Ichinen Taps Miles to Manage 120,000 Unit Fleet

Pub­licly-quot­ed Ichi­nen Hold­ings was found­ed in 1930 and is head­quar­tered in Osa­ka. Ichi­nen pro­vides auto­mo­tive leas­ing, fleet man­age­ment and con­tract main­te­nance as well as fuel sales ser­vices in Japan. It has a fleet of more than 61,000 leased vehi­cles with a sim­i­lar num­ber on fleet man­age­ment.

In 2012, the com­pa­ny insti­gat­ed a ten­der process to find a new fleet man­age­ment soft­ware sys­tem sup­pli­er and, fol­low­ing inten­sive dis­cus­sions, select­ed Sofico’s Miles sys­tem. Imple­men­ta­tion of the new sys­tem began in the final quar­ter of last year.

Masashi Kuro­da, 48, CEO of Ichi­nen Hold­ings, said: “At Ichi­nen, we had been con­sid­er­ing our inter­nal sys­tem replace­ment for some time. After a series of long dis­cus­sions, we select­ed Miles from Sofi­co as our core sys­tem. We are con­fi­dent that this deci­sion will con­tribute not only to our busi­ness devel­op­ment, but also the con­tin­u­ous devel­op­ment of all of our cus­tomers and busi­ness part­ners.”

Kat­suhiko Kuro­da, 53, CEO of sub­sidiary com­pa­ny, Ichi­nen Co. Ltd and Vice Pres­i­dent of Ichi­nen Hold­ings, added: “Ichi­nen has cho­sen Miles from Sofi­co as our core sys­tem. We found that Miles is a solu­tion used through­out the world.

“We expect Miles to give us busi­ness process­es incor­po­rat­ing the world’s best stan­dard among many auto­mo­tive leas­ing com­pa­nies, while still allow­ing us to main­tain our indi­vid­ual approach. We also expect the sys­tem will pro­vide strong sup­port for us and all our busi­ness part­ners too.”

To com­pete for this con­tract, a team of Sofi­co experts from Japan, Aus­tralia and Europe led by Shane Cur­ran, Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of Sofi­co Ser­vices Japan, assessed more than 2,000 indi­vid­ual require­ments from Ichi­nen.

“When we first met Ichi­nen, they were mov­ing toward issu­ing an RFP for the replace­ment of their sys­tem. The exist­ing sys­tem was more than 20 years’ old and had out­lived its use­ful life. At the same time, it had served them very well and Ichi­nen were keen to ensure that their next step was a pos­i­tive one,” Cur­ran said.

“When we began dis­cus­sions with them, Ichi­nen had already list­ed 2,000 dis­tinct require­ments for their new sys­tem.

“On top of that, they felt that there should be addi­tion­al func­tion­al­i­ty avail­able as they didn’t want to be forced into a sys­tem that restrict­ed their abil­i­ty to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from their com­peti­tors.  They also want­ed to min­i­mize the dis­rup­tion to their exist­ing busi­ness, and all of this had to be deliv­ered with­in bud­get, of course!” he said.

The Sofi­co team estab­lished that more than 90% of the Ichi­nen require­ments could either be met with stan­dard Miles func­tion­al­i­ty or through con­fig­u­ra­tion. The team also made rec­om­men­da­tions for new func­tion­al­i­ty and inno­va­tions, based on the company’s glob­al expe­ri­ence of the auto-leas­ing indus­try.

“Our next step was to pro­vide a detailed proof-of-con­cept for Ichi­nen,” said Cur­ran. “This per­mit­ted us to not only show Miles could meet their require­ments, but also demon­strate Miles’ flex­i­bil­i­ty and con­fig­ura­bil­i­ty which would allow Ichi­nen to retain their unique iden­ti­ty in the mar­ket­place.”

To min­i­mize dis­rup­tion to the day-to-day activ­i­ties of Ichinen’s busi­ness, Sofi­co takes on the imple­men­ta­tion process for the Miles sys­tem itself.

Sofi­co Ser­vices Japan is able to do this due to the imple­men­ta­tion method­ol­o­gy that has been devel­oped for Miles. It is based on com­mon process­es and best prac­tices with­in the leas­ing indus­try and draws on many years’ expe­ri­ence. It makes it pos­si­ble to imple­ment Miles more quick­ly and with less dis­rup­tion than usu­al.

Gemar Hom­pes, Sofi­co Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, com­ment­ed: “We are hon­oured that Ichi­nen Hold­ings, one of Japan’s largest and fastest grow­ing leas­ing com­pa­nies, has select­ed Miles for the man­age­ment of its fleet oper­a­tion.

“Two years ago, we made a strate­gic deci­sion to invest in the Japan­ese mar­ket. We set up a Japan­ese sub­sidiary with an office in Tokyo. This local pres­ence demon­strat­ed our strong com­mit­ment to the Japan­ese mar­ket. These invest­ments are now start­ing to pay off, as we imple­ment our first Japan­ese cus­tomer. We look for­ward to pro­vid­ing our ser­vices and exper­tise to more Japan­ese com­pa­nies in the future.” he said.

Pic­tured: Sofi­co Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Gemar Hom­pes with Masashi Kuro­da, CEO of Ichi­nen Hold­ings



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