Fleet News

Boom may force FleetNet shake-up

THE rapid rate of growth in e-commerce over the internet could force a radical shake-up of FleetNet, the voluntary organisation under which the rental and leasing industry has developed its standards for online trading. Established a decade ago, among the primary aims were the adoption at low cost of message standards, ranging from contract hire quote request forms to goods credit notes, and standard service and vehicle identification models codes to help unscramble data transferred between FleetNet members and accredited suppliers using different software systems.

But while those standards have been created and are used by FleetNet's 100 members - among them 40 major leasing companies, 21 systems suppliers, 16 fleet suppliers, seven dealership groups and five daily rental firms - take-up within the fleet industry as a whole has been slow and no motor manufacturers are on board.

This has blocked the road to one other major objective, the universal use of FleetNet's codes by car makers, fleets and suppliers. Now, with the advent of new protocols which will make secure entry into electronic data exchange and trading simpler, cheaper and quicker, the organisation has reached the point where it has to decide whether to continue purely as a forum manned by unpaid volunteers to discuss e-commerce issues and ideas, or to become a commercially-resourced company funded by development fees.

Chairman Peter Minter, of Oasis Global Systems, said: 'FleetNet is serving its purpose in raising the profile of electronic commerce, but the level of support we've had from vehicle manufacturers has been poor and the fleet industry has in general been slow to react to the opportunities. It's fair comment that we haven't achieved everything we aimed for from the outset and we are aware that we may not be able to achieve goals such as universal codes with an organisation that relies on people with other jobs to give up two or three days of their time every few months. The matter's been under discussion for quite a while and will be discussed further over the coming weeks.'

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee