Fleet News

Managers' jobs safe - but only if they adapt

FLEET managers are being told they have a future, but need to adapt to meet the changing demands of the industry and work alongside fleet management companies following a series of outsourcing deals and criticism of their performance. The message has come from the Association of Car Fleet Operators, which says fleet managers should always have a place within a company.

It also says they must accept their roles may change in the face of new technological and changing transport trends. Tony Leigh, Association of Car Fleet Operators chairman, said: 'Fleet management companies have a place because they can be relied upon to handle the paper-pushing aspects of the job, like dealing with maintenance and fuel cards, allowing the fleet manager to deal with policy and management issues.

'However, the fleet manager's role will in the future encapsulate issues like video-conferencing, the movement of staff by bus if Government legislation restricts car travel within cities, and arranging flight arrangements. The job will mean less about cars and more about transport in general.'

In the last few months Yorkshire Electricity, Thorn UK and pharmaceutical firm Innovex have outsourced their fleets. And in recent weeks fleet managers have been accused of costing UK industry £450 million by failing to monitor fuel usage and for failing to attach enough importance to training despite widespread calls for greater professionalism.

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