Imagine a company that employs more than 1,800 people, is active throughout Switzerland and owns only one van and one delivery van with a lifting platform. "The employees all travel by public transport," you might interject. In fact, that's quite true, because often their place of work is actually at a railway station. However, they need some equipment there — for example, samples of new products, printed material or stand material. They cannot possibly transport all this themselves, let alone by train or bus.
#Hertz Business with SPOOL - Marcel Brauchli
Flexibility is indispensable
Spool AG uses only two of its own vehicles for the provision of its diverse promotional services. This mini fleet is nowhere near enough. In this Hertz business story, Marcel Brauchli, head of operations and logistics, talks about why the Zurich company does not want to increase its fleet of vehicles despite there being a definite need to do so.
When you consider that at the company in question, Spool AG in Zurich, there is practically not a single day in the year when a customer order is not being carried out somewhere, the mini fleet seems much more daring. Depending on the season, there can be five orders on the same day, but at completely different locations. And then two vehicles are at least three too few. Any reasonably sensible fleet manager would immediately remedy such a precarious situation and purchase additional vehicles. Marcel Brauchli, who is the head of operations and logistics at Spool and is jointly responsible for fleet management, dismisses the idea: "The opposite is true. It would be absolutely unreasonable to operate more than two of our own vehicles," he emphasises.
Anyone who learns a little more about Spool AG can soon understand Marcel Brauchli's position. For one thing, the company's headquarters are located in the middle of the city of Zurich, space is known to be very scarce and thus extremely expensive there. On the other hand, there are seasonal operational peaks that require more employees and therefore more vehicles as well for a few days, while at other times less of both is sufficient. The great strength of Spool AG is therefore the pool of over 1,800 employees: "The vast majority of our employees are employed on a freelance basis, which is why we are a popular employer for students," says Marcel Brauchli.
What makes sense in terms of staff makes no less sense with regard to the vehicle fleet. In the end, sometimes more and sometimes fewer vehicles are needed, and not always the same ones. If, for example, 90 Spool attendants are working at the WEF in Davos, one van is enough to look after them on site and equip them with their uniforms. If, on the other hand, a so-called railway station sampling is pending, where promotions employees distribute product samples to thousands of commuters, a lot of material has to be transported. For roadshows throughout Switzerland, two or three delivery vans with lifting platforms are quickly on the road.
Since Spool AG only owns one "lifting platform", in such cases it rents appropriate vehicles. Usually from Hertz. Why Hertz? "There are several reasons for this, among them very practical ones. The Hertz commercial vehicle station at Hardturm is located quite close to us," says Marcel Brauchli with a smile. But the short distance alone would, of course, not suffice as an argument, he immediately adds. "We have been able to rely on Hertz for excellent service for many years. They really do everything they can to meet our needs as seamlessly as possible."
Money also plays a role when choosing a partner. After all, costs at Spool AG, as with any company, should be kept as low as possible. As a business customer, Spool benefits from special rates that are valid for a defined period of time. In addition, all rental cars, including commercial vehicles, can be used without a kilometre limit. Fortunately, because with the 250 or so vehicles we rent from Hertz each year, we only drive a total of about 50,000 kilometres, but sometimes we drive 2,000 kilometres or more with the same vehicle in just a few days," says Marcel Brauchli.
The latter figure might puzzle some fleet professionals. With so many kilometres, surely an additional vehicle of one's own must be worthwhile? Marcel Brauchli puts it into perspective: "This is true to some extent, but we always come to the same conclusion: renting additional vehicles as needed is the most economical solution. And it's also more ecological, because, as is well known, many tonnes of emissions are produced during the construction of a single vehicle.
In the end, the greatest advantage, which cannot be sufficiently valorised with money, is flexibility. "It is indispensable for us. After all it is part of our DNA and our customers expect us to deliver all kinds of orders even at short notice. Since with Hertz we can expand our fleet at equally short notice, the partnership is perfect for us," sums up Marcel Brauchli.