Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Ashley Sowerby's blog: 28 March 2014 - How to use your fleet
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Ashley Sowerby's blog: 28 March 2014 - How to use your fleet

Date: 28 March 2014

Earlier this year, I spent some time with the people who run our North American operation and they kept using a word that you almost never hear around UK fleets: utilisation.

To be fair, they were talking mainly about very large, specialist plant items, often linked to the oil and gas industry, rather than mainstream fleet hatchbacks, but it did set me thinking - how often do we ever measure the utilisation of our fleets?

The nearest that we tend to get is by describing a car as "job need" or "perk". The measures for this are often a little vague in themselves but once someone passes a certain job requirement, perhaps they take to the road on customer meetings a couple of times a week, they are placed in the corporate job need category.

Their company car is effectively a transport tool and potentially can expect to be viewed just like any other asset.

However, these job need cars may actually spend the largest part of their working lives simply sitting on the company car park. As assets, they are arguably very poorly utilised.

Clearly, the picture is more complex than this. There are many, many company cars that are effectively both job need and an important part of a salary package.

Starting to think about the fleet in terms of utilisation does create some possibilities, though.

At the most mundane level, some underutilised vehicles could be used as pool vehicles in order to potentially sidestep grey fleet problems.

At a more progressive extreme, it could open the door to car sharing and even the breakdown of the traditional one car-one driver approach.

It is unlikely to ever be used as one of the main measure of company car fleet performance but it would be interesting to see UK fleets look a little bit more at utilisation.

It could open the door to some creative managerial thinking.