UK fleet representative body ACFO has met for the first time with leaders of the Global Fleet Consortium Network to discuss how they work together to promote fleet management best practice worldwide.
Also attending the meeting was Paul Hollick, chairman of the ICFM, dedicated to furthering the education and advancement of car and light commercial vehicle fleet management, who believes it may be possible to both “harmonise and globalise” fleet manager qualifications.
The Global Fleet Consortium Network, which ACFO joined last year as a founding member, was the brainchild of the United States-based Automotive Fleet and Leasing Association (AFLA). It was formed against a background of a trend toward the globalisation of fleet management practices and fleet managers adapting and growing their skillsets to meet a host of new challenges and opportunities.
Three representatives of the Global Fleet Consortium Network: Bill Elliott, executive director at AFLA, and Mike Antich, global initiative leader, and Mary Sticha, president of AFLA - attended an ACFO board meeting.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “From the discussions there is huge commonality of issues around the world that fleet managers are facing.
“Understanding how those topics are being tackled and sharing best practice via our respective websites and providing overseas fleet managers with access to ACFO’s webinars on key industry matters would be a major step forward.
“We have agreed to work more closely together and keep Global Fleet Consortium Network members updated on the key issues in the UK and how ACFO is tackling them in terms of promoting best practice.
“In the future we may look at benchmarking across the UK and United States fleet markets, common webinars, monthly newsletter and developing a global news portal with case studies and PR items.”
Common fleet industry issues facing fleet managers internationally identified at the meeting
include: rising vehicle acquisition costs particularly with an increase in safety-related features being fitted to vehicles; increasing fuel costs; improving air quality and environmental matters; taxation changes and regulatory controls.
ACFO and ICFM agreed almost three years ago to forge closer links to promote the benefits of professional fleet management and the importance of training and education, coupled with the implementation of best practice.
In the United States, a similar fleet manager training programme has been established to that operated in the UK, but successful completion results in a mini-MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree.
Hollick said: “It is always excellent to form collaborations around the globe. We will share information on how qualifications globally can work for both UK fleet managers and those based in the UK but with broader fleet responsibilities in Europe and around the world.
“The advancement of fleet manager qualifications is vital and, if through collaboration, we can deliver robust programmes that lead to the potential harmonisation and globalisations of fleet manager training then I would regard that as a significant industry development.”
ACFO is one of the founding members of the Global Fleet Consortium Network alongside the AFLA, the Australasian Fleet Management Association, the Asociación Méxicana de Arrendadoras de Vehículos, which translates to the Mexican Vehicle Leasing Association, and the China Road Transport Association.
Photo caption: At the ACFO board meeting are (left to right): ACFO director Phil Redman, ACFO chairman John Pryor, Mike Antich, Bill Elliott and Mary Sticha representing the Global Fleet Consortium Network, ACFO director Debbie Floyde, ACFO deputy chairman Caroline Sandall, Fiona Spencer, of the ACFO membership secretariat office, and ACFO directors Denise Lane and Richard Baird.