From Telex to My LeasePlan: how technology has changed our service

3 min to read50 years of LeasePlan
It is now 50 years since LeasePlan established itself in Belgium. To celebrate this jubilee, we look back on half a century of innovation and pioneering spirit. To this day, LeasePlan continues to be a leader in the renewal of mobility. For example, drivers can now manage their own lease car on an online platform. But even before the arrival of the internet, fleet managers and drivers were already enjoying excellent service. From the Telex to My LeasePlan: read the complete overview.
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1972: Telex and punched tape

The commercial heart of the first Belgian LeasePlan office was the Telex, a large and unwieldy predecessor to our modern computer that could send messages via cable. The receptionist at the front desk processed all quotations on the machine. Another Telex machine then distributed them to the right departments by means of a punch tape, a strip of paper with holes punched in it. By reading this strip with the machine, the recipient received the right message. This was, in other words, the origin of the e-mail.

LeasePlan used to work with a fixed driver who went out every day to collect the new license plates from the Vehicle Registration Department (DIV) and distribute the internal mail to the different LeasePlan offices. Speed fines were processed by a police officer from the municipality of Zaventem who worked from his own office on the LeasePlan site.

Leasing customers received a monthly overview of their fleet on ‘listing paper’ with mileage discrepancies, irregularities, the overview of circulating cars … Even then, fleet managers could count on an outstanding service that made LeasePlan a pioneer for its time.

1980 – 1990: Fax and computer enter the scene

In the 1980s the fax and the first computer made their appearance in the LeasePlan offices, while the Telex faded away. Quotes were faxed and orders were place by phone. Fleet managers still visited dealers to look at a car and then called LeasePlan with their order. Everything was officialized by fax.

The first computers in the company allowed documents to be stored on a floppy disk. Make no mistake: these computers are nothing like the devices we work with today. There was no internet yet. And while everyone now has their own PC, back then there was only one computer for each department. Whoever wanted to use it, had to wait their turn. Computers were equipped with the management system NOLS (New Operational Lease System), which today still forms the basis of all management systems at LeasePlan and many of our partners. Ordering cars, preparing and approving quotes, determining damage, monitoring the car’s life cycle, and so on.

1990 – 2000: The internet as a game changer

The computer became increasingly important during the 1990s, while the fax was pushed to the background. The introduction of the internet changed LeasePlan’s operations forever. The great innovation began in 1996 when LeasePlan employees discovered the e-mail. Since then, everything has become much faster and more efficient. In 1998, LeasePlan processed no less than 10,000 quotations for ultimately 9,700 orders. Together with the rise of the internet, the company car gained in popularity. In the same year, Keddy’s first website was launched, today LeasePlan Rental.

In 1999, the Plan 8 reporting tool was developed. Customers could now consult their own fleet via the internet. Shortly afterwards, the online simulation tool Internet Quotations was developed. With this solution, drivers can configure their lease car and the fleet manager can order the car with a single click. LeasePlan was a pioneer in this field: never before had customers been able to directly access data and management platforms. From now on, reservations no longer had to be made by telephone or fax.

2000 – 2010: The millennium of progress

Over the past 20 years, the internet has continued to evolve, leading to greater efficiency and customer satisfaction. As a leasing pioneer, LeasePlan developed many tools that enabled customers to manage their fleet. The range of cars appeared online, making it very easy for customers – both fleet managers and private lease customers – to find and order the right car. LeasePlan also took its first steps in electric mobility with the installation of the first charging station for electric cars.

2010 – …: Everyone’s personal LeasePlan

In recent years, cars have developed at a rapid pace. LeasePlan has decided to go straight for electric mobility. But fleet management and service also continued to develop. More than ever, leasing puts the focus on use rather than ownership. This Car-as-a-Service also includes digital tools that improve the service. For example, fleet managers can now schedule maintenance and repairs, report damage, view invoice data and prepare quotes in just a few clicks. Via My LeasePlan, leasing drivers can manage everything relating to their car online in a quick and easy manner. My Fleet always gives fleet managers a real-time insight into their car fleet, which can be easily incorporated into a graph.

In the coming years, LeasePlan will continue to put considerable effort into digitization and automation. As car technology continues to evolve at an ever-faster pace, LeasePlan will continue to play a pioneering role in taking fleet management and Car-as-a-Service to the next level.

Published at March 3, 2022
March 3, 2022
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