Success Stories | MSI
The Global Fleet Project – Marie Stopes International
During the Annual Fleet Forum Conference in June 2018, The Fleet Forum Best Transport Achievement Award was presented to Marie Stopes International (MSI) for successfully implementing The Global Fleet Project. Fleet Forum has since spoken to several Fleet Managers from MSI to learn more about the project and to find out how has it changed their work life.
As an organisation, MSI recognised insufficient fleet performance management visibility and controls. They envisioned an opportunity to change the way its people at all levels perceived the meaning of vehicles to the organisation - from means of transport, to drivers of service delivery productivity.
The Global Fleet Project was not to be about vehicles, but about influencing sustainable change to business as usual. The mission was to create the changes necessary for country teams to be the owners of their own success – through better use and controls of their transportation resources across the Marie Stopes International network.
The project plan set out an ambitious three-year Global Fleet Strategy covering 2016-2018.
The goals were defined as:
· increased service delivery productivity
· reduced fleet costs
· increased fleet safety, and
· increased quality of data reporting
To achieve these goals, some of the measures taken in collaboration with country programmes included:
Establishing oversight and support through new fleet governance board, global fleet strategy, global fleet manager position;
Communicating change together with stakeholders and supporters at global, regional and country levels through a technical assistance on and off-site, a knowledge platform;
Setting new fleet direction and standards for quality and for performance indicators through organisational policy and tools for measuring performance;
Setting asset standard specifications and launching centralised procurement for new vehicles;
Rolling out standardised vehicle tracking and fleet management technology (tracpoint), and bespoke module and mobile application for programme journey management.
How would you describe the work situation before and after the Global Fleet Project?
Daniel Gobena, Fleet Manager in Ethiopia says: “This has changed our day to day activities of fleet team. Specially to meet the new fleet quality standards and to to scale up our attention where improvements were needed. For example, now we do much better to collect vehicle data every month and know the exact operating costs for fuel and for maintenance. In addition, drivers were motivated to execute their duties after Global Fleet made us part the Fleet Forum Driver’s Recognition Program each year”.
Has the perception of transportation changed since the implementation of this project?
Estellah Nabukalu – Administration Manager in charge of Transport/Fleet management, General Administration and Security in Uganda says: “The perception has changed as in records are being kept more effectively. Fleet procedures and policies such as vehicle requisition and allocation and accountability processes are strictly communicated and followed. Also, with the new personalised driver codes activated to programme fuel cards, there is shared responsibility for both drivers and fleet users on fuel usage. Furthermore, people now see fleet as accountable and upholding the value for money principle. For example: all fuel variances are tracked per vehicle using tracpoint and appropriate action taken on any unacceptable variances”.
Abdou Sani, Fleet Manager in Niger adds: “Previously vehicles were taken for personal use without permission or rules for good use. There were no restrictions for speeding or driver behavior. This changed after the Project was introduced.
What do you consider to have been the biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenges included getting all people to embrace the new tracpoint system and managing a Fleet with older vehicles, which means higher maintenance and repair costs, says Estellah.The challenges are recognised byDaniel who adds reducing the operating costs of the vehicle, fleet data quality and reducing driver turnover. For Abdou, the biggest challenges were: respecting speed, the proper use of the magnetic ID keys and not respecting the time schedule of mobile teams.
What do you consider to be the largest success(es)?
Daniel says: “There has been a remarkable achievement regarding fleet data quality and the reducing of data collection time. Creating an independent fleet department, increasing the understanding of the staff about the fleet role and contribution to their day to day activity. Moreover, the organisation now see that the fleet is the back bone of program delivery. After we implemented The Global Fleet Project, our fleet department has gotten more recognition as one department equal to other departments within the organisation regarding communication. The Project provided us with a decision making opportunity in fleet, and created space to give direction for users all in all the project. It has lifted up the fleet performance and communication with the entire organisation to meet the overall goal”.
For Estellah, some of the successes include the installation of trackers in vehicles, so users can now monitor vehicle movement real time. Driver codes have been obtained and activated on programme fuel cards to track fuel usage. Controls, tools and systems have been developed and standardised for effective fleet management; with new controls, fleet costs are expected to gradually reduce the coming months. And last but not least, accidents have reduced due to improved driver skills (defensive driving training) and regular mentorships.
What can the organisation do to further professionalise fleet management?
Abdou says: “Marie Stopes could organise workshops or meetings for fleet managers so we can share innovative ideas to improve on our Fleet Management”. Daniel agrees, adding “an experience sharing between Country Programmes would be helpful, as to have software for assigning vehicles. Peer-to-peer visits by fleet managers to evaluate the performance and status of the project at other countries would be encouraged. Estellah suggests providing regular feedback on data quality and reporting.
What would you advice be for other organisations?
Daniel says: “I would advise all Country Programmes to get this great opportunity to standardise their Country Programme Fleet Management and transform from traditional to advanced Fleet Management, not only the fleet but also get standard Fleet Management knowledge. Be a part of GFP and enhance your Fleet’. Abdou adds: “It is urgent to create a Project like this. For better monitoring of the Fleet but certainly for the safety aspects of it.
What did the MSI Global Fleet Manager say?
Jonathan Baker: "We've come so far and in a such a short period. I really could not have survived all this without our country fleet managers who came to trust what we we're doing, and who share openly about what they like and do not like (btw the relevance and value of that kind of engagement is not lost on me!) Also, without the support of Fleet Forum and TerraMar Networks (tracpoint) who have been true partners in making us more successful. I do believe we've set a solid foundation, but the journey to do better continues - as I know we must do more for example: increasing our fleet manager competencies; increase local senior management support for action on off-target fleet quality and KPI performance results; the conduct driver performance reviews that incorporate cost and consumption evidence data; further optimising asset fleet size, mix and usage; a deeper look at the quality and costs of our vehicle maintenance service providers; and steps towards mitigating our fleet's environmental impact …and more. We celebrate the work of our fleet managers, while at the same time pushing ahead on their future achievements."