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Know your fleet maturity, or lose money



Interview with Connector's Yves Helven for the Smart Mobility Guide

How professional and mature are your multinational’s country fleets? For many international fleet executives and managers, the answer is: We don’t really know. Yves Helven of Connector explains what can be done.

A Japan-based Belgian fleet expert, Mr Helven is co-founder of Connector, a global fleet consultancy with a presence in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Responding to what they saw as a great need in international fleet management, Connector has developed a Fleet Maturity Test – a free tool that could save fleet executives and managers a lot of trouble, and money.


Information about local practices and supply chains is hard to acquire, let alone understand. Why this communications gap?

“European, North American or Australian fleet managers are fleet professionals, heavily supported by a mature supply chain. But in emerging markets, the fleet manager function is not consolidated. So, Sales or other functional leaders define the needs, HR defines eligibility and Procurement buys. Operational fleet management is done by Admin”.

“These departments have conflicting objectives: Procurement wants to save money, HR wants to recruit and retain the right people, functional leaders want the best car to motivate their teams. The result is an uncoordinated fleet strategy that no international fleet expert would ever implement. It also makes it hard for international fleet managers to sell their vision to local markets or consolidate fleet management on a regional and global level”.

How does failing to understand the level of fleet maturity in certain markets affect your fleet performance?

“If you don’t know your fleet maturity, you lose money. Firstly, because fleet management is dynamic. Constant change in products and services, supply chain, legislation, etc. drive fleet managers’ need to review and improve both their policies and practices very often indeed”. “Secondly, because fleet management is about more than cost control. Many fleet professionals don’t know enough about tax, insurance, change management or technology. As a result, they only use half the tools at their disposal”. “And finally, global or regional fleet management only works with constant monitoring, implementing and maintenance of local fleet maturity. That’s one of the reasons why we developed the Maturity Test”.

What is the Maturity Test about?​

“It’s a tool for both international and local fleet managers to take the temperature of their fleets. Many consultants offer a fleet scan, but we thought fleet managers should be able to do a quick self-diagnosis free of charge or hassle”.

“The Maturity Test gives international fleet managers a great bird’s-eye view of their local fleets. They can then invite their local colleagues to take the test too, and compare results. The tool will even suggest countries and topics that need immediate action”. For the local fleet manager, the test is a great “sense check” – Am I spending my time on the right topics?

So what’s next?

“Connector will continue to invest in online diagnostic tools. An Insurance Maturity Test is in the testing phase, and a Car Policy Document Maturity test will be up and running in a few weeks”.



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Connector Insight

FROM THE COMPANY CAR TO EMPLOYEE MOBILITY

Few trends have swept an industry the way the concept of “Mobility” has swept through the fleet management industry in the past decade. It has become the cure-all buzzword for fleet operators, human resource departments and travel managers worldwide, but it seems that there are as many definitions of "Mobility" as there are people to define it.

 

This paper considers the topic of mobility and what it means for businesses in general and the fleet management world in particular. We look at the developing trends in the field as well as the impact on people and places. Complete with practical recommendations and forecasts of coming changes, the documents considers how Mobility will affect you and your business and how you can turn it to your advantage.

 

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