ALD Automotive UK has opened a new Development Centre in Bristol to accelerate its development in new digital applications and products, focused not only on the UK market but also across the entire ALD Automotive group.
Backed by significant financial investment from ALD International, the Development Centre is located near ALD Automotive's current UK headquarters as well as the location of its new head office, which will open in December 2016.
Developing solutions primarily to meet the needs of the UK fleet market, the team's focus is to create scalable solutions that can be adapted for international key accounts, local markets and white-label partner groups.
The new Centre is headed up by IT Director Derek Barker and already has a 60-strong development team, including testers, in place.
The Centre has been geared around an environment of innovation, as employed by such technology giants as Google, to allow for greater collaboration and improve efficiency. It features a hot desk policy and 100% wireless environment that allows all team members to work freely throughout the whole office using the latest Microsoft Surface tablets/laptops.
With this investment ALD Automotive has clearly signalled its intention to innovate and stay at the forefront of technology, not only within the UK but also across the entire Group.
Over the last decade ALD has focused on developing advanced solutions for its customers, from its award winning ProFleet telematics solution (which was launched in 2004), and innovative Total Cost of Ownership software, to its market-leading Dealer Services Interface (DSi) that underpins ALD's work with dealers and brokers.
A number of projects are being worked on simultaneously – including the development of a group‐wide telematics platform to ensure ALD remains the market leader in telemetry – and the Centre has already seen an acceleration in the development of key projects.
The new Development Centre will also help build on the company's Smart Mobility programme, which provides a consultancy service to ensure that businesses operate the optimum travel solution. Using advanced telematics to analyse customers' current working practices enables ALD to provide factual data and advice on making the transition from everything to leased cars and short-term rentals, salary sacrifice, grey fleet management and personal leasing through to alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) and motorbikes or scooters.
Commenting on the new Development Centre, Derek Barker, IT Director, said: "We're extremely excited about our plans here. Rather than buying off-the-shelf products like other leasing firms, we pride ourselves on developing our own in-house solutions that are designed to meet our exact needs and optimise our services to customers. The new Centre will build on this work and improve efficiencies across the business, benefiting all of our products and transforming the services we can offer our customers."
"We're really looking forward to seeing the feedback from our customers when the full range of products we're developing goes live – just part of our ongoing list of developments."