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‘Way too many’ fleets reliant on outdated technology

Outdated technology is holding back businesses from managing fleets effectively and when it comes to transitioning to ‘usership’ and car sharing.

Keith Allen, managing director of ARI Fleet UK

Keith Allen says too many businesses are still relying on 20-25-year-old legacy, back-office systems for managing vehicle fleets

So says industry veteran and ex-ALD Automotive UK managing director Keith Allen in his new capacity as a consultant for fleet, leasing and mobility platform provider Bynx.

According to Allen, “way too many businesses are still relying on 20-25-year-old legacy, back-office systems for managing vehicle fleets and leasing contracts”.

Allen specifically expressed concern for companies unable to transition fast enough into the ‘usership’ and car-sharing future.

“Companies relying on outdated systems are missing out on productivity increases and cost-of-delivery and quality-of-service benefits. Those things are vital if they are to survive in a dynamic and very different future.”

This is particularly true when it comes to technology; a key enabler when it comes to flexibility to adapt to market change.

“These companies have to be brave and change. If they don’t, their cost to serve will escalate as the market becomes more transparent with more mobility options. They’ll also have to improve quality of service, which they can’t do unless they get their back-office production systems into the 21st century.”

According to Allen, the evolutions in the fleet industry mean now is a good time to make the transition and invest in the right technology: “It can be done quickly, with managed and cloud-hosted system that allow for a high degree of flexibility while delivering innovation. Change anxiety should not be an excuse to sit on old systems. And no matter what size your business, the days of multi-year system projects should be a thing of the past. They should now be planned and budgeted for in months, not years.”

Allen also says brokers and dealers have an interesting future: “Brokers fit into the leasing companies, between them and end-users. The roles are becoming blurred as private contract hire takes off. The big six leasing companies are now effectively wholesale finance providers, very dependent on brokers, who are becoming more dominant in the marketplace. And that marketplace is also becoming more regulated.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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