A car event and logistics specialist needs a reliable drive – and he’s also found one that’s rewarding his team.
A partnership with Avis helps Geoff Becker earn points to upgrade team members that fly all over the country to manage vehicles – including support cars, which he rents from Avis – and logistics for large-scale events. It’s his way of acknowledging employees who spend so much time travelling.
What does your company do?
We started out providing paramedics, doctors and fire and rescue officers for rally motorsport events. Then car companies asked us to provide medical coverage for their launches, get media event programs ready and run their press fleets; automotive solutions, basically. The growth has been moving into those companies’ other operations – dealer fleets and marketing fleets – and into the service delivery area.
Did you come to this from a love of cars?
I hated cars! I love horses. When I was a paramedic, I was appointed ambulance supervisor at the inaugural Targa Tasmania event and next thing, I was in a meeting to discuss the following one. Then I was asked to coordinate the 1995 and 1998 Round Australia rallies. They were good logistical challenges and I got to go to interesting places.
How do you work with Avis?
When Motorsport Safety & Rescue started in 1997, we were based in Burnie, Tasmania, and Avis was the most convenient hire company. There are 25 events a year on the motorsport side of the business and each requires three to 14 cars in locations all over Australia. We have very specific needs for vehicles and if you book at Avis, you get what you need. Also, they’re friendly and I value that.
What are the challenges to your business?
It’s going to be EVs [electric vehicles] and hydrogen fuel cell cars, having charge points and the infrastructure for refuelling. I think people underestimate how quickly it’s coming. I reckon in three years we’ll see real change.
What about autonomous vehicles?
We already have great safety features such as brake assist and adaptive cruise control. But fully autonomous cars all over the country? That’s a long way off. Australia’s massive rural road network just isn’t marked appropriately for them. If an autonomous car sees a cow, it identifies which way it’s facing and heads the opposite way. But it struggles with kangaroos; it can’t yet tell which way that tiny head is facing.
Rewarding the team: Becker finds upgrading staff flights the most efficient use of points and “for holidays, too, occasionally – as a reward for spending so much time travelling”. The upgrades are a way to boost morale on the road, with some of his team flying two or three times a week.
Benefits for all: With Qantas Business Rewards, Becker likes that when his team fly, they also continue to earn Qantas Points. “If they’re flying, they get their points and Status Credits – they don’t lose anything to the company. But I’m being rewarded when they fly, too.”
Great discounts on flights: As a Level 3 Qantas Business Rewards member, “you get the best rates, which stops that shopping around”.
Reliable service: Even though Becker’s team deals with different Avis representatives in every town, “you’re never treated like a booking in the system”, he says. “They’re always: ‘You’re back, it’s good to see you again.’ I put a lot of value on relationships.”
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