Sam Sterry's blog: It's good to share - the sharing economy has something to teach small businesses
17 July 2018
Sam Sterry, Head of SME for Europcar UK reveals how companies can reduce costs and work more efficiently through collaboration
The sharing economy is big business, both for consumers and companies worldwide. More and more firms and individuals are sharing assets and services, from homes to parking spaces. This shift has been driven by a combination of the advances in technology and economic pressure. As a result, open collaboration is not only changing the workplace; it's having a major impact on external factors such as transportation. And the evolution of car ownership to car usership is offering a host of significant benefits for businesses.
Technology-savvy professionals and businesses are using collaborative services such as carpooling to drive down costs, improve efficiency whilst managing their mobility needs. Indeed, new research commissioned by Europcar has revealed that almost half of senior business decision makers (47%) said their company operates a car pool policy. This means employees can access vehicles for business journeys as required, demonstrating a new approach to employee mobility. The cost of car ownership is steadily increasing and once insurance, fuel, maintenance and servicing are taken into account - car buying or long term lease can look less appealing. And for some businesses, even cost prohibitive.
Car sharing - made famous by Peter Kaye's comedy - is very much part of society's consciousness yet the concept of shared mobility is relatively untapped by the business community. Those businesses looking for ways to cut costs by eliminating the investment in a depreciating asset, could consider creating car and ride sharing communities. This will enable them to reduce the size of their own fleet as well as eradicate costs associated with high mileage claims. All without compromising on the flexibility of staff mobility.
Carpooling doesn't just assist with costs, it also tackles the challenge of grey fleet usage, enabling fleet managers to meet their duty of care obligations. Employers have the confidence that staff are travelling in a properly maintained vehicle. It also helps minimise a firm's carbon footprint and meet environmental objectives. Plus there are the benefits for the wider society, with congestion and parking issues reduced because the physical number of vehicles on today's roads can be cut.
Collaborative approaches in the business world are nothing new but carpooling can address the specific needs of an organisation and the provision of mobility solutions for its employees.
By tapping into the ever-evolving sharing economy, through carpooling businesses can improve efficiencies, meet the needs of their environmental policies whilst reducing costs in the process.