Lockdown provides turbo-boost to fleet digitisation
The Covid-19 lockdown is fast-accelerating the digitisation of fleet services, transforming everything from work by service providers to employer communications with drivers.
According to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) co-chair Paul Hollick, the development means that processes that were perhaps paper or telephone-powered because people all worked in the same office are now being digitised
He said: “At the most basic level, this might be something as simple as how you communicate with drivers who are now scattered across a wide geographical area but, as an extension of that thinking, it could be that you have also adopted an app for completing and auditing walkaround safety checks.
“Similar things are happening with suppliers. For example, speed awareness companies are starting to offer virtual courses, and the call centre you deal with is perhaps now operating 100% remotely because the provider is unable to utilise its off-shore operations while it is under lockdown.
“Some of this is being driven by necessity – lockdown conditions mean that new methods are needed to carry out essential tasks – but there also appears to have been an acceleration in development of some sophisticated solutions being brought to market quickly because now is a moment where the extra efficiencies or benefits they bring might make a real difference.”
Hollick said that he expected lockdown conditions to persist for some time and that it could lead to further useful and interesting innovations in fleet.
“It seems unlikely that lockdown conditions will end for a while and even then, there is certain to be a relatively slow return to something that might be considered normality, so the forces driving this process of digitisation are likely to persist for a long while yet.”