Fleet Europe Awards Jury President Mark Howlett: “We want to hear from you!”
Each year, the Fleet Europe Awards put the spotlights on European fleet managers for their fleet and mobility strategy. This year, the jury is presided by Mark Howlett, Manager Fleet Sales at Kia Motor Europe. We asked him a few questions about the Awards.
How does it feel to be this year’s jury president for the Fleet Europe Awards?
“It’s a huge honour, for me personally and for my company as many great people have had the privilege to represent the jury before me. It is a great opportunity for us to try to find some really cutting-edge initiatives that are moving the sector forward, specifically the topics of connectivity, electrification and moving to a carbon-neutral fleet.”
Why do you believe it is important to recognise fleet managers for their achievements?
“Fleet managers are often the unsung heroes within a corporation. They bring initiatives to life, they can be held up as shining examples for the profession they operate in and for our industry. Without these pioneers we wouldn’t make the steps forward that we do.”
“Let’s face it, fleet is a huge contributor to the carbon footprint in every region and these fleet managers have a huge opportunity or responsibility, however you want to frame it. They deserve to be held up up as pillars of our industry, to inspire other would-be innovators in other organisations.”
Fleet managers often hesitate to apply for the Awards, unsure whether they fit the bill. What do you say to those fleet managers?
“When we work in our box in our company, our projects are our day-to-day life and we may think what we’re doing is not so special. But if you’re making progress and coming up with some smart ways of implementing new technologies, innovations or carbon-reduction strategies, we want to know about it. Because if we don’t hear from you, we don’t move the story forward.”
“So it’s important to share with us if you think you have a good project that is gaining traction, that has the support of the management, that has a positive impact on your employees and your peers around you.”
What do you hope to see in this year’s applications?
“The stories that impress us the most are the ones that are well-adopted by the company in all levels of the organisation. These topics can be quite difficult to push through. So that means the candidate really has stakeholder engagement in all levels of the organisation, be it the board level, procurement level, CSR, the employees. Are you answering the needs of employees’ mobility requirements in this day and age, specifically when we talk about things like mobility and the mobility budget? Do you have a broad view approach, a vision to incorporate access to mobility services?”
Can candidates only apply if they work for large multinational companies or can they also submit an initiative in just a few countries?
“We are looking for smart initiatives, they can be big or small. Quite often you need to pilot these projects before they really flourish and if it’s two or three countries, then so be it. As long as the concept is transferrable to other locations, to other regions, then we want to hear about it.”
Authors: Steven Schoefs & Benjamin Uyttebroeck