Mobility Solutions’ Key Role in Fleet Management
For those considering an integrated mobility solution for their organisation, the initial focus is likely to be on the most obvious features and benefits. Optimising travel arrangements, empowering employees, identifying cost saving opportunities and reducing environmental impact are all compelling advantages, but the best mobility solutions offer other opportunities to enhance the running of the fleet, at both strategic and operational levels.
Informing travel and fleet policy
Depth and breadth of data is key to delivering insight that can shape the future mobility policy of the organisation. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) systems can provide a vast array of information that enables better planning and decision-making. From individual traveller, right up to enterprise level, this data should include:
- The volume and lengths of journey being undertaken
- The modes of transport being used
- The pattern of intermediate and final destinations
- The volume and types of accommodation being booked
- The financial, time and environmental costs to the business
Clearly, this information would be invaluable in high level decision-making on all aspects of organisational travel, but there are also a range of fleet specific issues that it can help to solve.
These common fleet conundrums include determining which individuals or roles should be eligible for a company vehicle; setting clear parameters around the use of private vehicles for business journeys and whether cash-for-car alternatives provide an effective benefit in light of business travel requirements.
Determining vehicle allocation and eligibility
Optimising vehicle allocation within any organisation can be challenging, a wide range of factors are often brought into play, including:
- Historic allocation and contractual obligations to specific roles and job levels
- Minimum mileage or trip frequency requirements for business need vehicles
- Benefit considerations to enhance recruitment and retention
- Environmental and other corporate social responsibility objectives
- Risk and health and safety considerations
With the data available from a MaaS system, a more granular approach can be taken to vehicle allocation. Through careful assessment of both personal and business requirements, better decisions can be made on whether a company car, or an entirely different type of travel expense package, might be most appropriate for the individual and the organisation. The impact of these decisions on the organisation’s environmental footprint and risk profile are also simple to calculate.
As many organisations now seek to provide all staff with a wider range of benefits, including all-employee vehicle benefits such as salary sacrifice and employer sponsored PCH schemes, MaaS adds another valuable feature that can be used both at work and privately.
Grey fleet and cash takers
Data from MaaS solutions can easily be combined with mileage and expense reporting data for journeys undertaken in privately-owned vehicles. This provides the opportunity to analyse these trips and determine whether these vehicles provide the optimal mode of travel from a cost, risk and environmental perspective. If alternatives such as public transport, hired cars, pool cars or even permanent company cars outperform private cars then these can be promoted, or even mandated.
Those who choose to take a cash allowance in lieu of a car provide a unique challenge to fleet managers. When business travel is required, should they be expected to use their own vehicle and charge back the expense, or should they be given other options such as public transport or a hired / pool vehicle? Does the provision of these options effectively mean that the organisation is doubling up on travel expenditure for these individuals?
Using the analysis tools available as part of MaaS solutions, these patterns of behaviour can be highlighted and a more appropriate mix of transport types employed.
As MaaS solutions and their users become more sophisticated, the opportunity also emerges to further empower employees to make their own travel choices. One way that this can work is through the allocation of a monthly, or even annual, personal travel budget. This can be used across all transport modes, including the lease of a car, at the individual’s discretion.
Adaptable, integrated solutions
MaaS solutions allow decision-makers and end-users to set a wide range of parameters for business travel including transport type and class, cost, time, and environmental footprint. These ensure that the most relevant travel options are highlighted within the list of alternatives available. The ability for managers to set specific criteria for employee travel ensures that policy rules are adhered to, while individual preference flexibility empowers individuals to make the best choice for their circumstances.
Many company car or pool car trips form part of a far more complex journey that might also encompass air travel, car hire, train and hotel bookings. The journeys may also be duplicated for a number of employees travelling to the same business event. By analysing these patterns, and taking an integrated approach, company vehicles can be utilised more in a far more efficient way.
This flexibility also means that, as the organisation’s transport needs change, the solution can change with them while still delivering consistent reporting and efficiency insights.
MaaS solutions provide exciting opportunities for all those involved in fleet and travel decision-making, as well as their end-users. CLM is working with an industry leader in MaaS, to deliver integrated travel solutions to our clients as part of our menu of fleet management solutions.