The times they are a changin' wailed Bob Dylan more years ago than many of us care to remember, and it's certainly true when it comes to the world of fleet management.
For years fleet management was mainly concerned with the daily nuts and bolts of running a vehicle fleet – fuel, servicing and insurance – that sort of thing. Today that's all starting to change. Over the next three-to-five years the fleet management
industry will be all about strategic resource management, or in other words, taking a "big picture view" of optimising efficiency when it comes to fleet use, the vehicle mix, funding them and even driver behaviour.
So what's driving this change? Well technology for starters. Today's vehicles come packed with the sort of technology that's dramatically improving the ability of fleet managers to monitor the telemetry and vehicle data outputs of new vehicles and optimise fleet performance. Combine that with the advanced telematics technology
developed by Fleetcare and you've got a powerful means to make any fleet operate more efficiently by seamlessly integrating data on telematics, tax, fraud prevention, driver behaviour and other relevant data.
Dealers under pressure
Vehicle dealerships are under pressure as never before, with declining sales and consolidation expected across the industry. Tesla has demonstrated that there are ways to sell vehicles other than through traditional dealerships and now other manufacturers are looking to alternatives as well. Vehicle manufacturers will increasingly turn to the fleet industry to maximise its sales.
There's no doubt that electric vehicles
are the future of motoring but right now they're being held back by range anxiety, limited recharging options, limited choice and high prices. Those high prices are a particular concern for fleet operators, but make no mistake, those prices will come down. When they do, electrification will have a profound impact on the fleet industry, though the effect on Australia's parts and servicing industries is very much an open question at this stage. What's not in question, however, is the benefits for Australia's lithium producers and processors and the wider economy.
Cars just keep getting smarter, with more and more manufacturers partnering with technology companies like Apple and Google to improve the everyday driving experience. In the coming years technology like voice activation and sight-centred artificial intelligence will become standard equipment in even the most basic of vehicles.
One of the biggest changes in store for the fleet management industry is the evolution of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). This will push fleet management well beyond its traditional company vehicle boundaries. You can expect to see a totally integrated service managing your employees' mobility needs, such as public transport and ride sharing, parking, vehicle charging and rentals.
Whatever the next five years holds in store for you, whether it's electrification or anything else, Fleetcare
will be right there beside you with the service and advice you need, whatever business you're in.