THE LAST WORD WITH FLEET NEWS
Richard Lilwall has been in transport his entire working life, from setting up his own fleet company at 21, to now becoming the MD of one of the UK’s leading telematics and stolen vehicle tracking providers: Teletrac Navman.
Milton Keynes, December 11, 2019 - With a passion for new and innovative technology, as well as customer service, he’s helped Teletrac Navman navigate the sector’s current challenges to become one the industry’s leading suppliers.
Why did you choose fleet?
Having been with Teletrac Navman for more than 20 years now, I’ve seen the difference our products and solutions make to businesses and peoples’ lives. Not only do they help businesses save time and money, and become more efficient, they help to keep employees and the public safer on the road - I’ve even heard stories of our vehicle tracking software helping drivers who have become unwell on the road to be picked up and returned to their families safely. I think we’re incredibly fortunate to be providing solutions that positively impact peoples’ lives, making what we do here at Teletrac Navman genuinely exciting.
Tell me a bit about how you got to where you are now?
When I first started my own fleet company at the age of 21 the sector was largely unknown, making it an exciting and high growth area to be part of. After running it for 10 years, I sold it to Teletrac Navman and joined the business and worked my way through a variety of roles - from Sales Management, to managing our stolen vehicle function, and finally moving into my current role as MD to head up the whole UK business.
Tell me a bit about your latest products/developments and achievements?
The arrival of our new global President, Jens Meggers, has made for an exciting time at Teletrac Navman, as we've got some exceptional innovation, through the development of new technology solutions, coming down the track. Our capabilities and our value to customers is about to take a real step change and we're going to lead in many areas, which for me is highly motivational.
How would you sum up Teletrac Navman in three words?
• Kaizen – which is our global operating model and revolves around the concept of continuous improvement
• Colleagues – the amazing people who provide true consultancy and deliver support and solutions to our customers every single day
• Customers – they are at the heart of everything we do, from our products to our processes
What or who has been your biggest career influence?
Having children certainly inspires me to work hard – they have really encouraged me to achieve more to ensure I give them the best life possible. But in terms of people in the work place, my predecessor Stuart taught me much about how to be in general management; he showed me how to think about steering the ship, rather than just being a passenger, which has been invaluable in my career.
Best piece of advice given?
The only thing you’ve really got to give is time and you’ve got to be very careful about how you use that commodity – it’s so easy to make work consume your whole life, so getting your priorities right is key.
What do you believe makes a good MD?
Being customer orientated is vital, as you must really drive customer experience to be the best in the market. But it’s also about being self-aware, making sure you seek out feedback so you can identify what your shortcomings are and build on your strengths.
What would be your top advice to fleet newcomers?
Having a deep understanding of your customers is crucial; get to know them, their organisations and what their end goal is.
What else would you do if you weren’t in the fleet industry?
Definitely something technology focused, as I think it’s capable of improving peoples’ lives enormously. Just look at some of the great innovations of the past few decades, such as the smartphone, and the enormous impact it has had across the globe and how we now all take that type of technology for granted.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I should take more enjoyment in the journey and stop thinking so much about the destination. In my younger days I was extremely focused and worked hard, maybe a little too hard, on where I was trying to get to. But was I getting enjoyment from the experience of doing that? I'm not sure I was. I think I would have probably developed more had I have found more enjoyment in what I was doing.
What song would be a definite on your driving playlist?
Baba O’Riley, by The Who. It reminds me of my first ever half marathon as I vividly remember when that track came on. It was at that moment I thought I'm actually going to get around this course and it’s stuck with me ever since.
What’s your first memory associated with a car?
When I first passed my test at 17 and I got a bit over excited going round a roundabout and lost control - definitely not a mistake I’ve made again, that’s for sure.
What’s your favourite movie quote?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
If money was no object…
Having just returned from Japan with my family for the Rugby World Cup, if money was no object I’d get my children to experience the world and see other cultures. As teenagers, it’s a great time for them to start exploring and have adventures that will make a real impression on their future lives.
What book would you recommend others read?
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Having read it three times I just think it's a fantastically written, clever book - it has several threads that run through it that all come together at the end in a very clever way.
What are your top hobbies/interests?
My life revolves around rugby; whether that’s watching my kids play at the weekend or going to watch competitions, it pretty much is all-consuming. In the past, I’ve enjoyed more hobbies with lots of running, including half-marathons and a full marathon, but since I’ve become MD, I’ve definitely not managed to put my trainers on as much as I’d have liked.
Your pet hate?
It’s got to be those absurd, staged photos that people post online…
If you were transport minister for the day, what would you change?
Given the changes that are occurring in society now, I’d certainly do more to accelerate electric vehicle technology in the UK - I’m a huge supporter of the movement towards cleaner technology. It’s so important and the industry should collectively try as hard as it can to increase the speed of innovation in a sector that has such an impact on the environment.
For more information, please contact:
T: 01625 822 572
About Teletrac Navman:
Teletrac Navman is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider leveraging location-based technology and services for managing mobile assets. With specialized solutions that deliver greater visibility into real-time insights and analytics, Teletrac Navman helps companies make better business decisions that enhance productivity and profitability. Its fleet and asset management technology uncovers information that would otherwise go unseen, helping customers reduce risk and confidently move their business forward with certainty. It tracks and manages more than 500,000 vehicles and assets for more than 40,000 companies around the world. The company is headquartered in Glenview, IL, with additional offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. For more information visit teletracnavman.co.uk