Finance Directors: how to make your car rental management easier

☞ Last month we gave you some tips for digitising the role of the CFO et vous devriez désormais être incollable sur les sujets relatifs à la dématérialisation de factures, la signature électronique ou encore le travail collaboratif. Certains de ces outils s’imposent d’eux-mêmes dans cette logique de transformation. Mais il existe d’autres outils utiles comme ceux pour faciliter votre gestion des locations de véhicules. C’est le cas de Carbookr, a French service of rental of company vehicles of short duration. Laurent Marcellin, the co-founder of CashLab, who is well versed in business travel, has become a convinced user. Indeed, Carbookr has the double merit of providing a superior level of service but above all a optimisation of short-term vehicle rental costs. At the same time, Nicolas Job, Carbookr's founder tells us about his experience as a Cashlab user and startup manager. A cross interview dedicated to the digitisation of the company.

 

Finance Directors: how to facilitate your management of vehicle rentals, from order to invoice?

Testimony of Laurent Marcellin:

“Bonjour, je suis Laurent Marcellin co-fondateur de CashLab. De par mes précédentes fonctions de Directeur Financier et étant amené à de nombreux déplacements, j’utilisais les accords-cadres négociés par les divisions achats de mes compagnies.

I have always been surprised at the discrepancies between the savings plan presented by the purchasing teams and the accounting results steered by my teams.

And this discrepancy is even more obvious when you take a closer look at the budget for short-term car hire.. Indeed, contracts usually offer negotiated fixed prices but a multitude of extras that are added to the final bill. I notice an average deviation of 40% between the reserved price and the invoiced price. And over and above the substantial financial differential, the time spent by my accounting teams processing invoices and possible claims became a real indirect cost.

 
My research

When I was looking for a national rental partner, I first turned to the major players in this market, but it has to be said that they all have the same pricing model; a model that favours surcharges..

Thus, I turned to the online platforms broker type as usually seen in aeroplanes and hotels. The prices are certainly very competitive, the offer is wide but we are considered as holidaymakers at the companies' counter, with real wastes of time when picking up the vehicles. So forget the priority queues, but always this same policy of options, even more flagrant for this type of traveller.

And while continuing my research, I discovered a few months ago Carbookr, a new vehicle rental service dedicated to the needs of companies and professionals. Carbookr has been created by the former owners of major car rental companies. Their credo, a simple offer, a premium service and a transparent pricing.. Thus, in 18 months, their booking platform has referenced nearly 300 agencies in France, including 45 stations and 15 airports.

 
L’approche Carbookr

Carbookr's approach in this hypra-competitive environment appealed to me on several points:

  • Budget management: Reserved price = invoiced price. No unpleasant surprises, but above all a considerable time saving in management control and budget monitoring. I can anticipate the company's travel expenses as well as possible.
  • Invoices Management: A single line per invoice in 24 hours. The CARBOOKR invoice is one line, that of the day pass and possibly one for extra mileage or fuel. Finally, a legible invoice without the multiple lines of extras or options. Invoices are sent by email within 24 hours of the return of the vehicle.

The most: parameterisation of recipients for easier accounting processing.

  • An "all-inclusive" offer intended for professionals. Carbookr's offer includes all options (Young Driver, 2nd driver, valet service...). The only parameter to be chosen when ordering is the category of the vehicle (city car, compact or "spacious") or utility vehicle.
  • Bonus and not the least: valet parking service. No more waiting, it's now the vehicle waiting for you ready to go. It is the service that has seduced me the most, more as a user than as a Financial Director, I must admit. Carbookr organises the delivery of the vehicle by a driver coming directly to meet you at the time of your choice. So no more endless queues at airport counters. Applied to every employee on the move, this service provides a significant productivity gain for the company.

 

To resume

The use of Carbookr allows me and my teams to save precious time in the management of car rentals, from the order to the return of the vehicle. And as Finance Director, I find it a real advantage on a daily basis, both operationally and financially. Applied to an ETI or a Large Group, the transition to such a tool is fully in line with their digitalisation strategy. Or, l’image n’en est pas moins flatteuse, au contraire. En comparaison, les services de location traditionnels paraissent en effet bien archaïques.”

 

Entrepreneurs: How can you optimise the management of your cash flow and still have time to develop your business?

Testimony of Nicolas Job:

“Bonjour, je m’appelle Nicolas Job, j’ai fondé Carbookr en 2017. Je suis parti d’un constat relevé dans mes précédentes fonctions pour me lancer dans l’entreprenariat. Comme dans un grand nombre d’entreprises « tech » nous avons axé notre développement autour de notre équipe IT, cœur de notre plateforme et principal centre de coûts. Puis progressivement nous avons recruté des commerciaux pour distribuer notre solution en délaissant quelque peu la partie « Finance ». Elle-même relégué à des points épisodiques avec notre expert-comptable. En tant que fondateur et dirigeant de l’entreprise, c’est naturellement à moi que reviennent les managing the business and, by extension, the cash flow.

 
My cash management

Before we raised the funds, we had to keep the cash on hand a monthly basis. Now that our fund raising operation has been finalised, we felt it was essential to keep investors informed of the actual consumption of cash with regard to the plan that had been submitted to them. In the same way as we did with our banking partners in the past. Even if these things are naturally part of the lot of any company director, believe me, this is not what you dream of when you set up a startup...

So the time I spent on these tasks went hand in hand with my company's increase in activity, so that I was no longer as present with my teams. This disrupted and dangerously slowed down all the company's processes. Finding a solution that would allow me to model the evolution of my long-term cash position quickly proved indispensable to me during the raising process. I was able to easily model my operating budget but a lot of difficulties for my cash flow forecast.

 
Discovery of Cashlab

Given our startup status, I needed a real tool dedicated to modelling in which I could integrate several scenarios to make well-considered decisions in terms of growth. For example, based on my ideal turnover assumption, how many more developers could I hire next year? What if turnover were 10% lower than this assumption? By 20%?

This is what I found in Cashlab. All I had to do was integrate my operating budget into the tool to transform this budget into cash flow. It took me about three days to get to grips with the tool and model my cash flow laws and business scenarios. Above all, I particularly appreciated the degree of detail that it is possible to bring to its cash flow forecast and the ease of use of the tool.

 
Mon utilisation de l’outil CashLab

I have been using the tool since January 2018. Each month, it takes me a little hour to update it to include the month's results by downloading my accounting statements provided by my accountant. This enables me to identify any differences in my operating budget and cash flow forecast. The flexibility of the tool allows me to readjust my budget very easily and cascade my cash flow forecast. I now integrate into my reasoning concepts such as working capital and net debt, which I find in the forecast balance sheet also provided by the tool.

In a nutshell, the solution offered by Cashlab allows me to focus on my core business and the development of my company. It also allows me to take care of my investor relations grâce aux éléments d’analyse et aux graphiques fournit par l’outil. J’ai même parfois l’impression d’être un vrai directeur financier.”

 

Closely monitor your cash flow in a clear and optimised manner with out Cashlab tool.