Editor's choice
6 Dec 17

Less choice is beneficial to all

At today’s plenary session of the Fleet Europe Forum, Andy Leeden from biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca shared his ideas on how they have integrated innovation in their fleet management programme. Key takeaways in his presentation were that a company’s fleet vision should perfectly reflect the company’s global strategy, and that less choice is ultimately in every stakeholder’s interest.

A standardized approach to liberate resources

AstraZeneca manages 19,000 company cars in 71 countries around the world. In some regions, a car allowance scheme is in place, while in Asia people predominantly get a travel allowance. How can you develop, in such a challenging environment, a consistent strategy that will deliver value to all?

“A global fleet strategy needs to be based on business effective partnering aligned to business priorities and stakeholder objectives”, answered Mr Leeden. In practice, this resulted in AstraZeneca opting for outsourcing its fleet activities and external financing. Moreover, the company focused on standardisation and simplification of fleet management to liberate resource for core activities.

Less is more

Additionally, the company’s fleet strategy also focused on the reduction of carbon emissions, accidents and costs, all the while maintaining employee satisfaction and product quality. Especially in Europe, this proved challenging, even more so in view of the need to align and the allocation of cars and simplify the reallocation of cars.

By reducing the number of car list grade levels to 4, introducing a CO2 cap by grade reducing 20% over five years, and limiting the number of OEMs to 4 (coming from 23), AstraZeneca realized a 19% GHG reduction, a 25% reduction in CPMK and 5% year on year savings.

Complexity and uncertainty instead of clarity

At the point of developing his fleet strategy, in 2015, Mr Leeden expected he would be operating in a clearer regulatory context by now, but that was before IFRS16, WLTP/RDE, GDPR and so on. “There are many unknowns today: what will happen with alternative fuels, connected cars, big data and autonomy? Who owns the data and has access to them? What are the new propositions on the mobility scene?”

Which lead him to explain what he expects from the industry. “What we need, are pathways to understand the transition from ICE to AFV and solutions to mitigate the impact on business operations and TCO. Also, data privacy blockers need to be resolved to allow technical data to be shared, all the while protecting personal data.”

What Mr Leeden sees happening over the next years? “As the Fleet Manager increasing becomes a Mobility Manager, he will manage services instead of assets. Additionally, I see the focus shifting to the maximisation of employee productivity.”

Authored by: Dieter Quartier