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20 Aug 19

Driving miles to consolidate fleet and mobility data

Making sense of fleet data is a concept almost every fleet manager struggles with - especially in fragmented markets and an industry in which the role of the fleet manager is changing. 

Paul Hollick (pictured left), managing director of TMC (The Miles Consultancy), has made it his mission to get to the next level, through consolidating, analysing and auditing fleet data. He’s also involved in training the next generation of UK fleet managers through his role as Chairman of the ICFM (Institute of Car Fleet Management).

“There’s a thirst for knowledge and for getting better use out of fleet data,” he states, “but there’s no consolidated platform for dealing with it in the right way and fleet managers can’t get close enough to the real insights.” 

From simple mileage claim to complex mobility management

TMC has evolved from fleet management to expenses and mobility management, from data collection to data analysis so customers can now set up informed policies around fleet and mobility. 

The company is now active in 38 markets and fully integrated into the SAP Concur ecosystem (the first of many such integrations promises Hollick).

Road risk and duty of care

A focus on driver safety globally is prevalent as fleet managers realise the benefits of automating much of the compliance work.

“It’s going crazy!” Hollick exclaims. “Customers want a one-stop-shop solution that means they don’t have to go chasing documentation.”

TMC has 50 customers using its occupational road risk and duty of care system that checks driving licenses, vehicle service histories, insurance certification, tyre tread legality and links into expenses claim and fuel management. 

“So far we’ve uncovered a few potential horror stories (banned drivers and those without business cover on their insurance) and quickly informed customers.”

Telematics data

Right now there’s a mosaic of different telematics suppliers, particularly across Europe. Changing from one to another is costly but fleet managers want to see true running costs and isolate flaws and misuse so the demand for consolidation and data in one central portal is high. 

“Overall, you get a better view of data centricity and can optimise asset holding policy.” Hollick explains. But he thinks fleets are waiting for connected data to become mainstream so they can avoid having to shoulder the cost. 

“They’re waiting to see what the OEMs will do but the downside is OEMs will want to monetise that data whereas today it’s coming for free.”

A complete mobility reclaim system

Hollick observes that the pay-and-reclaim process, using spreadsheet and expenses or fuel card claim systems, is flawed and outdated and doesn’t have the controls in place to handle new mobility.

On the back of the deal with SAP, TMC has launched its Mobility+ platform, which combines the strengths of connectivity with Concur’s travel expense management capability and this, he hopes, will fill the gap.

The changing role of the fleet manager

Aside from new technologies, Hollick believes the future lies in new education. 

“In my view, 15% of fleet managers are prepared for the future, 85% aren’t and corporate Boards don’t understand the changing role of the fleet manager. Education in our industry is pivotal. Weʼre training the current generation and the next to deal with these challenges.”

Paul Hollick believes that even though there’s a journey to be made before the fleet industry realises its visionary future, progress is on track if only company Boards would get on board.
 

Authored by: Steven Schoefs
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