2015 Fleet Forum Conference Second Day: The Link between Fleet Excellence and Organisational Performance

Kicking-off day two of the Annual Fleet Forum Conference, Fleet Forum Programme Manager, Rose van Steijn, and Fleet Specialist for UNHCR, Rob McConnell, demonstrated how fleet management training was developed within UNHCR using a “blended learning approach”. One of the project aims was to achieve accreditation for the training, thus creating a professional certification for fleet managers.

Vinay Nagaraju, Chief Operating Officer at Riders for Health, and John Beale of VillageReach, challenged members with the question of whether NGOs should outsource their fleet management given that it’s not a core competency for most NGOs. “Leveraging external capacity does not finish with eliminating organisation liability, managing the outsourced capacity is a must,” said Beale.
In the afternoon, Fleet Forum introduced, for the very first time, a live, interactive polling session. Members’ responses indicate that:

  • More than 50% think that a good fleet manager can do his or her job without knowledge of vehicles
  • If given an incentive, 45% would make more improvements in fleet management
  • Two out of three members believe that when skilled drivers are unavailable in an emergency, vehicles should still be used
  • 49% use fleet management standards in their organisation
  • Roughly half of our members think functions that are not related to the core mandate of the organisation should be outsource

In the afternoon, Noel O’Reilly of the United Nations Global Service Centre presented an array of waste management initiatives undertaken by UN Global Service Centre. In his role of Deputy Regional Director of Management Quality, Syon Niyogi demonstrated how the usage of fleet management assessments and standards was eye opening and changed the fleet management approach of Catholic Relief Services in East Africa.

“Not knowing is not acceptable anymore,” said Rebecca Vince, Head of Logistics and Procurement at Plan International. Vince, who recently joined Plan, described what steps were taken to gain senior management commitment to improve its fleet management, and described how she will proceed to execute those improvements.

The 2015 Fleet Forum Best Transport Achievement Award was awarded to UNHCR for the excellent results achieved in their Global Fleet Management. In the past few years, UNHCR has made major strides in professionalising fleet excellence, achieving impressive results in fleet size reduction and more. WFP Afghanistan was recognised as a strong competitor for the award and honoured as a runner-up in the award ceremony. Read more about the Best Transport Achievement award winner here.

Professionalising Fleet Excellence was the theme of the conference. Through the discussions, it emerged that collecting relevant data, sharing that data and benchmarking with other organisations are pressing priorities for many fleet managers and that there is a direct relationship between the professionalisation of fleet excellence and the performance of an organisation.