True mobility management requires access to central data, experts say
Having a centralised bank of fleet and travel data is “business-critical” for organisations introducing mobility management.
That was the view of some of the experts at ACFO’s latest webinar, which covered the topic of ‘Mobility Today’.
Held as a growing number of fleets explore corporate mobility strategies, the webinar saw John Pryor, ACFO chairman and fleet and travel manager at High Street fashion retailer Arcadia Group, say that fleets need full access to data to know the total cost of a journey.
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.”
Pryor said that 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.
He said: “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.”
His comments were echoed by David Oliver, ACFO member and procurement manager at Red Bull, who 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 in the switch to mobility management.
Oliver, who is leading Red Bull UK’s move to integrate fleet and travel management, said the company was seeing employee concern over the increasing burden of company car Benefit-in-Kind taxation. He commented: “We are being curious and understanding. Most organisations would be mad to keep fleet and travel expenditure apart.”
Alphabet (GB) Ltd principal consultant David Bushnell also spoke at the webinar and said that it is absolutely critical for decision-makers to engage with all key stakeholders to ensure data is collected and leveraged.
“Traditional fleet managers must wear many hats and transition into a mobility manager outsourcing data and taking advantage of technology.”
The webinar is available as a download from the ‘members’ area’ of the ACFO website.