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June 27, 2016

Mike Rusch, Jim Pattison Lease’s new President is taking the reins of Canada’s largest privately owned fleet management company during a period of rapid and dramatic change in the industry. Mike, a Certified Management Accountant by trade, spoke with CAF about these changes and how Jim Pattison Lease is positioned to respond.

Mike Rusch, Jim Pattison Lease’s new President
Mike Rusch, Jim Pattison Lease’s new President.
CAF: There has been a considerable amount of consolidation in the Canadian fleet management space over the past few years. As Canada’s largest privately owned fleet management company, how do you see this change impacting fleet owners, operators and managers?

RUSCH: As a private company that been in business since 1961, we have seen considerable change in the Canadian marketplace over that time. Our goal has always been to exceed our customer’s expectations, and the recent consolidation doesn’t change that goal. For fleet owners, operators and managers, the consolidation has seen a reduction of players in the Canadian marketplace, however, the technology and tools available to assist with fleet management have never been better.

CAF: The fleet management business is markedly different from when you began with Jim Pattison in 1995. What are some of the newer products and services customers require from you today?

RUSCH: Technology has continued to improve and reduce in cost, vehicles are becoming more technologically advanced at a rapid rate. Our customers are looking for new ways to reduce operating costs as their businesses face more competition. Customers now require online tools to access vehicle operating costs, manage their drivers, and track their fleet – all in order to improve their fleet operations.

CAF: Much has been made regarding the rise of autonomous vehicles and the “sharing economy.” How can fleets capitalize on these trends and what role will an FMC play in it?

RUSCH: For the average fleet customer, their vehicles are an important part of their overall brand and are often customized with tools and up fitting unique to their business. For this reason, sharing amongst different fleet customers presents unique challenges. I believe that fleet operators can look to technology to assist with pooling within their own fleets in order to improve fleet efficiencies.

CAF: The level of competition in the Canadian economy has never been higher. What differentiates Jim Pattison Lease in this environment?

RUSCH: Our focus has always been on the Customer’s unique needs. We believe strongly that each customer has unique needs and we bring a flexible and personalized approach to meeting those requirements. Our dedication to the customer is at the forefront of all we do. Price is always an important part of a supplier’s presentation, but it is only one component – service, technology, and flexibility are the components that set us apart. We have been in business for over 50 years and are excited about what the next 50 years brings.

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