Fleet News

Centralised fleet and travel data is critical for mobility management

David Oliver, Red Bull

Employers would be “mad” to keep fleet and travel information in different silos and not manage it to introduce effective mobility management policies.

That was one of the key messages from speakers at the Mobility Today webinar hosted by fleet decision-makers’ organisation ACFO.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is predicted to be a major way employers will move goods and people around in the future, and some companies such as Red Bull and Arcadia Group are already embracing the model.

For this, David Oliver (pictured), ACFO member and procurement manager at Red Bull, said it was “essential” to have access to “high quality and meaningful” information and data from partner companies - vehicle providers and travel management companies - for manipulation and analysis.

It is a view shared by John Pryor, ACFO chairman and fleet and travel manager at High Street fashion retailer Arcadia Group, who is focused on knowing the total cost of a journey and not simply the headline cost of a rail ticket, flight or a car’s pence per mile figure.

He said: “We have policies and processes in place, but true mobility management comes down to collecting data relating to: fleet and ground transportation, air, rail and hotel bookings and expenses payments - parking, tolls, subsistence plus individual items. All of that added together gives the business the total cost of a journey.”

The introduction by Arcadia Group of an online expenses system - in addition to utilising a travel management company - was the key to implementing a mobility management solution as it replaced a paper-based system to provide improved data analysis.

Pryor added: “Having access to all information is important, but companies keep it in different silos. If information is sitting in different parts of the business then it is unmanageable.”

Oliver said there was employee concern over the increasing burden of company car benefit-in-kind taxation and questioning whether a four-year company car replacement cycle was a “handcuff” on the ability to change policies.

He added: “We are being curious and understanding. Most organisations would be mad to keep fleet and travel expenditure apart.”

Red Bull UK already uses data to undertake “end-to-end trip analysis” on key routes with the support of its travel company “to see what we are doing; how much it is costing us: and then it is up to us to see if it fits our policies and optimise”.

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