Cronos Group is all about innovation. Their long-term cooperation with Alphabet is therefore no coincidence. With AlphaRent, they can count on a flexible addition to their fleet every day. As Fleet Manager, Danielle De Cnodder plays an important role in this respect. Together with Wim van ’t Geloof, Managing Partner at Cronos Group, she explains how Alphabet supports the group in its entrepreneurship.
With its IT services, Cronos Group is active in various, innovative sectors: from media companies to insurance and banking. What started out as a one-man business now has more than 7,000 employees, spread across more than 200 companies. With a consolidated turnover of 768 million euros in 2019, the group can safely call itself 'one of the big guys'. And, of course, a big player also has a big fleet. Keeping that fleet running smoothly is the job of Fleet Manager Danielle De Cnodder.
Danielle, how is the Cronos Group fleet organised?
“We currently have some 3,800 vehicles. 600 of these are pool cars, which are used as temporary cars or as first cars for new employees. Our HR department tells us how many new employees we are going to welcome. Then we first supply cars from our own pool fleet. We then contact Alphabet to deliver the required cars to the new employees' homes. Alphabet's mobility solutions are therefore very important to us as a flexible addition to our own fleet. We therefore work with them on a daily basis.”
As Managing Partner, Wim van't Geloof has mainly a supporting and advisory role in the Group's fleet management. The size of the fleet makes it possible to work with models so as to optimise the volume.
Wim, why is such a predictive model important to you?
“That way we keep our fleet balanced and avoid cars remaining unused for a long time. Thus, we know perfectly well how many vehicles we must order ourselves and how many we must request from Alphabet. They respond to this immediately and are able to provide cars whenever we experience a peak in demand. This flexibility helps us do good business.”
Our cooperation with Alphabet is based on flexibility. We can always easily provide a variable buffer around our own fleet.
When do you rely most on Alphabet?
“September is traditionally a busy month for us. As a group, we want to give young starters plenty of opportunities - which, incidentally, is one of the pillars on which Cronos Group is based. These starters usually begin immediately after they graduate. However, we also feel extra pressure on our fleet at the beginning of each month and on Mondays. At such times, Alphabet is there to provide cars where necessary.”
Do you also use AlphaRent to rent cars for a very short time?
“Yes, of course, this is particularly useful if new employees have to surrender their leased car to their former employer somewhat earlier. At such times, Alphabet will provide a car which the new employee can use for a few days until he or she receives another car from us. AlphaRent works on the basis of daily contracts, which is also very interesting for us from a business point of view.”
And is such a short-term car safe in Coronavirus times?
“Absolutely! Both Alphabet and we take care of that. We always have our own cars disinfected before we let them be used by another driver. And Alphabet, too, always takes its responsibility seriously.”
Finally, does Cronos Group have any specific goals regarding mobility in the future?
“We have been greening our fleet for some time now. In fact, as a large fleet owner, we were one of the first to do so. Over a period of one year, we replaced more than 200 cars from the pool fleet with fully electric cars. This enabled our employees to experience electric driving for themselves. We provided an extensive charging infrastructure and went from a conventional TCO to a Full TCO that properly reflects current taxation. These efforts are paying off: whereas 10% of replacements used to be electric cars, we now see that this has risen to around 20%. That percentage will increase further over the coming years.”