A RAFT of issues will influence how fleets are managed in the future.
Paul Hollick, chairman of ICFM, the independent organisation dedicated to furthering the education and advancement of car and light commercial vehicle fleet management, told its 2019 Annual National Members’ Conference, the role of a fleet manager had never been more complex and challenging.
Reflecting on the range of influences, including political and technological as well as the emergence of generation Y in the workforce maybe not requiring a car, he said: “Our industry is changing. And changing very quickly.
“The new age is already here, whether we like it or not. Globalisation, mega cities, the connected car, the autonomous car, the new generation not wanting to even own a car with their differing buying patterns – or can even afford one – and mobility-as-a-service.
“Add to the mix world challenges of urbanisation, pollution, natural resource scarcity, congestion, politics, legislation and taxation and the role of a fleet manager has never been more complex or challenging. It’s an agenda that cannot be ignored.
“The ICFM believes over the next 24 months, we will see a fundamental shift in our industry of the likes never seen before.”
Insight into many of influencing issues were provided at the Conference, which was attended by a capacity 200 delegates, including company car benefit-in-kind tax, the transition to a low and zero carbon vehicle future amid a move away from petrol and diesel fuels, connected vehicles and ‘big data’ uses in the fleet industry and fleet funding.
Hollick said that fleet skills will change and have to change. “Manual tasks will cease to exist in their current form and fleet managers’ creative sides will come to the fore. They will need to be innovative, dynamic and strategic.”
The ICFM, he said, would have to develop and adapt training courses to suit the future, including: “Developing training for students that are coming from differing disciplines to fleet especially from the procurement, travel, HR and eventually the mobility space.”
A further reflection of the changing world of fleet management was that ICFM was not only training managers to run fleets across the public, private and voluntary sectors, but also more fleet support service employees at motor manufacturers, franchise dealers, leasing and accident management companies and other supply-side organisations.