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How Merchants Fleet Uses Connected Vehicle Data to Put Their Clients First

Merchants Fleet is a national fleet management company with the mission of delivering the most comprehensive, flexible, and innovative fleet experience on the planet.

ChallengeSolutionImpact

Challenge

Six thousand vehicles. Six thousand odometer readings. Six thousand maintenance schedules. Six thousand assets to service, deploy, recover, and re-deploy. No matter how you look at it, six thousand vehicles is a lot to manage (and seasonally, the fleet can surge even larger). Layer on cross-country rental coverage and flexible contract terms, and you’re dealing with a lot of complexity.

This is just a normal day managing the growing Mobility Fleet at Merchants.

Merchants Fleet is a national fleet management company (FMC). They provide clients with short-term leasing and long-term rental options as part of their Mobility offering, a key differentiator for the 60-year-old company.

In the mobility space, the needs of clients can change rapidly — Merchants needs to stay ready to provide the right vehicles at the right time. “We are focused on providing contract terms that allow clients to have the vehicle that is needed when it is needed, and for exactly how long it is needed,” said Rick Bell, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Mobility.

Matching the right vehicle to the right client and keeping vehicles up and running are two of the key challenges of running a fleet at this scale.

“We have lots of vehicle movement that we can’t always predict, and in order to maximize the availability of our vehicles, we need to ensure that preventative maintenance is performed on recommended schedules.”

Rick Bell | Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Mobility

Merchants had to find a way to collapse the complexity into a single view that offered insights into all 6,000 of their rental vehicles.

Solution

Merchants needed a partner who could provide the data and insights necessary to deliver exceptional client service at a large scale.

They turned to Motorq. The Motorq Connected Vehicle Platform surfaces OEM-backed data and insights directly from the Merchants Fleet and serves as the back-end for the solution.

Drawing on their expertise as an FMC, Merchants Fleet developed TotalConnect, a proprietary, user-friendly front-end experience fueled by the Motorq platform. This solution is available to any Merchants client who wants deeper visibility into their fleet and who could benefit from seamlessly integrated data. Clients enrolled in TotalConnect can make confident fleet decisions through impactful data insights that require less time spent processing data.

As the name implies, TotalConnect can manage and interpret data from a variety of telematics providers and OEMs, all in a single dashboard. When fleet managers can take advantage of integrated data, it allows them to pinpoint the improvements needed to lower TCO, improve driver safety, and provide value to their organization.

The first TotalConnect customer? Merchants themselves, of course! This is the story of how the Mobility Fleet at Merchants leverages the same technology they sell to clients in order to effectively manage their own mobility fleet.

When fleet managers can take advantage of integrated data, it allows them to pinpoint the improvements needed to lower TCO, improve driver safety, and provide value to their organization.

Impact

For clients who leverage Merchants Fleet for both long-term leases and their Mobility-powered shorter-term rentals, TotalConnect brings together insights on every active vehicle.

For the Mobility fleet, TotalConnect brings focus to their fleet management efforts. When operating at such a large scale, understanding how to prioritize time and effort is critical. Data signals from the vehicles via TotalConnect help the Merchants team get ahead of vehicle problems before they become business problems.

“Mobility moves fast. The rental time frame changes, we receive increased or varied vehicle needs, and clients request different vehicles such as vans, pickups, or other specialty transportation. TotalConnect reverses much of this unpredictability for us, and more importantly, for our clients”

Rick Bell | Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Mobility

Today, Merchants uses TotalConnect to:

  • Track vehicle location to match vehicles to clients
  • Keep preventative maintenance on-track
  • Recover lost vehicles
  • Give clients precise updates on when their vehicles will be delivered

80%

80% of eligible vehicles enrolled among Merchants Fleet’s largest customers