One of the round table discussions at Coombe Abbey in September 2013 focused on the changing role of the fleet manager.
How has the role of a fleet manager changed in the past five years? What are your top three remits (e.g. vehicle conditions/fuel costs/service etc..)? As a fleet manager, how much do you get involved with improving service to customers (i.e. ensuring they arrive on time/make appointment slots/how long they are on site)? How do you see your role development over the next few years?
Four different industry stakeholders on table 4; including fleet manager, fleet service support and manufacturer.
Four different views, even amongst those with same roles but across different organisations.
Primarily, the role focus will depend on where the fleet function sits within the business organisational structure i.e. finance, business services, HR etc.
Cost efficiencies remain number one priority and have been number one priority for the last 30 years.
However, depending on the make-up of fleet and the organisations business need/relationships with leasing companies or contract hire composition of fleet, the next level of focus becomes increasingly diverse.
For Perk fleets ‘Value’ to driver is important, primarily as a recruitment incentive. This sense of greater value during fleet procurement can be at the expense of driver after sales service and vehicle (car and van) maintenance.
However, due to leasing relationships with drivers and automation of service deliverables those responsible for fleet are become more removed from driver for day-to-day service requirements. As a result, should a fleet sit within HR, their challenges become more considerable to use fleet as a means to better engage with employees on a day to bay basis.
This reduction in day to day touch point relationships is also echoed by manufacturers who increasingly deal with procurement via contract hire or leasing companies, rather than directly with fleet managers or directly with the businesses.