Fleet ambitions – Allianz’s take on modern business travel

29 July 2015

It takes more than company cars to keep worldwide workforces moving. Franz Fehlner, head of international fleet, global travel, MICE and mobility at Allianz managed operations and services (AMOS), explains how flexibility and sustainability are the founding principles of modern business travel.

How do you define 'mobility management', and how mature do you consider the AMOS (managed operations and services) model?

Franz Fehlner: For Allianz, mobility management deals not only with vehicles, but also with a broader range of driver behaviours, as well as understanding what motorists want, without increasing cost.

The company's forthcoming 'Champion' models will not only have reduced emissions, but will also have a reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) in order to strike a balance between price and CO2 efficiency.

Buying cars in bulk results in a scale effect, which means they will cost less for employees and for the company. To track efficiency, a reporting tool that focuses on the TCO needs to be implemented to enable global strategies and tailored offerings to be developed.

Why has AMOS been so successful with its operating model? How has mobility management helped Allianz improve sustainability?

AMOS is the shared-services provider for Allianz, and it cooperates closely with each of its operational entities. Numerous factors have contributed to this success. AMOS received the Fleet Europe award for the concept of car policy 2.0.

It's not only about delivering cars or services via the fleet, but is also about creating total flexibility. When people ask AMOS for mobility, it's not just about which car they should take, and the answer is a combination of elements (cars, trains, air travel and bikes).

At the moment, AMOS has many projects that will be launched on an Allianz group level in the future, and it is working on car policy 2.0.

The idea is to give employees the opportunity to choose the means of mobility that best fits their personal situation. For example, an employee who lives and works in separate counties might benefit more from a train or flight ticket, than a company car. At the moment, AMOS is conceiving a policy that will cover all of these fields. The next step in the process is to convince internal business partners and departments that it should be implemented.

AMOS is also offering bicycles to employees, in addition to, or instead of, a company car.

"The idea is to give employees the opportunity to choose the means of mobility that best suits their situation. An employee who lives and works in separate counties might benefit more from a train or flight ticket than a company car."

At Allianz, there are also some popular car-sharing models in countries including Germany and France, and employees are very satisfied. Being flexible and willing to accommodate people gives Allianz a great advantage.

What's more, employees who have no car of their own can use a company car for the weekend, or after work, by paying a preferred rate.

This is another motivation for companies to offer. Allianz plans to extend its car-sharing model soon to align with current trends.

You have a unique job function: how do you bring together the worlds of fleet, travel management and MICE?

I work in the GTMM (global travel, MICE and mobility) department and am responsible for everything relating to fleets. Other team members who handle other relevant business areas (for example, hotels, MICE, air travel and travel agencies) and regular meetings are held in which everyone learns from each other and shares their knowledge of the different businesses.

To what extent has total cost of mobility replaced TCO as the main metric?

To manage overall mobility costs, the focus must always be on all direct and indirect expenses. All data must also be in a usable format, which is why it is consolidated: this gives Allianz the transparency required for clear insight into every cost element at every level.

Every cost is considered, including taxation and the consequences of CO2 emissions. This enables the right support to be provided to local fleet managers, environmental protection to be increased and fuel costs to be significantly reduced. This process must be followed continuously in an ever-changing world.

What consumes most of your time, and what are your priorities?

My priorities are collecting and consolidating fleet data from all the different countries. The other big item is to define the most efficient and attractive car models for all of our entities.

Allianz has a substantial global fleet. What types of vehicles does it include, and who are the main users?

The Allianz Group fleet is mainly passenger cars, while light commercial vehicles make up around 5%. The main users are Allianz's board members and sales force, as well as managers.

How is your fleet managed? Do you have a single/multiservice provider?

Allianz uses different funding models, which makes this a difficult question to answer. Some countries buy their fleets, while others use operational leasing.

Then, there are those who use a mix of both models, plus an external fleet management partner. In the leasing sector, volume is bundled into four global leasing partners.

Fleet management is under review, and a strategy for the future is being developed. Allianz will reduce the number of car manufacturers in the fleet by taking local requirements into consideration.

What are the sustainability stats for your fleet?

The strategy at AMOS is to combine a restricted choice of company cars with eco-driver training and other 'green' initiatives. Allianz installed legal environmental officers in all key countries in 2014: these provide an overview of how countries are complying with travel policies and fleet strategies. A global reporting tool that can compare a car's true CO2 emission with the figure given by its manufacturer is also being implemented; Allianz only wants truly green cars in its fleet.

Franz Fehlner has been the head of international fleet at Allianz managed operations and services since 2013. Fehlner started his career at Allianz in 1996 as head of procurement and has been responsible for managing different industry sectors, including automotive, pharmacy, financial services and IT.