ACFO predicts big changes for fleet managers
02 January 2018
Author: Sean Keywood
The role of fleet managers is developing more rapidly than ever before, according to ACFO.
The fleet operator organisation believes companies need to have joined up fleet and travel management, considering a far wider range of options than just the traditional company car, meaning the role of fleet decision-maker becomes one of a professional travel mobility manager.
ACFO, which has produced a vision for the future identifying challenges and opportunities facing its members during the next five years, says it must continue to evolve to meet its members' needs.
In addition, as the role of the fleet manager moves within companies and is found within HR, procurement, finance, facilities and travel departments, ACFO is urging these employees with fleet responsibility to join the organisation.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: "Promoting the necessity and value of a fleet manager is critical and must be seen as a key professional role by employers. But ACFO acknowledges that the role is changing.
"Mobility is a significant cost to many companies and today travel embraces far more than company car procurement and in-life management of vehicles.
"Car clubs, better use of pool vehicles, greater market flexibility on short/medium vehicle availability, traffic congestion, reduced employee interest in a traditional company car particularly for those living in built-up areas with a lack of parking space, on road parking permits and charges, air quality concerns in cites, app-based travel services and autonomous vehicles are all issues and challenges within the mobility function."
Pryor says that businesses need to focus on getting the best value for money from employee journeys.
He said: "Employees are looking for a more encompassing solution to meet their transportation needs, but ACFO's belief is that managers should measure the cost of the mile travelled however a journey is made.
"Previously it would have been in a company-supplied car, but today there are various ways to travel that mile and managers must build into their systems the most environmental, risk-free and cost-effective way to complete a journey.
"Therefore companies should be looking at the mile travelled and let technology dictate how that mile journey is actually made. Businesses - and they must encourage employees to do the same - must focus on gaining the maximum benefit for each £1 for mile travelled.
"This represents a challenge and an opportunity for ACFO to support the establishment of the professional role of a travel mobility manager, and to develop representation and support for this new breed of operator."
As part of its own evolution, ACFO has also announced plans to combine its traditional autumn seminar and annual awards dinner, in addition to previously announced plans to restructure with one region replacing nine regions and the introduction of webinars in addition to continued twice-a-year seminars on key topics.
The organisation is also planning improved online facilities, and more engagement with other fleet and motor industry organisations and government departments and agencies.
Pryor added: "Organisations that fail to adapt to industry changes wither on the vine. ACFO recognises that it must continue to evolve and business mobility is about giving employees the widest possible choice, while making travel cost effective and efficient.
"It is more than just trains, planes and automobiles and ACFO will help its members address the challenges and opportunities they are facing."