A single company managing 3,000 cars is not easy; especially when it's a car leasing company. Management of fleet, keeping track of the cars, and ensuring its maintenance is primary to a car leasing company. Carzonrent India Pvt Ltd, a car rental company in business for the last ten years or so,knew the challenges of fleet management. However, its brands (Easy Cabs and Hertz India) worked on a legacy system till 2009, before realizing that it did not meet the requirements of a growing business. Carzonrent India guessed it needed a home grown solution for management of fleet, different from its FoxPro-based system, and so it developed a fleet management system (FMS). Downtime is now down by 90%.
A typical car rental team rents cars to various organizations for a specific period, and during this time the company does the management of fleet. Carzonrent provides car rentals across 53 locations in India and has several offices. "We found it difficult to manage offices across different regions. The turnaround time was quite high. Sending quotations to customers would take time, as management of fleet was a challenge. Tracking records of our cars was also difficult," admits Rajesh Munjal, the head of information technology at Carzonrent India Pvt Ltd.
The cathartic effect
In November 2008, the IT team at Easy Cabs realized the need for an efficient system that can operate all information on one system. That was not going to be easy. "There are several ERP products in the market but of no avail to us. So we decided to develop one that would help us in management of fleet. The project got management backing," adds Munjal.
Within five months and having spent Rs 27 lakh, Carzonrent India's team of 10 people built an FMS system. "We went live in April 2009. Some of the manpower came in from the outsourcing partner," says Munjal. The IT team first replaced the legacy system, followed by building different modules like approval process, lead management, quotation, invoicing, delivery and dispatch of the product, service reminders, service history, management of fleet, among other requirements.
Developing a home grown solution for management of fleet is a challenge, particularly migration of data. "We scrutinized important data and then migrated to the new system. Data was re-entered to avoid duplication. More importantly, the company needed to complete the FMS project before the end of the financial year. "We spent lot of time hunting for a vendor," recalls Munjal.
According to Munjal, the FMS was built in one fourth of the cost, as compared to ready packages. The system saves us 80% of processing time. We are most happy that the in-house system has also raised the confidence levels of our team when it comes to effective management of fleet. The processes are managed by six fleet managers, thus bringing down operational expenses," says Munjal.
Going ahead, Munjal wants to take this technology for fleet management to the customers. "The next level will be a self service model. The system should be able to give options to the customer as per his budget. We plan to initiate this by next year," he says.