Photo courtesy of FLD.
Founded in 1979, FLD is a privately held technology-driven remarketing company. FLD attributes its growth and sustainability to its emphasis on technology with the products and services it has developed. In addition, FLD has evolved to offer other ancillary services. For example, it offers title services, such as title warehousing, auditing, and procurement. Other services include equipment removal, courtesy moves, and inventory round-up documentation.
This past November, Gary Mott, a 23-year company veteran, was named president of FLD. Below are excerpts from AF's interview with Mott exploring his near-term and long-term strategic vision to grow FLD.
AF: Congratulations on being named president of FLD. What are your short-term and long-term goals as the new president of FLD?
Mott: Short-term, our goals are focused on new technologies. The industry will continue to see further diversification of FLD’s role in the remarketing process.
For instance, we’ve expanded our electronic condition reporting app called OnceOvr from the passenger car and light-duty truck markets into medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, with future expansion of the app, including condition reporting for material handling equipment, electronic Proof of Delivery (ePOD) capabilities, and electronic DOT pre- and post-trip inspections.
Another near-term tech focus is on our cloud-based inventory management program called Fleet Guru. Fleet Guru gives managers real-time visibility of all of their assets, no matter where they’re located. The program tracks data points, such as titles, registration, and fuel usage with document scanning capabilities.
FLD has created an online, white-label sales portal that companies can brand for their own use, allowing private online auto sales to a list of buyers when their vehicles are coming out of service.
Our long-term goals include an international expansion, particularly in the South American market. FLD has been focusing primarily on the use of inventory management, data collection, and resale patterns in markets, such as Brazil and Chile.
AF: FLD is a technology-driven company and it has evolved over the years as technology has evolved. What type of company is FLD today and where does it fit in the remarketing channel?
Mott: FLD is tech-driven and focused on continuing to be a leader in this space with ongoing innovation by our in-house information technology department. Some of our clients are engaging us for smartphone application technology, inventory management programs, and data aggregation. FLD has a reputation of developing custom remarketing programs that fit a company’s particular set of KPIs, and creating, developing, and implementing technology that helps our clients’ achieve their objectives.
Data aggregation will be a huge push in our industry in the near future. With smart or intelligent data aggregation tools, FLD clients will be able to specify what actionable data they want, regardless of vendor or service. We want to provide our clients with a multi-vendor, cloud-based portal without the restriction of being tied to a single vendor for portal services.
AF: How do you source vehicles for remarketing? What have been the key factors responsible for FLD’s growth in recent years?
Mott: One way FLD sources vehicles for remarketing is by cultivating relationships with an array of industry associations in the areas of finance, insurance, fleet, travel, procurement, sourcing, and company acquisitions. We do so because we recognize that not all decision-makers, stakeholders, and influencers are fleet managers. Often, those managing fleets have other functions and responsibilities.
FLD’s growth and sustainability are attributed to our emphasis on technology with the products and services we’ve developed and our unique client-centric methodology that’s redefined customer service in our space. We also offer ancillary services outside of remarketing. For example, we offer title services, such as title warehousing, auditing, and procurement, and we provide equipment removal services, courtesy moves, and inventory round-up documentation.
AF: What are the specific products and services that FLD will offer in the future that will present the greatest opportunities for growth?
Mott: FLD has a number of exciting products and services in the works: From a product standpoint, FLD is currently in a pilot, providing the National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA) with a Remarketing Cooperative program. This program is designed to enhance membership ROI to its constituents, but also to provide association members with technology, transparency, and visibility of inventory entering back into the secondary market. The program is national, but maintains a consistent level of service and monetary returns.
We also plan on releasing our Remarketing Technology Suite (RTS) this March at the National Truck and Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. The RTS contains the complete toolset needed to source an asset’s condition, view and monitor changes in the asset’s condition over time, and then push to a private/white label website for resale.
From a service standpoint, FLD will continue to expand its offerings to its clientele in the North American market in numerous ancillary areas, including courtesy vehicle moves, mission-critical equipment removal services, title warehousing, and vehicle registration renewals. We’re also looking into global expansion, currently studying the vehicle remarketing processes in the South American market, particularly in Brazil and Chile.
Our made-to-order remarketing solutions will shape what FLD’s role in the remarketing process will be. In some relationships we are the buyer of the asset; for others we have a performance-driven partnership approach.
AF: What differentiates FLD from other vehicle remarketing companies?
Mott: In addition to our technological developments, our key differentiator is our approach to each unique client, which can be as simple as taking a sedan fleet to auto auction, or as in-depth as creating a unique strategy and implementing tactics that protect the interests of a national haz-mat truck fleet.
Another thing that really sets FLD apart is the wide variety of assets we remarket. In 2015 alone, FLD remarketed 638 different asset types produced by 151 unique manufacturers. Most of Automotive Fleet’s readership would be familiar with FLD’s remarketing services offered to traditional fleets operating sedans, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty trucks; however, many may not realize the breadth and variety of assets we remarket. During my 23-year tenure with FLD, we’ve continuously remarketed material-handling equipment, airport ground service equipment, jet fuel tankers, dozers, excavators, cranes, golf carts, whackers, arrow boards, generators, and others.
AF: What is your assessment of today’s used-vehicle market and what challenges and trends do you see emerging in the near-future that will impact the remarketing industry?
Mott: The good news is manufacturing has rebounded to pre-recession levels. That means that we’ll see an industry shift to hyper-fast speed-to-market with a real interest in getting fleet vehicles sold even prior to being out of service. FLD has been working with its clientele to ensure that their go-forward strategies to mitigate depreciation are aligned with the new market conditions. Our R&D efforts have been focused on this trend and, as a result, our Remarketing Technology Suite is designed to sell vehicle assets while they’re still in operation.
Another emerging trend is the introduction of the “mega fleet manager” and the potential impact this trend toward conglomerate, outsourced fleet handling may have on the future of traditional fleet managers and the industry. I don’t believe the impacts to vendor segments and associations are fully understood yet. If mega fleet managers gain traction, it could eliminate the need for fleet industry associations, and we may only have an FMC association going forward.