Professionalism of fleet managers key to organisational success
Getting the right people on the bus, a reference to Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, is a relevant way to describe the key challenge facing the fleet management sector, said Paul Jansen, Fleet Forum Executive Director. It’s also one of the key takeaways from the recent 2015 Annual Fleet Forum Conference, which took place from 3-4 June in Rome, Italy.
“The professionalism of fleet managers is a key determinant of organisational success. That is an indisputable fact today, and it’s a message that was loud and clear during our recent two-day conference, which included fleet experts from around the globe and from every sector,” said Jansen.
More than 110 participants from 68 organisations and 34 countries attended the annual conference, which was hosted at the Rome-based headquarters of the United Nations World Food Programme. Attendees included aid and development organisations, the corporate sector, the United Nations, academia, suppliers and governmental donors.
The critical need to collaborate together on solutions was another key takeaway from the meeting. Organisations and suppliers, for example, can exponentially increase their knowledge by working together and sharing feedback on current practices, challenges and future needs, added Jansen.
Knowledge is key
Knowledge is always critical to success. That truth is as relevant for fleet management experts as it is for anyone else. Several resounding key messages emerged from the Fleet Forum conference:
Know where you are:
Accurate, relevant data is critical for an organisation to adequately assess its current status. Collecting data and translating it into information to manage your organisation is key to knowing where you are today. Comparing your organisation with others by participating in benchmarking exercises can also be a useful barometer.
Know where you want to go:
Assessing current trends and determining your strategy for the coming years in light of those trends that are relevant for your organisation is important to staying ahead of the curve and not being left behind. Anticipate the impact of current trends on your organisation and on your fleet management. Look at the growth that other organisations have realised in order to determine realistic strategic goals for your organisation. Staying focused on where you want to go will help you get there faster and more successfully.
Know how to get there:
Determining the tangible steps that you will need to take over time in order to realise your strategic objectives is critical. It’s also equally as important to identify the relevant measurements needed to continuously monitor your progress. Be prepared to make important decisions on topics such as insourcing or outsourcing, use of vehicle telemetry, employee training and, perhaps most importantly, how to attract, develop and retain the right talent to help your organisation succeed.
Fleet Forum plans to formulate more concrete ideas then follow-up with the Fleet Forum community in numerous areas, specifically:
Know where you are
- Benchmark data: Fleet Forum will reactivate its Benchmark Assessment that provides an effective insight into an organisation’s overall performance on road safety, environmental impact, efficiency and effectiveness. Fleet Forum members will receive a personalised report with insight into their fleet management performance in relation to other members.
- Collecting data: A discussion group is being started on the reporting and monitoring of fuel consumption to reduce overall fuel consumption.
- Standards and KPIs: Fleet Forum will engage individual organisations in a discussion about the use of its humanitarian fleet management standards and KPI’s.
Know where you want to go
- Best practices: Practices from other organisations will be shared on the Fleet Forum website, specifically a business case from Johnson & Johnson on implementing a road safety culture, and from Interactive Driving Systems on the use of in-vehicle telemetry.
- Insights: A summary of key trends most likely to impact the fleet management sector, shared during the conference by Lars Gustavsson of World Vision International, will be available soon.
- Cross-functional platform: Fleet Forum will develop a platform to facilitate discussions between organisations and suppliers on subjects such as vehicle tracking, fleet management systems, and feedback about usage and future needs.
Know how to get there
- Blended learning: In the coming months, Fleet Forum and UNHCR will further pilot its blended learning application, which is a combination of e-learning and workshops for senior managers, fleet managers and drivers. Following the pilot, Fleet Forum will share the outcomes and materials with other organisations.
- Driver Recognition: Fleet Forum will begin developing a Driver Recognition Programme in July, after which organisations will be asked to participate.
- Professional development: Fleet Forum will discuss the opportunities to establish a project to further support the professionalisation of fleet managers worldwide.
- Discussion platform: Fleet Forum developed a discussion platform some months ago on its Fleet Forum website. Soon, groups will be created and everyone will be invited to begin discussions. The Fleet Forum community will be asked for feedback to determine the key discussion topics.
Our conference speakers have graciously offered to share some of their valuable resources:
- The Stanford Study Briefing: Riders for Health
- The Telemetry Debate breakout session outcomes: Interactive Driving Systems
- The UNHCR Fleet Management Handbook: UNHCR
- Whitepaper on Prioritizing Fleet Risk Management to Improve ROI and Mission Completion: Clements
- Worldwide Fleet Safety Standards: Johnson and Johnson
Additionally, below are links to the conference presentations:
- Improving Fleet Management in a Decentralised Organisation – Gabriel Kardos, Johnson & Johnson
- What’s Ahead: The Trends most likely to impact Fleet Management – Lars Gustavsson, World Vision International
- WFP’s Fleet Management: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Nenad Grkovic, Martin Walsh and Graham Young, World Food Programme
- Perspectives on Fleet Management Capacity Building – Luk van Wassenhove, INSEAD
- Certifying Fleet Managers through Advanced Fleet Excellence Training – Rose van Steijn, Fleet Forum and Rob McConnell, UNHCR
- Leveraging External Transport Capacity: Opportunities for Outsourcing – John Beale, VillageReach and Vinay Nagaraju, Riders for Health
- Waste Management at the UN’s Global Service Centre – Noel O’Reilly, United Nations Global Service Centre
- Using Blended Learning to protect People and Fleets – Michael Palmer and Dennis Duligall, Stirling Group
- How Technology can Reduce your Collisions – Andy Price and Nick List, Zurich Risk Engineering
- The Telemetry Debate: The Advantages and Disadvantages of In-vehicle Telemetry – Dr. Will Murray, Interactive Driving Systems
- The Organisational Value of Investing in your Drivers – Rose van Steijn, Fleet Forum and Nikita Udhwani, Pharo Consulting
- Improve Mission Completion Through Critical Risk Assessment of your Fleet – Smita Malik, Clements Worldwide
If you have other ideas worth sharing, please send your feedback to email@example.com