2017 Fleet Forum Best Transport Achievement Award
The 2017 Fleet Forum Best Transport Achievement Award has been 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.
As humanitarian challenges grow in complexity and scale, so does the need to find common ground and nurture strong partnerships. Fleet sharing is a concept that has been discussed over years, however, nuances between programme activities, budgeting structures, and asset management procedures have often delayed organisations from putting into practice.
With the increase in demand from the member states for greater cost efficiencies and effectiveness of UN business operations, the POC project was run to determine the appropriateness of the technology, viability, and benefits of the concept of fleet sharing.
The Fleet Sharing POC involved the three agencies pooling their vehicles into a single fleet. The combined fleet was then managed through an on-line booking system combined with a vehicle tracking system. Individuals requiring a vehicle could book a trip in the system and the full details of the trip are recorded by the tracking system. The POC was aimed to test the willingness of the users to adopt the system, the ease of use, the effectiveness of the technology and the quality of the data and analysis delivered by the system.
Beginning in Q3 of 2016, the UN Fleet Sharing POC was tested in five pilot countries: Lao PDR, Lesotho, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Zambia, comprising a combined vehicle pool of 124 vehicles in total.
Immediate Results in Driving Behaviour and Fleet Size
The Fleet Sharing POC demonstrated that pooling vehicles among organisations can result in immediate results – from improvements in driving behaviour to reduction of fleet. UNICEF estimates that adopting this system in vehicle fleets throughout the organisation could cut costs by as much as $4million per year. Funded by UNFPA Innovation Fund, three agencies (UNFPA, UNICEF and UNDP) joined forces to explore the concept of fleet sharing.
With the start-up costs, including hardware supplies and installation, administrative setup and training as well as the monthly service subscription fee – the return on investment (ROI) was realised in a matter of months.
Vehicle utilisation data analysis indicated that fleets were 10-15% oversized before optimisation. By more active moderation of the booking system and proactive combining of trips, the opportunity for fleet size reduction increased dramatically. Reduction in fleet size and an increase in fleet utilisation presented significant opportunities for cost reduction beyond the 10-15% immediately evident.
The use of the alerts to inform drivers and to encourage changes in behaviour resulted in huge improvements. All countries demonstrated high levels of driving behaviour change. For example, Zambia saw reductions of 93% in over-speeding, 65% in harsh acceleration, 53% in harsh braking, and 45% in harsh cornering.
The longer term and less measurable benefits which were not analysed during the POC can be expected in terms of improved fuel consumption through better driving behaviours, lower maintenance costs, fewer accidents and greater passenger comfort.
The highly successful POC was very well received by Fleet Forum Annual Conference delegates, who posed numerous questions on the inner workings of the project. Delegates participated in a live voting session and favoured the Fleet Sharing project on four of the five criteria.
2017 Runner-up, WFP Afghanistan, demonstrated how professional fleet management is critical to the success of a programme. Operating in a highly volatile environment such as Afghanistan presents extremely multifaceted circumstances. WFP Afghanistan showed that with creative and simple solutions, as well as technical know-how, it is possible to run the most cost-efficient fleet operation in the organisation.
Launched in 2012, the Best Transport Achievement Award is organised by Fleet Forum with sponsorship from shipping and logistics giant UPS, and recognises the fleet manager and the organisation that is an inspiring example for others. The award is presented to the humanitarian organisation that most exemplifies excellence in one or more fleet-management areas, such as road safety, fleet safety, environmental impact and cost efficiency. The award-winning project must be replicable by others, and should demonstrate among other things professionalism, innovation and strong, tangible results.