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    Paul Jansen
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2017 Annual Conference – Day 2 Summary

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017

Lukas Nel of World Vision, Jean-Phillipe Lezeau of Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS), Martin Walsh of World Food Programme (WFP), and Stephen Milton of Emergency Response Driver Training kicked-off day two of the Annual Fleet Forum Conference by presenting two approaches to driver training. Multiple organisations have been investing in driver training and this plenary presentation allowed delegates to peek at the many ways to undertake driver training. The delegates learned that World Vision and WFP’s driver training programmes are driven by different forces. World Vision applies a Train the Trainer method which is driven by their talent management philosophy. WFP, on the other hand, has carefully assessed the legal and financial risks of civil litigation and consequently have chosen to strictly provide certified driving training. With that said, both organisations have seen the positive results and are convinced of the need to invest in driver training.

Next up, Maria Besiou, Professor of Humanitarian Logistics at Kuehne Logistics University and Luk van Wassenhove, Academic Director of Humanitarian Research Group at INSEAD presented their respective research – done with Plan International and UNHCR. By conducting statistical analysis, both presenters could demonstrate which organisational and contextual factors are currently driving fleet sizes. Research in this area allows organisations to estimate what should reasonably be the size of the fleet in any given country.

Delegates then split into smaller groups to have meaningful conversations around 3 topics:

  • Plan International’s Recharge Tool: Calculating Vehicle Costs
  • How to Turn Drivers into Ambassadors
  • How to Manage Fleet-Related Risk

Not only did delegates engage in lively discussions, in some sessions they were offered the possibility to be involved outside of the conference setting. For example, Rebecca Lewin, Head of Procurement and Logistics at Plan International, presented the recently developed Recharge Tool they have provided to their field offices. This allowed them to charge vehicle-related travel costs to donors. Organisations interested in using such a tool are welcome to contact Plan International, share their own vehicle cost data, and use the tool for their field offices.

Soon after, UNHCR and Mercy Corps presented a topic that is on the mind of most global fleet managers at the moment: How does one manage a fleet in high-risk countries. Organisations are increasingly operating in volatile environments and providing support to beneficiaries is highly dependent on the ability of aid staff to travel. Both organisations emphasised that there are several actions one can take before opting for the last resort: Purchase of an armoured vehicle. Kjell Lauvik, Chief Security at UNHCR, highlighted the need for a risk mitigation approach which, in the case of UN agencies, is driven by UNDSS. Janaka Seram, Roaming Logistics and Supply Chain Specialists at Mercy Corps, explained that Mercy Corps works from the principle of acceptance by the community. Janaka presented how an INGO can implement a community acceptance approach and the implications for their fleet operations.

The 2017 Fleet Forum Best Transport Achievement Award – presented by UPS – was awarded to UNICEF for the Fleet Sharing – Proof of Concept (POC). John Marks, Chief of Administrative Management, accepted the award on behalf of UNICEF. WFP Afghanistan was awarded the runner-up prize for demonstrating Fleet Management as a critical success factor.

To close off the afternoon, Rob McConnell, Fleet Expert at UNDP, presented the newly developed fleet management framework: a practical step-by-step tool for the decision-makers in an organisation to identify, develop, and implement fleet management optimisation techniques. In this live demonstration, delegates were able to see how the tool can forecast the financial benefits and cost implications of adopting various centralised fleet management instruments. Such a tool can be particularly handy for organisations who are interested in centralising their fleet management. It has recently been used by WHO while developing their fleet management strategy with the support of Fleet Forum.

With that, the 2017 Fleet Forum Annual Conference came to a close. After two packed days of insightful discussions and meaningful dialogue, all delegates enjoyed a group dinner, sponsored by Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS).