ACFO will continue to reinvent itself in 2018 as the role of the fleet decision-maker evolves into that of the professional travel mobility manager.
The UK’s premier fleet decision-makers’ organisation believes companies must have joined up fleet and travel management and, as a consequence, far from the job title of fleet manager diminishing, the role is developing and expanding at a more rapid rate than ever before.
ACFO’s ‘Vision for the Future’ sees the organisation, which has been in existence for more than 40 years, identify many of the “challenges and opportunities” faced by its members over the next five years.
What’s more, as the role of the fleet manager transitions in its placement within companies and is found within HR, procurement, finance, facilities and travel departments, ACFO is reaching out to those functions and urging employees with fleet responsibility to join the organisation.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “Promoting the necessity and value of a fleet manager is critical and must be seen as a key professional role by employers. But ACFO acknowledges that the role is changing.
“Mobility is a significant cost to many companies and today travel embraces far more than company car procurement and in-life management of vehicles. Car clubs, better use of pool vehicles, greater market flexibility on short/medium vehicle availability, traffic congestion, reduced employee interest in a traditional company car particularly for those living in built-up areas with a lack of parking space, on road parking permits and charges, air quality concerns in cites, app-based travel services and autonomous vehicles are all issues and challenges within the mobility function.
“Employees are looking for a more encompassing solution to meet their transportation needs, but ACFO’s belief is that managers should measure the cost of the mile travelled however a journey is made. Previously it would have been in a company-supplied car, but today there are various ways to travel that mile and managers must build into their systems the most environmental, risk-free and cost-effective way to complete a journey.
“Therefore companies should be looking at the mile travelled and let technology dictate how that mile journey is actually made. Businesses - and they must encourage employees to do the same - must focus on gaining the maximum benefit for each £1 for mile travelled.
“This represents a challenge and an opportunity for ACFO to support the establishment of the professional role of a travel mobility manager, and to develop representation and support for this new breed of operator.”
ACFO’s continuing evolvement - a new strapline replacing ‘the premier organisation for fleet operators’ is to be introduced - includes the organisation planning to combine its traditional autumn seminar and annual Awards dinner, where the best fleet vehicles, initiatives and suppliers’ products and services are recognised, into a single afternoon and evening event.
Mr Pryor said: “Both events are popular in their own right, but by bringing them together in a single day we believe we can attract a larger audience. The seminar tackles key industry issues with well over 100 delegates and the Awards traditionally attracts more than 200 people. Combining the two events will, ACFO believes, prove popular with members as well as motor manufacturers and fleet suppliers and we expect those companies to invite their customers with fleet and mobility management responsibilities.”
The developments build further on ACFO’s decision from 1 January, 2018 to restructure with one region replacing nine regions and the introduction of webinars in addition to continuing to hold its popular twice-a-year seminars on key topics.
Furthermore, as ACFO evolves it will continue to:
Mr Pryor said: “ACFO’s first webinar focused on the autumn Budget Statement and ACFO will continue to take representations on behalf of the membership to government and its various agencies.
“However, organisation’s that fail to adapt to industry changes wither on the vine. ACFO recognises that it must continue to evolve and business mobility is about giving employees the widest possible choice, while making travel cost effective and efficient. It is more than just trains, planes and automobiles and ACFO will help its members address the challenges and opportunities they are facing.”