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The evolutionary path towards global mobility
In a presentation to a number of large national and international fleet owners recently, Fleet Logistics’ Tobias Kern outlined six natural pillars of fleet evolution that take decentralised local fleets at one end of the evolutionary scale all the way to the highest level, where a global mobility approach could ultimately exist for large international companies.
‘We see a global mobility approach, involving both fleet and travel operating jointly to identify the most cost-effective means of travel from A to B, as the future – but not one that is here or available today,’ he explained.
Mr Kern identified six steps towards a concept of global mobility. Level one in the fleet evolution process sees decentralised local fleets managed internally and using a single source of supply, typically a leasing company.
As the fleet evolves, level two sees increased centralisation begin to take place across Europe, with single supply starting to change to a multi-bidding concept but still managed internally.
At level three, partial outsourcing of operational processes, such as multi-bidding, invoice control and consolidation, become more prevalent, but strategic fleet management remains inhouse.
At level four, the level at which Fleet Logistics feels most of its large, international fleet clients are currently at, the company retains an internal fleet management function for central decision making, but it outsources the operational management of its European fleet to an external outsource partner, which administers and manages the fleet on a day-to-day basis.
‘The Fleet Logistics model is designed to help fleet owners shape a harmonised European fleet set-up where strategic decision-making stays internally on a centralised level, but where the operational management of increasing complexity is handled by a local presence in each individual country. This is where we have proven to add most value to the process,’ says Mr Kern.
Fleet Logistics is on course for a record year this year in terms of new car volumes added to its total managed fleet, both from new customers and organically with existing customers.
‘Increasingly, international companies are seeing the value of the services we can bring to the management of their fleets across Europe, and we are looking at the most successful year in the history of Fleet Logistics,’ says Mr Kern.
In the evolution model, the concept of fleet management evolves still further at level five as the company begins to increasingly to explore the opportunities for an holistic mobility concept across Europe, combining both fleet and travel.
And at level six, this concept is migrated on a global basis across all the company’s operations in every country in the world.
‘One may find different clusters or a mixture between the six levels. However, we believe that in the future there will be an emphasis on the provision of mobility to the employee using all forms of transport, be that plane, train or car, and not just the automatic provision of a company car,’ adds Mr Kern.
‘At this level, we may well see the TCO – the total cost of ownership – develop towards “TCM – total cost of mobility” and ultimately to “GCM – a global cost of mobility”. But, we would stress, that is one very much for the future,’ he adds.