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ACFO launches journey planner guide

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The second in a series of guides designed to influence fleet and travel policies and procedures has been launched by ACFO.

The guide - ‘From A to B: The ACFO Guide to Journey Planning’ - is designed to provide a thought-provoking basis from which public, private and voluntary sector organisations can look at just how effective - and sustainable - their existing mobility options are.

Cost management, carbon footprint reduction, risk management, business efficiency and effectiveness and time management are all issues that impact on business travel.

Historically, the car has always been the preferred form of travel for the vast majority of business meetings and appointments. But this is not always the optimum option in terms of cost, time, reducing risk exposure or carbon-cutting, for example.

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner said: “This guide is not about reducing business travel - although clearly that may be possible. But as a direct result of reading our new publication, employees in charge of corporate travel maybe able to implement positive changes that also lead to improved corporate efficiency.”

The guide was officially launched at ACFO’s annual Conference and AGM.

The 28-page guide suggests that corporate travel - whether by company car, employee’s own car, hire car, public transport, motorbike, bicycle or indeed car share should be overseen by a ‘business mobility manager’, who could also influence the increased use of technology-based solutions to travel - telephone and video conferencing, instant messaging and Voice over Internet Protocol - as well as smart working.

Jenner said: “Central to the business mobility decision-making process should be a desire by employers to reduce travel costs, reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the risk exposure of the organisation and staff. That means for the majority of employers a radical overhaul of how work-related travel is presently conducted.

“Simultaneously, employers must ensure that both they and their employees have all the information available to make a clear decision on whether to travel by car, train or plane; whether to use a company car, their own or a hire vehicle; for short journeys whether to walk, cycle or use public transport; or alternatively whether car share, taxi or one of the many technology options such as video or tele-conferencing are viable.

“The opportunities for employers to implement a diverse, multi-faceted, sustainable mobility plan and display corporate social responsibility have never been greater.” But, she added: “It is not only vital to implement a business mobility policy - it is critical to communicate it clearly to staff, thereby addressing the relevant issues relating to cost, safety and environmental matters set against whether the need for a journey is essential or if the objective can be achieved equally successfully using technology, while always being focused on ensuring optimum business efficiency.

“Almost certainly organisations will already be using many of the business mobility options outlined in this guide to a greater or lesser extent. However, it is almost certain that the options have been introduced in a fragmented way. That is not to say that business mobility is disorganised - simply that old habits die hard and neither employers nor employees may be too certain as to how the decision-making responsibilities should work in the new age of business mobility.”

ACFO says that the guide does not differentiate between ‘right and wrong’ Indeed, concluded Jenner: “It can be argued that there is no right or wrong. ACFO has compiled the guide to serve as a reminder of the key issues that need to be focused upon when implementing a true business mobility strategy that will cut costs and improve business efficiency and effectiveness.”

The guide has been published 12 months after the launch of the ‘ACFO Best Practice Guide to Employee Driving Document Checking’.

‘From A to B: The ACFO Guide to Journey Planning’ is available to all members to download via the website.

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