From fleet manager to mobility manager

A rapid transformation in fleet management has taken place in recent years. The reasons for this lie in the dramatically increased costs of all aspects of maintaining a fleet of vehicles, the increased liability of the fleet managers, and the change from administrator to fleet manager.

A poorly defined task area

In the past managing fleet cars was often considered to be a peripheral activity. As a result, the fact that a lot of potential for savings was being overlooked was either not considered or not regarded as important. For this reason, clear job descriptions or defined tasks were rare. This was an unsustainable situation in view of the complexity and responsibility of this role.

The transformation

In the last few years there has been a recognisable change. The rising costs in all areas, the residual value discussions when the vehicle is returned, and the extended areas of responsibility, have prompted a rethink within companies by management, financial controlling and the internal insurance departments.

Thus “standard solutions” such as Excel or Access are increasingly being replaced by fleet management software offered by leasing providers or car manufacturers, or solutions such as fleet@insTRA.

When companies set up or buy other businesses which have a fleet that needs to be integrated, additional requirements arise. In this case, solutions are required which are browser-based and not location-dependent, such as as fleet@insTRA. An initial step towards software mobility.

Current developments

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As a result of this development, companies are increasingly opting for crossbench solutions that can be individually adapted to different requirements.

In conjunction with additional equipment such as MD Log from Modern Drive GmbH, for example, costs can be reduced considerably. Not only in terms of fuel and wearing parts but also insurance costs, since targeted training can be organized and the loss ratio reduced as a result.

Due to the tangible successes of professional fleet management, the role of fleet managers has also become more acceptable within companies. There is now a clear job description and definition of responsibilities in nearly every company.

From fleet manager to mobility manager

Laut Dataforce vollzieht sich aktuell ein Wandel vom Flottenmanager zum Mobilitätsmanager. 

Neue Angebote wie z. B. das Car Sharing, neue Fahrzeugtypen wie Elektroautos oder andere Fahrzeuge für kurze Strecken verändern auch zusehends das Bild einer bisher weitgehend homogenen Flotte zu einer gemischten, die aus unterschiedlichsten Fahrzeugtypen besteht.

Damit ändert sich auch das klassische Bild des Fahrzeugberechtigten. Meist wurde bisher gemäß der Berechtigungsstufe des Mitarbeiters ein Fahrzeug ausgewählt und die Kilometerleistung entsprechend der Tätigkeit festgelegt.

According to Dataforce, there is currently a shift from fleet managers to mobility managers. 

New offers such as, for example, car sharing, new types of vehicles such as electric cars or other short distance vehicles has also noticeably transformed the image of a largely homogenous fleet to a mixed one consisting of different types of vehicles. 

The classical image of the person who is entitled to a company car is also changing. Previously, depending on the employee’s level of privilege, a vehicle was selected and the mileage specified according to the job title.

Today, many more aspects are considered:

 
  • For cases involving a lot of mileage, is it more sensible for employees travel by rail or plane instead of spending hours sitting unproductively in a car?
  • Other forms of transport such as electric cars or a shuttle service may be quicker and cheaper on short routes or within the company premises.
  • The overhead of a carpool fleet can be reduced significantly by the car sharing model e.g. vehicles are distributed over a certain area or extensive firm premises and where they can be easily used for journeys and then parked somewhere else. Billing is done automatically using cost centres etc. via mobile payment devices which transfer the driver data and their cost centre online.
  • There will increasingly be a need to ensure that the carbon footprint is minimised.
  • Environmental aspects are becoming more and more important and contribute both to savings and company image.
  • Are the steps supported by measures which also make employees aware of the advantages?

Increasing use of mobile terminals

Many of these new requirements can only be efficiently implemented using mobile devices like Tablet PCs or Smartphones. Here, the transfer or withdrawal of pool cars or rental vehicles is given as an example. 

In this case it is foreseeable that in future the data will be read out over the CAN-bus, for example, using the MD log box and transferred directly to the mobile device. The person in charge of the carpool will immediately receive all relevant data such as mileage, duration and consumption or style of driving. Photos of damage can also be taken and delivered online if necessary.

In the case of fleet management, there are so many possibilities for optimisation which are now only possible using the new technologies. 

fleet@insTRA was developed using the latest SAP-Technology WebDynpro for ABAP (WD4A) and is therefore fully able to meet the demands of the future.