8 Dec 22

MaaS: time to adjust expectations

For a few years already, starting in less disruptive pre-covid times, MaaS, or ‘Mobility-as-a-Service’ has been promoted as the best thing since sliced bread. MaaS has been publicised as flexible, sustainable, affordable and “what the new generation of employees want.” 

It’s uptake, however, has been disappointing (some rare exceptions aside) and MaaS has now lost its place in the priority ranking of fleet managers to make space for sustainability.

What has gone wrong? Were the expectations too high and will MaaS disappear entirely, or is it worth giving it another go?

What is expected from corporate MaaS?

MaaS started off with the wrong promise. It was promoted as a business product that would ultimately become an alternative to the company car. It’s from here that it started to go wrong. Let’s list the elements that are required to call anything a corporate solution.

  • Easiness of use: employees go to a single platform to plan and book their journey; the concept of “super app” originates here.
  • Policy compliance: employees only have policy-compliant choices of transportation to select from.
  • Transactions managed end-to-end: fully automated from trip request to approval to transaction processing (allocation to General Ledger/Cost Centre).
  • Budget/Payment processing: trips need to be deducted from employees’ budgets and payments processed based on digital transaction files; this includes payment terms in line with procurement standards. 
  • Zero business disruption: at no time will an employee have to wait for transportation and they will not spend more time using MaaS as they would a company car.
  • Scalable: corporate fleet managers try to avoid excessive supply chain complexity and benefit from consolidation.

When offsetting the corporate promise against the deliverables, there’s an obvious flaw. No provider has been able to comply with the requirements or even come close to making it work.

Readjusting expectations 

  • MaaS has a future, as long as its expectations are in line with its true potential. As such:
  • MaaS is not there to replace the company car, but replace the company car for certain trips only, inner-city transportation, for instance.
  • A scalable “super app” does not yet exist in Europe, but alternatives are available on city/area level.
  • Consolidated transaction and payment processing cannot be expected from the MaaS provider, but must be dealt with through internal processes, e.g., concur expense policies.

The use case for MaaS is a carefully handpicked and well prepared one; it focuses on a specific type of transportation (e.g., inner-city traffic, connected commutes) and solves specific problems (e.g., sustainability, parking, traffic jams). Within these parameters, MaaS has the potential to find uptake and continue growing as a corporate solution.

To know more about the advantages and the implementation of MaaS within your company, check out our free to download Fleet Europe E-Book - Mobility-as-a-Service

Image: Shutterstock