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Meet the Experts: Margarita Tountzis, Relationship Manager

29 November 2023 2:18

Margarita Tountzis

Our Meet the Experts series introduces and shines a light on the expertise of our team. Here we talk to Relationship Manager Margarita Tountzis, who has enjoyed “8 happy years” as part of the Interleasing team and whose more than 15 years’ experience in the fleet management industry adds real value to Interleasing clients.

Can you tell us about your role and what excites you about it?

I manage a portfolio of clients based primarily in Victoria across a range of sectors – charity and not for profit, small businesses, and large corporations. Our customers are varied, their fleet requirements are different which means no two days are the same. I enjoy building and maintaining client relationships, learning about their businesses, and challenges within their fleet so that I can provide real solutions and be their trusted adviser.

I also manage our own internal fleet. This has allowed me to understand the complex challenges a fleet manager faces when looking after a tool of trade fleet. Things such as meeting business objectives, observing motor vehicle policy requirements, WHS/OHS requirements, safety and risk, compliance, and budgeting and costs are just a few of the areas I have developed in this role.

What are some of the challenges that you help solve for clients?

At Interleasing we have a strategic approach to managing customers’ fleets. We offer tailored solutions, such as vehicle selections that ensure a vehicle is fit-for-purpose, reviews into whole-of-life costs and monitoring and tracking these costs. We provide risk mitigation and cost savings through fleet expenditure reviews, and programs such as Accident Tracker, Driver Manager and Driver Training to help with compliance.

What are the biggest opportunities for clients that you partner with?

The big focus for the fleet industry and the motor vehicle industry in particular right now is the move to electric vehicles. With this comes an opportunity to reduce operating and maintenance costs, influence brand reputation, support driver satisfaction and lower carbon emissions.

What future trends do fleet managers need to be aware of?

Electric and hybrid models. A large number of Australian organisations are focusing on reducing their carbon emissions as the trend towards sustainability keeps evolving. At Interleasing we have a dedicated EV infrastructure team who have the expertise to guide our clients through the complexities of transitioning their fleet.

What makes Interleasing different?

Without hesitation it’s the people that work for Interleasing that make us different. We have a talented, hard-working team that are dedicated, care about our clients, suppliers, partners and each other, and have years of collective experience.

What’s your proudest achievement while at Interleasing?

Being part of our own fleets transition to electric vehicles for the McMillan Shakespeare Group’s (MMS) tool-of-trade company fleet. The project was challenging and rewarding – we had a target of 30% EVs by end of FY22 which we met well ahead of time. The experience and learnings from that project are certainly a highlight.

What was your first job?

My first job was working in a family friend’s travel agency. I loved meeting the customers and listening to all their travel plans. My job was to greet customers, compile brochures for their destinations and help type up their travel itineraries. I ended up working there on a Saturday for many years during high school.

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