Stand and delivered – Highlights of the 2016 Fleet Show exhibition
Dozens of fleet service companies exhibited at the Fleet Show at Silverstone. We highlight some of the best products, services and news from them during the event. By Steve Moody, Natalie Middleton, Katie Beck and Alex Grant.
Prestige Fleet Servicing
As well as providing details of its vehicle servicing, maintenance and repair work, Prestige Fleet Servicing once again ran a competition offering speedway tickets to a venue of the winner’s choice in a special time challenge against a professional rider.
Joe Bhamra, commercial director, also said there had been some major business developments since the firm exhibited in 2015, including some substantial fleet contract wins, an expansion in staff plus new accolades including LeasePlan’s In-Life Services Supplier of the Year Award.
Asked about the business plans for the rest of the year, he added: “Our network [of independent service centres] is around 300, which we are going to grow to 350 by the end of the year. We’ll also continue growing the business and our customer base and developing our in-house ‘Unity’ system.”
Activa Contracts had an extremely busy show, giving visitors a look at its range of funding options and management solutions. Its services include contract hire, fleet management, sale and leaseback, and salary sacrifice, and used the event to demonstrate what businesses can achieve with a cost effective, tax efficient, and fit for purpose fleet proposition.
Elektromotive’s stand focused on showing its one-stop shop approach to offering a charging infrastructure for everyone from public and commercial sector fleets to domestic users.
The firm also highlighted its Charge your Car back-office system that manages charge points, offering drivers 24/7 support while offering charge point owners remote diagnosis, data management and the ability to set a tariff for each point on the network.
Tom Reed, account manager at Charge Your Car, said: “Your next fuel card should be a Charge Your Car access card.”
This year’s show once again saw Jaama provide the official licence validation for visitors wishing to testdrive vehicles while, on the Jaama stand, the need for professional validation of employee driving licences by fleets came under particular focus.
Managing director Martin Evans also said that cost and, in particular, compliance were a common theme to visitor queries, with many attendees still using spreadsheets or even the proverbial back of a fag packet to run fleets.
Richard Evans, major account sales manager at Jaama, added: “Every different customer who chooses our key2 application chooses us for a different reason so you might have a fleet manager who’s hot on cost control looking to reduce their spend in certain areas, or the maintenance or managing their supply change. On the other hand you might have a local council who’s seen the stories about the Glasgow bin lorry and they’ve got a real concern at the moment that they’re not 100% compliant to tackle driver risk. The only way they can start to do anything is by having a solid foundation of management information.
And the only way they can do that is not on the back of a cigarette packet or on a spreadsheet, it’s by bringing it altogether and making some sense of it and that’s what our Key2 fleet management software does.”
Fleetondemand showcased its new corporate mobility solution ahead of its launch early next year.
Dubbed Mobilleo, the solution offers a six-way journey discovery engine, using door-to-door search, by calendar integration, email, on demand booking, manual creation or preference based.
This is underpinned by an end-to-end find, book and pay user experience. Users can assess multiple options for any work-related journey whether that be commuting by car or conventional global business travel arrangements.
Chief executive Justin Whitston, said: “You’ve heard of the term ‘Software as a Service – SaaS’.
Well this is Mobility as a Service. So that means plugging in as many transport providers into the platform to deliver that. And that’s very much where we’re at.”
ABAX not only showcased its mileage claims solution at the show but also its stadium mascot ‘Alviss’ to highlight its sponsorship of Peterborough United.
Earlier this year the Norwegian-owned company – a specialist in fleet vehicle tracking and fleet management technology – reported strong take-up for its Triplog telematics device in the UK and visitors at the Fleet Show were able to find out more about how its HMRC-compliant electronic mileage logs can help companies and drivers remain tax compliant and avoid costly fines and penalties.
Mobileye is seeing a lot of interest in retrofit Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), especially in the LCV sector. As a maker of crash avoidance systems for carmakers, the firm said it is expanding its own branded products to cope with demand.
While Fuelmate aren’t new to the show, the fuel card specialist’s JourneyTrack mileage-capture solution made its debut – actually marking the first time it’s been shown anywhere.
The solution, which consists of a mobile app and online management dashboard, captures business and private mileage information and integrates with all fuel card networks provided by Fuelmate. As a result fuel usage can be aligned with mileage to drive substantial savings for commercial fleets of any size, the compay claims.
The solution is scalable to meet the needs of SMEs up to major fleets and taking in grey fleet users too. As a further key benefit no hardware is required.
ALD Automotive gave visitors a look at its holistic consultancy service which covers everything from leased cars, short-term rentals, salary sacrifice, grey fleet management and personal leasing through to alternatively fuelled vehicles and even scooters.
IFC Fleet Services
Fleet management solutions group IFC Fleet Services promoted its three main companies – BBS Fleet Logistics, Vertivia and IFC itself – including the new developments from each of them.
Bedford-based BBS highlighted its major investment in its vehicle handling and refurbishment operation, including new state-ofthe- art information technology systems and smart repair facilities.
Vertivia showcased its latest 4.0 Mileage Management system while parent company IFC demonstrated the new functionality and features of its online vehicle selector. IFC’s commercial manager
James Pestell said: “We’re the one-stop shop. We give the benefits of a multi-supply arrangement, but with the benefit of a one-stop arrangement. And everything is consolidated as well.”
Fuel Card Services
A key focus for Fuel Card Services was its recently launched Fleet Toolbox package of tools to provide comprehensive fleet control.
The add-on service offers fuel efficiency reports, licence checking, whole-life vehicle costs and a document cloud.
The business also highlighted its associate partnership stats with FORS and how, as well as providing bespoke fuel solutions for members, it can also provide assistance with accreditation, for example with carbon emissions, fuel usage and MPG breakdown.
Although Autoserve offers a wide range of products for fleets, ranging from vehicle rental and funding to guaranteed maintenance, the firm’s main focus at the show was its Fleet Safe solution – intended to provide a one-stop shop for fleet risk management.
The product covers everything from a fleet safety audit and written safety policy to licence monitoring, accident management and breakdown assistance and vehicle servicing and maintenance. The solution is aimed at all types of fleets but at the show Autoserve was particularly focusing on its benefits to the grey fleet.
Milestone showcased details of its full commercial motor offering, which offers a personalised insurance consultancy with competitive offers.
The firm specialises in commercial vehicle fleets, van & car hire fleets, courier & haulage fleets and taxi fleets. A key focus was its bespoke courier solution, which launched earlier this year and provides specific cover for carriage of goods for hire and reward or courier use. The product covers small to large businesses as well as a range of vehicles.
Andy Leech, director of Fleet Evolution, had very positive feedback, both to the show and the response to the debut of its new ‘Carffinity’ affinity programme – designed specifically for those whose income, hours or contracts mean they can’t take advantage of the salary sacrifice schemes offered by their employers.
He commented: “We’ve attended the Fleet Show for a few years now and it’s the only event of this type that we exhibit at purely because most tend to attract non decision-makers whereas the venue, topics and vetting process ensure the Fleet Show attracts people involved in crucial decisions on fleet and car benefits.
“This year we have a great response to our new Carffinity and ECOs products in addition to some great networking and discussions on green motoring in general, plus the chance to try the latest product in this area, all in all a fantastic day!”
Brake & Service World
Although vehicle and servicing specialist Brake & Service World has a 65/35 retail/fleet split, the business says it’s looking to grow its fleet business. The company caters for all servicing and mechanical repair work for fleetoperated company cars and light commercial vehicles, and deals with both leasing and fleet management companies and end-user fleets, including smaller fleets.
Global marketing executive Brendan Adams was at the show and told Fleet World that a key focus for the business is enhancing the data collection for its app and software.
