9 juin 22

Is there consensus on a plan for a succesfull mobility strategy?

The future of fleet is super complex. Therefore, companies making the shift to corporate mobility are in need of a dedicated yet flexible strategy. Which building blocks must the Mobility Manager put in place? And are there MaaS tools powerful enough to succeed in sustainability goals whilst providing enough user convenience?

No need to underline how challenging the adoption of a new mobility strategy is, but as Fleet Europe’s own mobility expert Saskia Harreman explains, there are some basic steps for every mobility manager that can serve as a useful tool to get started. She crystallizes it into four key points:

  1. Look at the company’s broader strategy. Take into account the CSR policy and analyze how this integrates with your mobility model.
  2. Capture the current situation. List your requirements to make the change and do this by harvesting data.
  3. One of the most important steps is to make the strategy employee-centric, even on an individual level. The satisfaction of the employees is the barometer for the success of your strategy.
  4. Benchmark yourself against peers and don’t hesitate to reach out for advice. Mobility Managers often work on an island within a company.   

Best or bad practice?

Award-winning Mobility Manager Shelley Heugen put these points into practice when her employer Delhaize moved from a “mobility paradise” in the Centre of Brussels to the suburbs, or a “mobility desert”. She confirms the effectiveness of a plan like above but throws in supplementary advice on how bad practices can be lessons for best practices.

“At Delhaize, we had 2.500 one-size-fits-all bike fleet, and the same amount of complaints. Now that we shifted to bike leasing we see a diversity of bikes, from cargo to mountainbikes, and just as many smiles.” Heugen also stresses to chose the right partners because the set-up of corporate mobility has many tentacles.

There’s not a one-stop-shop for the average Mobility Manager. Following on Heugen’s obstacle CEO of leasing company Arval Laurent Loncke sheds some light on how the supplier also needs time to adapt to what he calls “the new normal”. Loncke: “With 2035 as the deadline for phasing out the ICE car, the evolution is a case of building up momentum. It is not an abrupt disruption. As we have no ambition of becoming an energy company we need partnerships as well.”

An honest question

Most speakers on the conference agree and plea for a success that depends on digitalization or harvesting data that recognize user patterns and subsequently effective MaaS tools. Mobility Director from Frost&Sullivan puts a figure on it: “The development of the technology is very business-minded. Not in the least because 79% of surveyed companies claim they will purchase a MaaS tool.”       

The conference doesn’t fail to honestly question the quirky nature of this transition. Actually, does anyone wake up worrying about mobility? The rhetorical question is put on the conference floor by Stuart Donnelly President Mobility TMC. Here’s a challenge for any Mobility Manager searching for a strong answer when a critical board member poses the same remark.

But what Donnelly basically outlines is that information is the key driver. Moving from miles to mobility his company TMC has developed a so-called super app, available as a SaaS, calculating the cost, calories, clock and carbon footprint of every journey. Supplying those data creates critical awareness, steering user behaviour towards new mobility services and away from the much-coveted company car based on a mix of their personal profile and the most sustainable option available. It could be an icebreaker for change.

"A bit of a search"

A seamless digitalization tool doesn’t always lie around the corner. When implementing a single platform to manage all mobility expenses for their employees, Belgian telecom provider Proximus turned to provider Vaigo. Comp&Ben Manager Gregory Jacobs explains: “That was a bit of a search, a long process. Not many current software providers can synchronize with your company policy in a way that the employee is suited best.”

It seems clear that with corporate mobility still a young fruit, peripheric services also have a development curve ahead. But signs are promising.

Authored by: Piet Andries