Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Roddy Graham's blog: 26 February 2010 - Trained on the future
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Roddy Graham's blog: 26 February 2010 - Trained on the future

Date: 26 February 2010

Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo

Given we are now two months into the new decade, I wonder how organisations connected with fleet management are rising to today's fleet challenges? And, there are quite a few, just ask Toyota!

With talk now of a double-dip recession as the EuroZone totters on the brink of financial uncertainty in the PIGS states, allied to growing unrest among private as well as public sector workers, we could be heading for the biggest civil unrest, certainly on Continental Europe, since 1968.

This week has witnessed large protests in Spain, a general strike in Greece, industrial action at French airports and oil depots, announcement of a sudden two-week production halt at all Fiat plants in Italy and impending BA strike action. The only counter-balance was the cancellation of a strike by Lufthansa pilots.

However, with the Governor of the Bank of England voicing concern over a stalled European economy, prospects for UK plc certainly look worse than they did at the turn of the new decade.

Weighing up the fleet news over the first two months, there is however a greater deal of optimism within our own business sector. Let us hope it does not prove a false dawn.

Whatever the eventual outcome - a slow acceleration out of the recent recession or a gentle slide into the second part of a double-dip recession, the focus within the fleet industry should remain sharply directed at delivering value from the fleet and anticipating the upturn, either this year or next.

Central to achieving both objectives is ensuring proper risk management and that employees have the right skill sets.

In this regard, sight should not be lost of the essential role our very own Institute of Car Fleet Management has to play in this delivery. Biased I may be, as chairman of the not-for-profit organisation, but it remains a fact that the ICFM is the only organisation delivering accredited fleet education and training programmes. Without doubt, the resultant qualifications see employees making a real difference within their organisations.

Organisations don't work without people and the most successful organisations employ some of the best people, across the board. So the lesson is clear, without properly qualified people, our sector will not make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

And, despite the doom and gloom in certain quarters, make no mistake there are, and will be, huge opportunities for growth. Just make sure your people are properly trained to take advantage by maximising the opportunity.