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Annual Fleet Forum Conference 2023 – Day 2 Roundup

The second day of the 2023 Annual Fleet Forum Conference kicked off with a keynote address on “Ambidextrous leadership” by Niels van Quequebeke - Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at Kühne Logistics University . He presented several concepts for participants to chew over, highlighting the importance of being future ready and the challenges of navigating organisational tensions.

In addition to the keynote, there were twelve engaging break-out sessions where participants had the chance to listen to thought leaders, practitioners and suppliers. These sessions aimed to provide attendees with new perspectives, spark inspiration, and encourage them to pose challenging questions.

Here are some key takeaways from the second day:

  • Focus on the Now, the New and the Next: organisations require a change in mindset for leaders, embracing both short and long term optimisation, developing internal capacity to do both and recognising and celebrating where it happens well.

  • Broadening the definition of sustainability: organisations more and more speak about not only environmental, but also social and financial sustainability

  • Small ICEs, HEVs or BEVs: there is no clear-cut answer here we’re afraid. It depends on your use case, models available in your context and your operating environment.

  • Set a benchmark, set targets, don’t wait for them to be perfect: we all have imperfect data and challenges with data quality. Do a carbon ‘screening’ or sample benchmark across a few countries / vehicles don’t try and do it all.

  • Data bias impacts us all: bad data leads to bad decisions, think about how you present the information, how many people are involved in the chain and how bias creeps in. Data is fundamental but quantity can unfortunately overwhelm quality and lead us to act reactively rather than strategically.

  • Don’t wait for maturity: organisations are in different places on their Fleet Management evolution, but you don’t need to wait for everything else to be ‘fixed’ before starting to tackle sustainability. See what choices you can make now, in parallel to other improvements. Use other agency’s experiences to make the case if it helps.

  • Waste Management: it might seem beyond reach for many of us, but in reality there are many things we can already be doing to improve our waste management practices, even in hard to reach environments; collaboration and innovation are key.

The UPS Best Transport Achievement Award submissions from the World Bank Group and from Save the Children International saw two very different projects competing for the Award. World Bank Group’s integrated Road Safety Programme showcase a range of approaches to delivering a holistic solution including: enhanced policies and manuals, online tools, incident reporting and monitoring and evaluation, all spearheaded critically by a Staff Road Safety Committee.

Save the Children’s Fleet Transformation Programme demonstrated a new approach to improving fleet management with the overall goal of equipping the organisation with safe, reliable, sustainable and efficient transport, with a clear focus on value for money, efficiency, safety and reducing carbon footprint. To do this, they worked on fleet rightsizing and introducing a novel ‘fleet service charge’. They also deployed IVMS and FMS among many other measures.

After a close run competition, Save the Children International were announced as the winner of this year’s award, with many participants recognising the value of both of the finalists in pushing the needle on Fleet Management maturity for the sector.

Wrapping up another great conference, Fleet Forum reminded us that Sustainability is beyond emissions: it's not an add-on, or a tick box, not a department or someone else’s problem. It’s about changing the way we do business, redefining what success, impact and ‘harm’ are for us as a sector.

The cleanest kilometres are the ones not driven.



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