Fleet News

Webwatch: we review what's hot on the 'net

TOO often Fleet News receives a call that goes a little like this: 'Hello, I've been working for my company for five years as fill-in-the-blank and I've now been told I now have responsibility for the company cars. I have no experience, how can I get help?'

Our reaction is always the same – try the Institute of Car Fleet Management.

The ICFM is a relative newcomer, having been founded in 1992 as the UK's 'only independent organisation dedicated to developing the capability and enhancing the standing of fleet professionals'.

The challenge is a huge one considering that, while the fleet market in the UK is more mature and complex than any other country in Europe, the recognition given to fleet management is at a polar opposite.

ICFMonline takes a stepping stone approach to presentation of information.

Visitors step across the headings in the menu bar on the lefthand side picking up information as they go. Presentation follows a logical pattern. You are told the organisation's background and its goal (advancing professionalism in car fleet management).

A nice touch is detailed introduction to the ICFM council, with pictures and biographies.

Websites are too often impersonal and the ICFM adds a much needed human touch to what could be a dry topic.

As an institute, membership numbers are key to its survival and growth so the site contains detailed information on the benefits of becoming an ICFM member as well as the types of membership (student, associate etc). The most space, understandably, is given to the institute's training programme designed to boost the knowledge levels of 'novice' and experienced fleet decision-makers and the type of courses on offer, divided into introductory, intermediate and advanced modules and diplomas.

Institute members can request a username and password in order to download a 'Guide to Car Fleet Management'. The instructions given are the most comprehensive I've seen and should calm the nerves of even the most ardent technophobe. Full marks to the ICFM. The lowdown:

The site: www.icfmonline.co.uk

For

  • Simple to use. Show-window on a too-often ignored cornerstone to fleet management Against

  • Promises a great deal, but its sales pitch would be given a huge boost by testimonials

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