'Getting a grip' through fleet-centric leasing

Industry: Industrial
Customer story

Saint-Gobain is one of the world’s largest building materials companies.

Global building materials company Saint-Gobain has experienced impressive growth in North America in recent years, partly through strategic acquisitions. To create more transparency, control costs and make smarter decisions, Saint-Gobain turned to its financial solutions partner DLL to support a comprehensive fleet management program for its materials handling equipment.

Thousands of units over hundreds of locations

Back in 2011, Saint-Gobain had equipment spread over North America, but there was no central oversight of the entire fleet.
"We had thousands of units spread over hundreds of locations"; says Mary Chantry, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Saint-Gobain North America. "Some were documented and some not. Everything was locally managed, and there was no visibility across the organization."

Getting a grip
To introduce greater control over their equipment expenses and simplify their financing, Saint-Gobain concentrated all its forklift equipment financing under a single fleet-centric leasing provider: DLL.

We had thousands of units spread over hundreds of locations. Some were documented and some not. Everything was locally managed, and there was no visibility across the organization. "
Customer story

Financing the equipment is just one aspect. “There are countless other costs to consider when calculating the Total Cost of Operation (TCO) of equipment,” says Dave Bugas, DLL Account Manager. “Maintenance, downtime, fuel, labor, etc. To manage this, we encouraged Saint-Gobain to work with a brand-independent third party fleet management provider to create a framework that could support a variety of equipment types and brands.”

Fleet-centric leasing

Saint-Gobain partnered with BEB Industrial Asset Management, Inc., an independent fleet management service specialized in forklifts and other materials handling equipment. BEB introduced extensive technology tools and a central database tracking system, giving Saint-Gobain an overview of their entire fleet and helping them centrally track equipment usage and costs.Saint-Gobain estimated its asset<br>base at roughly $6 million (€ 5.38 million)<br>in the U.S. and Canada, but the<br>fleet management tools indicated<br>they were closer to $30 million<br>(€ 26.9 million).

The results were surprising. Whereas Saint-Gobain estimated their asset base at roughly $6 million (€ 5.38 million) in the U.S. and Canada, the fleet management tools indicated they were closer to $30 million (€ 26.9 million). Similarly, their annual spend was double what they had thought. Another eye-opener was that they owned over half their equipment.

Bugas says this is precisely why professional fleet management tools are so important to global organizations like Saint-Gobain. “The system allows companies to make smarter decisions about if and when to replace old equipment and how to structure new leases to avoid over- or under-utilization.”

We now know the real value of our leases, in-house labor and utilization, as well as how efficient and safe our equipment is, resulting in significant cost savings and operational improvements for our businesses. "
Customer story

Hard data

"We now know the real value of our leases, in-house labor and utilization, as well as how efficient and safe our equipment is, resulting in significant cost savings and operational improvements for our businesses,” says Chantry.

"Since the fleet management program began, we have saved millions of dollars and cut 450 units of redundant equipment,” says Don Bratton, Senior Consultant for BEB Industrial Asset Management. “Having a strong leasing partner like DLL has made this a much easier and more efficient process for Saint-Gobain.

Since the fleet management program began, we have saved millions of dollars and cut 450 units of redundant equipment. "
Customer story

Building value

Our organization, management and stakeholders are convinced of the value of the fleet management program, and we see it expanding to other assets,” says Chantry. “The key is to challenge each other to remain competitive and innovative as our relationship moves forward.”