He said: “Understanding what your fleet operations are doing is about collecting the right data. So we do a lot of integrations and it’s pretty standard now, integrations with telematics, integrations with Sage. We’re putting in the missing piece which is the drivers, so we’re helping collect accurate odometer readings, monitor drivers in the field, review accident paperwork. We’ve already done so much to the system, what we’re trying to do is make that data more available.”
First Travel Solutions
First Travel Solutions demonstrated a suite of new corporate offerings, including a fully-automated driver licence checking system with direct access to the DVLA database. The Driver Licence
Check Solution has been developed by a team of experts in-house, and is currently being used to verify the details of 15,000 First UK Bus drivers.
The company offered up to 20% discount on checks to visitors at the Show, and teased the imminent launch of a new corporate website.
BlackVue presented its full range of premium dashcams, boasting fully-HD quality and 3G/4G connection for live-streaming of images. All footage is date and speed stamped for use as evidence in the event of an incident, and can be sent securely to connected devices via iOS and Android-compatible Apps for analysis. Specialist units on display included a water-proofed exterior camera for use on commercial vehicles, with the ability for operators to track vehicles live using online feeds.
Institute of Car Fleet Management (ICFM)
A number of members from the ICFM were on hand to discuss the benefits of joining the Institute at all stages of career development; from training and educational courses for newly appointed fleet professionals, through to accredited, vocational qualifications for experienced members. ICFM representatives reported a healthy interest in the work of the association, and had brochures available to take away with further information and criteria for joining.
BP offered a number of attractions at its stand, including the opportunity for visitors offset their carbon emissions from travelling to the event.
The fuel card specialist also spoke to visitors about its refuelling network, made up both of BP, UK and European partner sites. Attendees were able to explore some of the features included in BP’s private mileage capture solution launched earlier this year.
National Accident Repair Group
National Accident Repair Group was at the show to talk to fleets about its vehicle accident repair network – the largest BSi accredited network in the UK with in excess of 235 car and commercial bodyshops. It provides bespoke services to leading insurance companies, claims management organisations and blue chip fleets.
Inchcape Fleet Solutions
The main focus on the Inchcape stand was on the firm’s Autobid competitive tendering solution.
Business development director Matthew Boswell explained: “We’re about 18 months into Autobid and it’s been really successful – it’s unique in the marketplace. It gives the client the chance to competitively tender every single vehicle that they’re putting through contract hire but it also gives them all the benefits of a sole supply agreement, ie. consolidated invoicing and consolidated reporting. It also allows them to competitively tender in six seconds as opposed to what would typically take them 48-72 hours. It’s proved very popular.”
Fleet Operations’ Ross Jackson was on hand at the show to give visitors an in-depth look at the firm’s award-winning multi-bid platform MOVE, which enables fleet managers to manage and administer their own choice of leasing suppliers bringing what he claimed was, for the first time, the pricing efficiency of multisupply with the simplicity of sole supply.
Zenith’s outsourced packages for end-to-end vehicle management solutions for mid to large corporates proved a popular draw at the show. Representative on the stand showed visitors how its flexible vehicle based solutions, specialist LCV products, vehicle rental and salary sacrifice schemes work for all employee populations.
Innovation Professional Services
Experts were on hand to explain how the company’s HMRC-compliant mileage capture system, coupled with unique cost-down financial solutions, could help clients to save an average of £1,350 per employee per year. The car and fuel taxation specialist also demonstrated how private fuel and cash allowance solutions are being used by some of the UK’s best known companies to reduce unnecessary fuel spend by over £15m a year.
Opus Claim Solutions
Demonstrations of Opus Claim Solutions’ new myOpus client portal (launched in January) attracted attention throughout the day. The system offers secure access to a live claim system at any hour of the day or night, as well as up-to-date dashboard and table reports to give an immediate overview of how a claim is progressing. Developed by a team of experts in-house, myOpus offers complete personalisation to meet customer requirements.
