As a large organisation with staff operating throughout New Zealand, ACC rents vehicles on a daily basis. Using an online booking tool provided by their travel management company Tandem Travel, it’s as easy as going online and picking the vehicle required – all the inventory is displayed on the booking tool, so staff know exactly what to expect. ‘The Thrifty fleet meets our needs,’ says Peter. ‘Our preference is for a compact or economy car, and that’s pretty well-served with the [Toyota] Yaris. But if we want something bigger – if there are four people travelling, for example – we’ve never had a case where a bigger car was not available.’
For Peter, it’s a priority right now to increase the use of Thrifty’s fleet of electric vehicles by ACC staff. They had a ‘small issue’ with the visibility of electric vehicles on the online booking tool and wanted to make them easier to find – though that ‘might have been more about the booking tool than Thrifty’, says Peter. ‘Thrifty came back with good pricing on electric vehicles,’ he says, ‘but uptake by staff has still been slow … it’s a matter of educating staff that electric vehicles might cost a bit more to rent, but then there is no petrol cost.’
An ongoing working relationship between ACC and Thrifty is founded on the fact that Thrifty Car Rental ‘has a good, pretty much nationwide service that meets our needs’, adds Peter, and they’ve continued to deliver a consistent service, even when things go wrong. ‘They’re responsive if we need to follow anything up, for example, if a car is damaged,’ says Peter. ‘It’s easy to get the information we need, and they’ll always come back to you.’
For staff, using Thrifty couldn’t be easier, as Peter experienced for himself last month when a business trip saw him travelling to Auckland and Hamilton. The Thrifty office at Auckland Airport is directly outside the terminal and the car was ready to go. ‘You just have to sign the appropriate documents, then you’re straight into the car.’ Returning the car to Hamilton Airport the following day was even easier. The office was unmanned because it was later in the day, so it was simply a matter of dropping the keys into the drop box.
Thrifty Car Rental operates in 31 locations around New Zealand, with conveniently positioned sites at airports, cities and ferry terminals, and the option of one-way rentals makes planning business itineraries a breeze.
For Peter, whose role includes resolving issues that staff encounter when they’re out doing their job, it’s especially important to have a strong relationship with suppliers so that any problems can be solved as quickly and easily as possible. ‘We have a good relationship with Thrifty staff,’ he explains. ‘We can pick up the phone if we need to and any disputes are easily resolved with a conversation.’
As well as responding quickly when things go wrong, Thrifty Car Rental’s Business Development Managers are committed to providing tailor-made solutions for business clients, ensuring that every aspect of the process, from booking to accounts, is a perfect fit for their clients’ business systems.
Great communication and efficient systems are essential but, when you’re in business, the bottom line is also a key consideration when it comes to choosing your service providers. When the contract recently came up for renewal, Thrifty was ‘right up there in terms of competitive pricing’, says Peter, and, as a result of being able to achieve excellent value for money, ACC has committed to continuing its relationship with Thrifty Car Rental.
Words Michelle Berridge