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Fleet Forum Hosts Workshop at Aidex Conference in Brussels

On 19 and 20 October 2011, Fleet Forum participated in the AidEx Conference in Brussels, Belgium, which brought together NGOs, charities, and government organisations to meet with suppliers and to discuss ways to practically improve aid delivery by working together. The event combined exhibitions, conferences, and workshops.

Fleet Forum moderated a workshop titled “Cooperation can lead to the best humanitarian transport organisations. Standard-based fleet management solutions will encourage cooperation.” The basis for the discussion in this workshop was a project that Fleet Forum developed together with Insead. The title for the project proposal was “Improve humanitarian performance through multi-sector partnerships.”

The outcome of this project can support humanitarian organisations by improving their transport management and by supporting the programme or organisation objectives more effectively. Because previous benchmarks showed a difference in fleet management performance across the humanitarian sector, the fleet management framework will have different levels of maturity. Every organisation can be supported so it can improve to the next level.

During the workshop, Fleet Forum representatives used statements to discuss the benefits of working with fleet management standards and how this could encourage collaboration. There was a strong consensus on the following main statements:

  • There needs to be a very clear definition of standards. Standards should be about the way organisations manage their fleet—what their management system looks like, how they monitor, how they analyse, how they make decisions, etc. Standards should support organisations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their fleet management. They should not be a pre-described list of products/brands that should be used.
  • Although fleet management standards are more common in corporate organizations, they are also applicable in the humanitarian sector.
    Fleet management standards will encourage a common language and a common approach to fleet management. This commonality will enable benchmarking, encourage best practice sharing, and make it easier to work together.
  • Fleet management standards provide more common requirements from humanitarian organisations. This can encourage suppliers to develop their products and services for the best fit to the requirements of their customers.

Fleet management performance across the humanitarian sector varies widely. Some perform well, while some have substantial room for improvement. The objectives of the project are threefold:

  • Determine quantifiable humanitarian fleet management (HFM) standards and measurable performance indicators through appropriate data collection and analysis.
  • Develop an HFM excellence framework, enabling humanitarian organisations to continually assess, compare, and improve their fleet management capabilities along the trajectory to HFM excellence.
  • Facilitate the HFM-programme management interface to ensure the highest level of cooperation between these components and realise measurable improvements in programme delivery performance.

“The workshop really inspired me,” says Paul Jansen, Executive Director of Fleet Forum. “We had about 25 participants from humanitarian organisations, commercial organisations, academia, and donors. There were good discussions that helped us to fine-tune the approach for the project. That was exactly the intention of the workshop.”

Fleet Forum and Insead are discussing their proposal with ECHO and DFID. The objective is to finish the first phase of the project in 2012.

Founded in 2003, Fleet Forum is an interagency association of more than 40 members, including NGOs, international organisations, the United Nations, academic institutions, donors, and corporate partners. Its mission is to enable its members to improve their transport performance in road safety, environmental efficiency, and cost efficiency in order to save lives, save the planet, and save costs.