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Adrian Bewley's blog: 2017 in three words - performance, options and diversity

Date: 21 December 2017

Adrian Bewley, head of business mobility at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, sums up the main fleet trends in 2017

It will come as no surprise to anyone working in the fleet sector today to see 'performance' and 'options' as two of my key summing up words for 2017.

Some may be somewhat more taken aback to see the word 'diversity'.

And yet, diversity is now increasingly a theme in our conversations with customers, partners and suppliers.

We all know that diversity is an overt requirement in tenders. I think I speak for all when I say that historically, while it was an important step forwards, this aspect of diversity has been something of a 'tick the box' exercise for most.

What is new and increasing is the genuine desire in the fleet sector to understand how diversity can help to improve how we all work and achieve our goals.

In October, for the third year in a row, we held In Pursuit of Everyday Inclusion, a one-day conference for customers and partners that is entirely focused on improving diversity and inclusion. More than 200 suppliers and customers attended a challenging and inspirational day on the theme of 'everyday diversity and inclusion'.

Many studies demonstrate that diversity makes a big positive impact on business performance. Research from McKinsey shows gender diverse businesses are 15% more likely to outperform their sector, while ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to be more successful.

While addressing the big strategic issues such as why a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential, 'everyday inclusion' is created in how we do the little things every day.

For example, does the company travel policy exclude people who don't always come into the office?

If there is a pool vehicle or car club located at the office, is there also the option for delivery of a rental car to someone's home so they can better juggle a number of priorities?

Is there provision for people with special needs to access vehicles better adapted to their requirements?

Is additional support available for employees who may need to travel for business during anti-social hours? Or who may be picking up a rental vehicle overseas for the first time and require extra help with the planning and process?

It is essential that consideration for the unique requirements of individuals is not lost in the battle to control and reduce cost, increase sustainability and manage efficiencies.

Transport exists to serve the needs of human beings, and as mobility providers, we need to focus on the human touch if our pragmatic solutions are to be effective in the long term.

Analysing figures is essential in developing any solution - and so is listening to people. When both work together, we achieve the best results.