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Four Things that will change Fleet Management Forever

And why that might be good news for FMOs.

Within 5 years, the Fleet Management industry as we know it will be gone, replaced by something unrecognisable to those in the industry today. Automated cars will play a part, but the cause of death will be much more fundamental than that.

Four big, fundamental factors will change the fleet industry (and many other industries) in ways that we can’t even imagine today and it will happen in a space of perhaps 5 years.

Those four things are;

  1. Design industry

  2. (Big) Cloud data

  3. AI

  4. Blockchain

The last three of these are the technology trends that IBM ‘bet the farm on’ at the IBM Interconnect conference earlier this year. The first is a trend that we’ve already seen in the tech industry that will soon make itself known in the auto industry.

Strap in and I’ll explain each one, but first I want to explain why automated cars aren’t on my list. For me, automated cars aren’t a big, fundamental factor, they’re an outcome of other factors. I’ll explain that too.

Design Industry

You’ll be reading this on a computer or maybe a phone or a tablet. Take a look and tell me who is the manufacturer of your device.

If your answer is Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard or Dell you're wrong. All of those are made by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd, mainly in China. If you answered Samsung, you're sort of right because Samsung still ‘sort of’ owns its own manufacturing facilities.

Most clothing brands are not in the business of making clothes, most footwear brands are not in the business of making footwear and most consumer electronics brands are not in the business of making consumer electronics.

In each case, the business model is to build a brand around products that are designed in-house but manufactured elsewhere. It’s been Apple’s model from the very beginning.

When you see that Apple, Uber, Google and even Bosch are working on driverless cars, I can assure you that their plans for manufacturing these cars are all but zero. In each case (and especially so for Apple and Google) what they have is a brand and a large collection of very smart people. They want to design the car with incredibly detailed specifications and then get someone else to make it.