GreenRoad were privileged to sponsor a round table attended by the nominees for the prestigious Fleet News Awards 2012 on Wednesday. The event was a forum for discussing key challenges – and solutions that fleets in the UK are faced with and the attendees represented a cross section of public and private sector fleets, small and large, commercial and ‘perk’ vehicles and grey fleet. They included representatives from GE Capital, North Yorkshire Police, Intercontinental Hotel Group, AAH Pharmaceuticals, Arval, Menzies Distribution and IBM among others.
It turned out to be a very interesting event! What were some of the most compelling discussions and conclusions?
Vehicle Utilization: It was clear from the group that large fleets often have difficulty optimizing their fleet utilization. Fleets will usually have a regional or local focus and will not be utilised on a national basis. Similarly, other transport modes such as train or day rental are not efficiently controlled. The conclusion was that every business needs a central executive level ‘champion’ to deliver a holistic solution that efficiently and effectively deals with the scheduling all company transport assets.
Vehicle Residual Values: This one is a constant issue for fleet asset managers! The almost arbitrary and trivial charges that eat into residual values from small scratches to large dents to a ‘dirty car charge’ are an ongoing variable cost. The NHS Blood and Supply fleet have implemented a creative system that minimizes these costs and eliminates the huge quantity of re-charge invoices. How? Beyond the scope of this blog, but I’m sure it will be published as a case study soon! Improved driver performance to eliminate the majority of the residual charges is one of the many benefits that GreenRoad offer.
Fleet Safety & Driver Performance: It was recognised by all the attendees that this is truly one of the key challenges that they face. Driver acceptance and executive stakeholder involvement were noted as key to the success of any driver performance and safety management initiative. The GreenRoad Iron Mountain case study showed how it can be done to great effect!
Fuel Consumption: Interestingly, all of the fleet expert award nominees agreed on one important point. ECM derived data is NOT the way to measure fuel! These experienced practitioners noted that direct measurement of fuel use through fuel card or ‘bunkered fuel’ data was the only way to measure fuel consumption. A unanimous conclusion on a hot topic – the budget was announced half way through the event and it was revealed that the chancellor; George Osborne had failed to drop plans to introduce a 3p a litre petrol price increase set to hit forecourts in the UK in August. Since March 2010, the price of petrol has risen 23.24p a litre or almost 20%.
Published Vehicle Fuel Economy Figures: The significant variation between published fuel economy figures and results achieved in real life for all vehicle classes was noted by all. It was a major frustration. How do the manufacturers arrive at their published figures?? Maybe crash test dummies drive them, one expert noted!