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Release date: 11/7/2019
Say the term “mobility” and the questions and comments will start to fly. Any discussion may center on “What is it in the first place?” before diving more deeply into “What does it mean to me?”
Fleet experts offer their answers to some of the most prevalent questions surrounding mobility. Be warned, though: There are no standard answers, and each response is likely to raise more questions.
What is mobility? Frederic John, Mobility Consultant and Business Developer with Neckermann Strategic Advisors in London, calls it an “increasing black hole including all sectors, directly and indirectly, involved in moving something or someone from point A to B. The mobility industry is potentially so large that it can be divided according to different variables: people versus goods, air versus ground, automated versus manual, urban versus rural.”
While that broad view encompasses every potential aspect of mobility, for fleets it can vary wildly. “Each person you talk to is going to have a different definition of mobility,” said NAFA Past President Bryan Flansburg, CAFM, Location Manager for First Student in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Flansburg agrees with the idea that it is moving people and products from one place to another, but says the big question for fleets is: “Are you managing the movement of those items or the asset that moves those items? To me, that is the big leap.”
NAFA Associate Member Tony Candeloro, Senior Vice President, Technology and Operations at Holman Strategic Ventures, suggests looking at the broad topic through the acronym ACES: “Autonomous, connected, electric, and shared; these are the four main automotive disruptions.”
Holman Enterprises operates six integrated automotive businesses including ARI, a fleet management provider, and Holman Strategic Ventures, which was established in 2016 to develop forward-thinking investments, technologies, partnerships, and innovative solutions.
Candeloro notes that Holman works with three distinct types of fleets and all are grappling with mobility and the issues it raises on different levels. “We manage fleets driven by employees, we’ve got fleets that companies offer to contractors, and a ride-hailing fleet,” Candeloro said.
“Depending on which fleet is asking us the question, we’ve got different potential solutions. If I’m talking to a consumer-driven fleet, safety is paramount. As with most fleets, safety is an important consideration, but with consumer-driven fleets, compliance with safety policies and regulations is strongly enforced. Other considerations include ensuring the vehicle is operating correctly, inspections are completed, and the fleet managers have eyes on the vehicle.”
Flansburg’s current job also is a prime example of how mobility works: a subcontractor that provides bus services for two nearby school districts. “They’ve already reduced risk and liability by outsourcing,” Flansburg said. By taking a mobility approach, however, they’ve also reduced cost and environmental impacts. “There are times in the past when the school districts both would have taken a bus to the same location. We have been able to create cooperative transportation where they are traveling to the same location.”
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