The start of 2020, the 41st year of business for PACCAR Financial, has been unlike anything else the industry has seen before. Bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 crisis have brought about unprecedented disruptions to the supply chain.
For many regional businesses this has impacted their productivity in some way. With that said, there are others, in the current environment, busier than ever. Between its long standing loyal and growing customer bases, PACCAR Financial helps manage many thousands of trucks and trailers whether through commercial hire purchase, finance operating lease or chattel mortgage.
Being a small team is an advantage. As it doesn’t operate any offshore call centres, many of which are temporarily closing for the practices of social distancing under COVID-19 regulations, PACCAR Financial remains accessible and agile, so that it can act fast on behalf of its customers.
At times like these it understands its customers require an approach tailored to their needs especially when businesses can’t afford to stop. According to PACCAR Financial Managing Director Roland Hollingsworth customers are appreciating the understanding and flexibility.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there. People with cash on hand at the moment are worried about what might happen in the future,” he says. “Once we talk about it and discuss what the options are they generally, without exception, go away feeling comfortable.”
PacLease, which has over 120 rental trucks across Australia, is acting swiftly to meet demand as general freight, supermarkets and essential services continue to surge.
PacLease General Manager Andrew Molnar says the business model is particularly suited to customers who can’t afford traditional long lead times for delivery of a prime mover.
“They might take on a truck for a demand that lasts a couple of months, depending on how long this situation goes on for, but if it goes on for longer they’ve got the flexibility to keep on the truck,” he says. “If it’s shorter than what everyone is expecting then they can hand the truck back when they’re done with it as well.”
Should a subcontractor go on leave for a week or a vehicle get sidelined for repairs, PacLease can provide rental trucks for a day, a week or up to 12 months. It has access to Kenworth and DAF trucks in a variety of applications.
“There’s a range of different gear available to suit the application,” says Andrew. “We can tailor the rental to whatever the marketplace requirement is.”
At a time when customers might worry about having their loan held up, PACCAR Financial can utilise electronic loan document execution. This way loan documents, according to Roland, can be generated and sent to the customer electronically.
“The documents go onto a web portal where the customer can review everything at their leisure and then sign them all off on the web portal,” he explains. “We’ll cash the loan and they’ll go pick up their truck the same day. There’s not a lot of lenders that accept a quote who would be able to turn around loan documentation that quickly. In this current environment electronic execution is very useful because customers are telling us that they don’t want us out visiting and handling physical pieces of paper, so they feel comforted that we don’t need to do that. It’s part of our versatility.”
Having a local presence also helps. Other lenders, with overseas staff, can be less responsive. PACCAR Financial, based out of Melbourne, prides itself on being easy to reach. Roland says he is pleased they are continuing to do business through these tumultuous times.
“Our lending volume hasn’t dropped significantly at all. Customers aren’t delaying getting their new truck,” he says. “That tells me the freight task is out there. Our customers need new trucks. They still need to grow their fleets.”