8 Jan 20

NAFA tackles industry top challenges in 2020

As the new decade dawns, the fleet industry faces unprecedented challenges that will redefine the role of the fleet professional and subsequently elevate fleet management in the mobility value chain. The US-based NAFA Fleet Management Association asked its members about their top challenges in order to identify the issues that will impact the near-future of the profession. As a result, there are three key issues that will inform NAFA’s next steps.

1. We are drowning in data

Data security, legislated use of Electronic Logging Devices, development of telematics, system integration and other tech platforms are now realities of daily life. With over 100 million telematics units in operation in 2018, Berg Insights expects the number of installed units to reach 159 million in 2020. Among other shifts, this is going to cause a snowball effect with the installation of logging devices or routing telematics necessitating the introduction of driver modification tools to combat distracted driving. Add to this the challenge of integrating the data generated through telematics with fleet management software and fuel, internal accounting and even Human Resource systems. As the data pile up, there are two basic issues: to ensure that the data are transformed into meaningful information and insights, and to provide for data security to keep information safe from breaches or hackers.

In response to the data challenge, NAFA is partnering with industry technology specialists to rewrite its Fleet Information Management Guide and ensure it meets the emerging data needs in this decade.

2. Alignment with your organisation’s strategic plan

An organisation’s size and structure, management philosophy, how it serves its stakeholders and the nature of its business and operations all factor into its strategic plan. That plan, and the challenges of regulatory compliance, require forward-thinking support functions, including fleet management.   The fleet function must be embedded in the strategic plan and become an integral part of the culture of the organisation. This isn’t exactly new, but the complex challenges that 2020 brings are. Therefore, it is increasingly important that fleet organisations are dynamically involved with strategic planning.

NAFA has a series of webinar sessions to educate fleet professionals on how to embed fleet strategy in the bigger organisational plan. 

3. The implications of mobility, electric vehicles, connectivity, autonomous … plus  more

As business leaders are challenged to keep up with the fast-paced tech developments in autonomous and connected vehicles and their impact on automotive operations and logistics, they rely on internal experts to help them understand what this means and how it matters to their organisations. The fleet manager needs to play the expert role, informed by proactive research and the experiences of colleagues who are innovating and experimenting with new ideas.  

Lukas Neckermann, acknowledged industry mobility expert, has partnered with NAFA to provide analysis, insights and content on the implications of mobility to the fleet industry.

NAFA has also created online industry communities to facilitate knowledge shares, innovations and solutions for mobility professionals.

The bottom line? NAFA is committed to help fleet professionals face real-time, complex industry challenges. Fleet professionals need to redefine themselves. They need to be strategic, well educated and informed. Their knowledge base must be supported with ongoing technology expertise and a strategic vision that is built on big data to optimise fleet performance. As we look forward, fleet professionals are the lynchpins to improving performance, efficiencies and mobility strategies for their organisations.

Author: Katherine Vigneau, NAFA