Fleet News

One year left to reach goal, FleetNet chairman warns

FLEETNET, the national group fighting to create common standards for e-commerce in the fleet industry, has just a year left to reach its goal or risk losing its battle, its chairman has warned. More than a decade after the launch of FleetNet, the fleet industry is still a long way from reaching any agreement on common standards for e-commerce.

Codes for vehicle models and parts used by companies ranging from manufacturers to leasing and rental companies and residual value experts all differ. For any company wanting to take information from more than one company about vehicles, massive amounts of administration time have to be wasted transferring the information into a single usable database.

FleetNet's aim is for everyone, from manufacturers on, to use the same code for describing vehicles. It has created its own code that members use to translate suppliers codes to the figures needed to run on their own systems. But Bob Cumming, who is in charge of model code development, said achieving the 'Holy Grail' of standard model codes was as far away as ever. He said: 'If anything, there has been model code proliferation. I do not think we are any closer to a universal model code than we were when we started.'

The organisation risks being overtaken by events, because already the code may need to change to include a reference to a picture of the vehicle, for modern hi-tech systems. Peter Minter, chairman of FleetNet, said: 'A quantum change in the way we operate is needed. We must change in the next year or the standards we will use will not be the standards that are used by the industry. We may have to use standards from manufacturers that do not fulfil our needs. However, these are exciting times and there is a lot going on.'

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