Ensto Chago UK
Workplace EV charging is a growing consideration for fleets, and Ensto Chago debuted its Wallbox at the Fleet Show as a simple solution. It’s a modular unit, which means it can be equipped with one or two sockets and offer charging at up to 22kW, while an in-built data connection enables over-the-air updates and diagnostics, as well as integration into businesses’ own back-office systems to monitor usage and maintenance data.
With the role of the fleet manager evolving, and new technologies bringing additional challenges and opportunities, ACFO is looking to offer focused seminar sessions to deal with the biggest issues. The idea is to provide those in the industry with an opportunity to discuss topics in detail, rather than a more superficial discussion as part of a broader session.
Charging point manufacturer, eVolt, offers a full end-to-end service, including installing and maintaining a range of units to suit fleets’ needs. So far, it’s been focused on the public sector, but it’s looking to make inroads into private sector applications too. Workplace charging is seen to be a driving force to encourage employees to opt into EVs, in turn offering CSR benefits for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Nexus Vehicle Rental
Nexus showcased its online vehicle rental platform, which gives fleets access to over 500,000 vehicles in 2,000 locations, with repeat booking available in 10 seconds. The company’s online licence checking software was also on display. If a manager needs to hire a vehicle for an employee, they can use the system to check they are legal to drive before they get behind the wheel, fulfilling duty of care requirements.
Already the UK’s largest EV charging network, Luton-based Chargemaster is beginning to install strategically distributed rapid chargers across London – an area which is lacking shortstop units. These will be its own Ultra Chargers, compatible with the three most common charging standards and with the option to increase power outputs and add features such as number plate recognition in future.
Lex set out large-scale growth plans in 2012, and it’s well on the way to achieving them. Its UK fleet grew by 20,000 vehicles last year, and it says businesses are now looking for a consultancy-type approach rather than simply shopping around for the cheapest rates. Its team of specialists is leading to a more diverse fleet, including more than 4,000 ultra-low emission vehicles.
Specialists were on hand to explain the programme of services specifically developed for the motor industry; including GMAC’s new and used retail finance offerings, web-based dealer platforms, advanced training, equipment loans and working capital loans. The company also presented lease purchase funding facilities targeted at UK fleet operators of all sizes, and end-user fleet funding opportunities for various manufacturer brands.
Silverstone’s Copse runway provided a large space for Thatcham Research to give decision- makers first-hand experience of the technologies making new cars safer. The agency is working hard to push home the benefits of autonomous electric braking, which is already proven to dramatically reduce accident rates, and drive increased fitment across entire model ranges. It’s also undertaking research into more affordable accident repairs, and to set a code of practice for windscreen replacement on vehicles with forward-facing radar and camera systems.
With aims to offer charging wherever vehicles park for an hour or more, POD Point not only operates a widespread public network but it provides domestic and workplace solutions too, the latter available via a leasing package. It counts carmakers and high-profile clients among its customers, and recently enabled app-based access to its public network to let drivers plug in as easily as possible.
Selsia Vehicle Accident Centres
Selsia Vehicle Accident Centres returned to the Fleet Show this year to show how it can save fleets money by centrally managing their accident repairs through its approved repairer network. The company has a network of over 120 car, van and HGV accident repair centres across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Selsia also provides bespoke SLAs that ensure clients’ needs are consistently fulfilled across the UK.
Recently rebranded, the IAM has revamped its driver training courses with an increased focus on the services it can provide to fleets.
This has included incorporating the economy training into the Advanced Driving course, and a move to better market itself to health and safety individuals. It’s paying dividends, too, with almost half of the charity’s activities now concerned with fleet.
Trakm8 demonstrated its expanded range of offerings following the acquisition of the RoadHawk dash cam company and Route Monkey scheduling software in 2015. Integration with the Route Monkey system allows Trakm8 telematics customers a complete overview of the status of the fleet via a small OBD device plugged into the vehicle. Launching in the summer, the device cross-references vehicle location with the scheduling software to offer alternative routes and diversions on the move.