Global Fleet Conference 2019 “Deep Dive Tracks” Takeaways
On the first day of the 2019 Global Fleet Conference in Miami, four “Deep Dive Tracks” sessions were organized, being focused on Fleet Productivity and Technology, Managing Fleet Safety, Vocational (utility) Fleet, and Mobility Trends, and here are some of the takeaways.
Fleet Productivity and Technology (Geotab)
Knowing more about telematics and other technologies is key but this requires longer-term thinking for fleet managers to reap benefits. Focus must be on the highest possible utilization of vehicles (working 24/7 if possible) and this can be done by creating a steadfast sourcing procurement strategy by which you can gain leverage.
Access to fleet data is crucial but data privacy issues hinder the entire process. As such, data collection and usage need to be encouraged within the company. As the advantages of data largely outweight possible privacy issues, the latter might not be an excuse not to go for data intelligence via telematics.
In terms of Request for Proposals (RFP), several items must be included before launching a global RFP. Besides carrying out a pre-study analysis, among them are making sure you define installment processes, rules & regulations, security requirements, and telematics capabilities.
You must have a clear business model which addresses advantages and cost savings potential as well as data privacy and compliance issues. Finally, it must have a realistic timeline.
By using telematics, you will raise the bar on safety, productivity, and savings for your organisation
Regarding EVs, it all depends on the profile of the user. Fleet managers must answer three questions: Can the vehicle do the job? (range capability); Will it save money? (fuel and energy cost); Is there adequate infrastructure to support the vehicle (recharging facilities).
Managing Fleet Safety (CEI)
The session stressed the importance of good driver behavior and that solutions for safety need to be applicable, achievable, agreed, and audited. Also, remember that proactivity is needed in addition to compliance when it comes to safety, and that one of the most common KPI is one that measures collisions per kilometer/mile.
Note that collisions are caused by one of four reasons (Speeding, Fatigue, Impairment, Distraction) and all are due to human error. Periodic driver training is of utmost importance.
Finally, keep in mind that managing safety differs per country. In the US, for instance, information is centralized and data is very available for the preparation in benchmarking.
In Latin America, poor road infrastructure and the lack of available data makes safety management more difficult. This, however, does open up some opportunities for telematics and solution providers.
Vocational Fleet (ARI)
Besides being set on helping customers sell commercial vehicles at the most profitable time, offering a transparent open-end lease from a TCO perspective is an option for fleets, especially in the United States and Germany.
Among the fleet policy issues to pay attention to are driver compliance, alternative fuels, and vehicle choice. Regarding the latter, it is important to note that London’s low emission zone (LEZ) demands a huge amount of administration for vocation fleets entering city districts.
Meanwhile, exchange rate fluctuation pressures vocational fleet maintenance and contracts under this pressure are often extended.
Other factors affecting vehicle acquisition and management are steel price increases, fuel price (some 47% of operating cost), theft and fraud risk, telematics, remarketing, driver behavior, and tire management. As such, close end leasing is increasing to free up capital.
Besides adopting more leasing, among the solutions are alternatives such as compressed natural gas (GNG) and electric vehicles (EV), creating partnerships for better vehicle selection and TCO analysis, and the proper handling of carbon emissions tax and penalties.
Mobility Trends (Donlen)
There are a few mobility trends making waves in the industry and among them is on-demand mobility which is transforming profit pools in companies. Moreover, besides the ongoing merging of fleet and mobility, other trends to keep an eye out for are subscription models, connected fleets, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles.
For the latter, e-mobility is a major tendency in the B2B segment, but it is being held back by the need for longer battery life and vehicle range. Also note that fleet customers are increasingly demanding flexibility and this includes a need for modular mobility solutions.
Finally, we must all remember that partnerships are key in the development of mobility solutions, something that is becoming quite popular in the ever-changing industry.
The Global Fleet Conference is organised from 4 to 6 June in Miami and attracts 350 global and international fleet experts. It is a joint organisation of Nexus Communication, publisher of Global Fleet and Fleet Europe, and Bobit Business Media, publisher of Automotive Fleet in the USA.
Sponsors: Geotab, CEI, ARI, and Donlen. More info on the speakers can be found here.
Photo: Global Fleet Chief Editor Steven Schoefs introduces Deep Dive Tracks (source: Global Fleet)