Different data standards are the main stumbling block and have caused major headaches for a number of companies trying to launch cross-border fleet operations.
Among them is Fleet News Award-winning fleet manager Diane Miller, of NextiraOne, who recently revealed that one of the major problems she faced was handling the different computing systems she had to deal with.
Her view was backed by software firm cfc solutions, which reports that fleets hoping to integrate fleet software systems across all the countries in which they operate – a trend which the company predicts will double in the next two years – are often finding that they cannot easily ‘talk’ to each other.
Andy Leech, sales and marketing director at cfc, said: ‘It is not unusual for a modern fleet management system to interface with more than a dozen external suppliers from dealers and service outlets to fuel card providers and insurance companies and that can sometimes mean a dozen different data formats.
‘If data is not stored in a standard way, it means that your software and every external system with which it communicates will be potentially speaking a different language.’ Like a roomful of people speaking in different languages, translation and understanding is still possible, but the process is slower and much more prone to error, he said.
As a result, companies may only be achieving 60% of the efficiencies that they hoped for from using a pan-European fleet system.