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Annie Hayes

Sift

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Horses for courses: Using multi-funding solutions … continued

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Companies that have replaced car-or-cash policies with multi-funded schemes have certainly found this to be the case.

One of our customers with 1,200 business drivers, half of whom had switched to cash in recent years, saw orders for business cars rise threefold in 2005 under its new broad-based, integrated funding strategy, which aligns car benefits more closely to the needs and desires of employees. This company has since introduced a second new scheme that extends a car benefit option based on an affinity programme to the rest of its UK workforce.

An integrated funding product makes it possible to deliver more and better car benefits without costs increasing significantly, if at all. Given the strong complementary advantages in terms of duty of care and more egalitarian benefits provision, it is safe to say that the multi-funding principle is here to stay.

But before rushing into any integrated scheme, potential users need to bear in mind that these new car benefit solutions are heavily dependent for success on the knowledge, expertise and experience of the scheme supplier.

You need to ask potential suppliers several vital questions. Does their product portfolio include all the individual elements you might need in a multi-funded scheme? How many schemes have they designed and implemented to date? Have they, better still, removed the need for potentially expensive bespoke design by creating a complete car scheme solution that is adaptable for straightforward implementation?

The level of outsourcing involved in these schemes makes service quality absolutely key to success: what is the potential supplier’s record and reputation? How do they propose to handle employee communications, which can make or break an integrated scheme?

Happily, the experience of a growing number of employers shows that the leading suppliers in this field are successfully addressing these issues. There is now a proven alternative for employers who see a highly valued and much sought-after benefit being slowly strangled by the all-or-nothing choice of cash versus car.

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Annie Hayes

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