Fleet News

Corporate mobility revolution within five years

A REVOLUTION in contract hire, leasing and fleet management company services will see them transformed into mobility traders within three years. The outsourcing of routine day-to-day fleet activities will also be the springboard for a transformation of fleet managers into personal mobility managers.

The radical transformation will see Britain's contract hire, leasing and fleet management companies become one-stop shops, offering innovative mobility solutions - not just company cars - to businesses across Britain.

Services on offer, while including company cars, will also include the ability to arrange, book and invoice electronically, on one monthly bill, airline tickets, rail travel, car hire and hotel bookings.

And the strategically important in-house new breed of personal mobility managers will be responsible for negotiating rolling contracts with providers which will result in long-term partnerships.

This vision is less than four years away, according to Professor Peter Cooke, head of Nottingham Business School's Centre for Automotive Industries Management, as he launched the 44-page report 'Vehicle Management Outsourcing - The Key to Profitable Service Differentiation' sponsored by Solihull-based Overdrive Business Solutions.

'It is the brave new world of the personal mobility manager and outsourcing is the first harbinger,' said Cooke. 'The industry is in a period of revolution and I don't think we will recognise it in three to four years' time.'

Outsource will extend further down the supply chain to specialist outsourcing partners who will offer a range of branded services - both routine and new services. Internet and e-commerce-based services will be at the heart of 21st century innovation from contract hire, leasing and fleet management companies.

Cooke writes: 'It is unlikely that in future fleet cars will remain dominant in the UK marketplace. Ever more aggressive tax regimes, for vehicles and fuel provision, cash for car, integrated transport and new ways of working - whether working from home or providing cars for company business on a daily basis - will bring increased pressure on the traditional fleet product package offering.

But Cooke believes there is a significant place for strongly-branded small companies to provide unique services to local businesses. He believes most will be internet and e-commerce-based.

'Competitive advantage will be gained by the business that re-engineers its activities - the services it uses and provides - to take account of the developing market,' says the report.

Overdrive managing director John Britcliffe said: 'We have seen the industry stagnate a little and the appetite for contract hire and leasing companies to innovate has been limited. With the outsourcing option we will see a rapid increase in innovation. They must react to the challenges of the dotcom companies.'

Cooke added: 'Fleet managers must move fully into the role of providing total mobility for their colleagues as contract hire and leasing companies buy-in services from professional players. The technology exists to make this transformation. The only thing which needs to change is the mindset.'

  • The report costs £95 and is available on 0121-609 6500.

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