rental booking platform, ARMS, so that rental and direct communication to repairers can be easily integrated into the claims process. We are developing the same for users of Performance Gateway. CAPS is increasingly the de facto communications standard in the UK motor claims and repair sector, and enables all stakeholders to access and share data securely and cost effectively.
What ‘value’ does Enterprise bring to the collision repair sector?
The collision repair sector is very important to Enterprise and we are both a customer and a supplier to vehicle repairers in North America as well as in several European countries and, of course, in the UK.
We have the largest vehicle rental fleet in the UK, with vehicles across more than 450 locations nationwide, so we bring high repair volumes to bodyshops all over the country.
We continue to look for new ways to enable repairers to provide their customers with replacement vehicles in the most timely and cost-efficient manner possible. In addition, we work with repairers to help them increase repair bay utilisation by ensuring there is always a replacement vehicle when a customer needs it.
We also offer a suite of software solutions to help repairers and indeed the whole motor claims industry to work more effectively together.
How does Enterprise’s involvement within the collision repair sector vary regionally? Please outline some examples.
Our relationship with the repair community is most established in North America, the UK and Ireland. In these areas, we are one of the largest work providers and the principal supplier of onward mobility for customers whose cars are in for repair. We also provide software solutions to our partners in the repair sector.
We approach each market individually and develop our services in line with domestic requirements. In Germany, for example, the manufacturer and dealer are the key contact points for a customer in the repair process. France and Spain have different requirements for replacement vehicles and software solutions. In France, for example, one of our customers was especially interested in a tablet-based rental solution, which we recently rolled out nationally.
What challenges and opportunities do you see specifically within the collision repair sector?
A combination of factors is putting increasing pressure on repairers. This includes the complexity of vehicle repairs as more technology is integrated into vehicle design, surges in demand due to weather conditions, continuing consolidation in the sector, skills shortages, and a more demanding customer that expects continuous mobility as a given.
We actively work to support repairers in addressing these issues, for example by ensuring replacement cars are available so repairs are never turned away and bays are as fully utilised as possible. We further help repairers prepare for new data legislation through technologies that we provide, such as CAPS and ARMS.
What is Enterprise’s key strategic focus for the collision repair sector moving ahead?
As Enterprise is both a customer and a supplier to the repair sector, our priority is to support the development of a strong, capable and ‘future-proofed’ network globally that adapts to new types of vehicles, customer demands and the needs of our employees.
Our long history of providing replacement vehicles to repairers is as central to our business as the new technologies that we are evolving and integrating to support the repair process.
You are exposed to all sides of the automotive sector across the globe – what key trends do you see emerging over the next 12 to 18 months?
Everything we do is about delivering efficient service to our end customers, often through our partners. It’s about ensuring access to the right kind of mobility at the right place and at the right time. This is an exciting time for automotive mobility, and we are finding that rental is at the heart of many of the developments.
For example, we work with manufacturers to test new technologies, help repairers to access data on how to repair the latest vehicles, and work with local government to deliver more efficient mobility to their communities and employees. The primary trend is change itself – and how rental is helping the automotive supply chain to re-evaluate how road transport delivers mobility sustainably and effectively.
Lastly, you’re an ever-present IBIS Global Summit partner – what makes IBIS so important to you as a business?
IBIS brings together like-minded individuals and businesses from all corners of Europe and the globe, so provides us fascinating insight into the industry. It is also an important networking environment, since representatives from many of our stakeholders and partners are involved. It is a great place to keep up to date with the industry.