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Group buying power available to O/Os, small fleets

CALGARY, Alta. - Consolidated Fleet Purchasing (Confleet) is expanding into the Ontario market while increasing the number of products and services offered to members, the company says....


CALGARY, Alta. – Consolidated Fleet Purchasing (Confleet) is expanding into the Ontario market while increasing the number of products and services offered to members, the company says.

The company offers group discount pricing to members on items ranging from tires to fuel and medical benefits.

It has about 500 active members now, according to Confleet president John Furman, and is planning on enjoying the same success in Eastern Canada that it has achieved in the West.

The program works this way: Members sign on for $200 per year plus a one-time initiation fee of $70.

They then receive a membership card that entitles them to reduced prices on key purchases. Some of the deals offered to current Confleet members include:

* 2.5 per cent off the pump price at Esso retail outlets, which can be used by family members as well. (The cardlock fuel price fluctuates, but is comparable to the deals enjoyed by a large-sized fleet, Furman says);

* Group medical benefits that are more affordable than individual packages;

* Discounts on stationary including log books, pre-trip inspection sheets etc.

However, Furman adds there are also significant savings to be had on big-ticket items such as new and used trucks.

“With new trucks, the discount varies depending on the spec’s,” he says, adding the customer spec’s the truck he or she wants and then allows Confleet to negotiate the best deal possible using its group buying power.

“Those trucks would be delivered to the local dealer so the customer doesn’t lose that dealer contact,” he adds.

As far as used trucks go, Confleet says it will pair prospective customers up with trucks for sale from its current members.

“Through our network of people, we do find a lot of used trucks,” Furman says.

Another key purchase included in the program is tires, and Furman says members save between 10 and 15 per cent on every tire (plus labour savings).

The deal is available to members within the entire coverage area, he adds.

“You hear all of these horror stories from guys on the road who are 1,000 miles from home and they have tire problems and they’re charged $800 for a $400 tire,” Furman says.

“We offer uniform pricing across Canada.”

Confleet also offers its members better financing packages through major financial institutions, but Furman admits customers must still have a respectable credit standing. But he adds “I think our customers get looked at in a different light than someone just walking in off the street.”

In terms of payback, Furman insists a customer can recoup his or her investment with the purchase of one set of tires.

And he says the program is growing rapidly to include more members and suppliers.

“Everyone seems to be very pleased with the way the system works,” he says.

“We are always working hard to keep our pricing in line with what our competitors are doing. We have a good product out there now and it’s growing quite rapidly and the supplier list is growing as well.”

On the horizon for Confleet is a new system that will expedite the IFTA fuel tax reporting system, but Furman says further deals are in the works.

For more information on the Co-op, visit www.confleet.com or call 1-866-266-3533.


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