Outsourcing: is biggest really best?

The fuel card world is outsourcing. Fact. The shareholders in Europe's biggest fuel retailers are unconvinced by the value of in-house fuel card schemes, and they are going to outsource to third party providers. End of.

It isn't core business. It's expensive. And the cost of innovation, with new payment methods becoming the norm, is unacceptable. Let someone else innovate. Find partners. Seek out new sales channels.

 

And because Europe's fuel retail majors are big, they've looked for big partners. Naturally. How can a small company work with an energy multinational? Doesn't fit.

 

But is the thinking right? We wonder.

 

The most significant trends in the fuel payments market right now are digitalisation and internationalisation. So in choosing to outsource, the questions you ask have got to be the right questions.

Can you help us innovate? Can you cope with the changes that are coming? Can you scale up? Could you offer software as a service instead of selling us a box? How flexible are you? Could you work with us to understand what our customers want in this new world? Can you help us deliver greater value, somehow?

It would be easy to be the next lemming off the cliff. But the experience of big2big outsourcing, so far, is not positive. Misaligned objectives. Clashing priorities and egoes. And the need for systems integrators who, as consultants, set the clock ticking and wipe out any possible commercial benefit.

 

Is it time to rethink fuel payments outsourcing and go for a more future-fit and adaptable solution? Time will tell. One thing is for sure: biggest doesn't mean best.

 

(To find out more about CRT Consulting's unique business, visit our website at www.crt-europe.com)

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