Scania Finance – the unique solution
Petr Novotny, managing director Scania Finance, explains why Scania’s vehicle finance solution is unique.
There is no reason that transport operators – especially those who are feeling the pinch of tough economic times – should be left to fight through financial matters alone. Regardless of the focus of your business, or whether you need to procure, off-load or insure a vehicle (or even a genset, for that matter), Novotny is confident that Scania Finance can make the process easy.
“The Scania approach is to provide the customer with a full solution, with the main benefit simply being that of cost,” he explains. “Our solution must mirror the operator’s needs exactly: we try to match the cost with his revenue stream, keeping affordability and financial stability in mind.”
That all sounds ideal, but, in practice, how is it achieved? An understanding of the customer’s needs – the type of vehicle, its specification and the area in which it operates – is the beginning.
Novotny adds: “We also find out who the customer’s customers are, so we can understand what they expect of the operation. Based on all this information, we evaluate the risk, structure a deal and create a solution.”
“We look at each operation differently and also try to understand its specific risks. The solution can be customised for each client, because our definition of risk is not predefined.”
There is a spin-off advantage, too – convenience. One relationship, whether it’s with the salesman, financial representative, or more senior person within the Scania organisation, means one point of contact, and one invoice at the end of every month. The results are less administration and a saving of time. “And for our customers, time is money,” Novotny asserts.
This agility, says Novotny, is only enabled through the cross-functional cooperation between the Scania sales, after-sales, finance, insurance and used-vehicle departments.
“There’s a ‘value chain flow’ throughout the organisation, not a silo approach,” Novotny explains.
This approach is clearly hitting the right notes with operators. In the last 18 months, Scania finance has increased its penetration from 40 to 60 percent. “Our customers see it as a contribution to their business,” Novotny says. “If difficult times come, we can help our customers make difficult decisions and find the best solutions.”
An increased footprint helps in this regard, with the Scania Finance organisation fully based in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya (and looking at Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well).
“We want to make it easier for our customers to keep their operation where they want it to be – if they want to diversify across borders and base their fleet elsewhere, they must be able to do that easily …”
“We’ve changed from a ‘banking’ way of doing business to a proactive cooperation with the customer. The main focus for us is on the customer,” he reiterates. “If our customers run a profitable business, we can run a profitable business,” he concludes.