Modern fleet manager role becoming increasingly fragmented
The annual fleet barometer, which is supported by Arval, looked at the state of the market across 15 countries – including Russia for the first time – with more than 4,500 interviews conducted with fleet decision-makers between February and March this year.
It showed that across all sizes of UK company, senior management are most likely to manage the fleet. In organisations with more than 100 employees the finance function is prominent in taking the lead in setting policy, a position consistent with the continued focus on costs that other questions within the research have highlighted.
However, the role of the specialist fleet manager remains a strategic one for many organisations, and in larger companies (100+ employees), the fleet manager role remains an integral part of the mix when it comes to setting policy, although less so than in the rest of Europe. While in the largest companies (1,000+ employees), Human Resources also has a significant say in fleet decision making.
The responsibility seems to be much more clear cut amongst smaller companies (sub 100 employees) where the structure is likely to be simpler and senior management are by far the most likely to have control. It is only in larger companies that fleet managers, procurement, HR and finance join the mix.
Mike Waters, director of market insight at Arval, commented: 'There are such a wide range of considerations that come with managing a modern fleet that it is no surprise that companies split responsibility within the different functions. Factors like cost, health and safety, the environment and employee recruitment and retention are all important, and it will be the weighting that each company applies to each of these factors that will dictate the make up of the modern fleet decision-making unit.'
The research also shows that company cars are widely distributed between the different roles within a business. Amongst smaller companies, the majority of cars are allocated to executives or technical services while within companies with more than 10 employees, there is a real mix to reflect the varying needs of each business.
Waters concluded: 'Managing a fleet is a complex task with a range of requirements and stakeholder groups to satisfy. For this reason the responsibility can sit in several places within an organisation. The role of the modern fleet manager is to marry these things together to meet the needs of the various stakeholders while delivering vehicles that help the business meet its strategic and operational objectives.'